December 20, 2006 to April 6, 2007
Throughout the past 30 years, craft brewing in the United States and abroad has expanded to encompass styles of great variety and sophistication to the delight of a growing body of beer connoisseurs, both men and women. To honor the creativity and technical expertise of so many world-class brewers, the Beer Fox selects the Craft Brew of the Week, and has listed each distinguished beer in the Beer & Brewing Newsletter at BellaOnline since December, 2004. As an easy reference tool, the Craft Brew of the Week Awards are listed by date, extending over each six month period.
Note: These are in their original context, and have not been updated to reflect any changes that might have occurred. (for example: retired beers, new brewery locations)
Beer Fox Craft Brew of the Week Awards December 20, 2006 to April 6, 2007
Craft Brew of the Week Award 12/20/2006:
Brooklyn Winter Ale 2006 - Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn New York, USA
Style: Scottish Ale
In the pour, the rich amber-chestnut body is tinged with crimson highlights and topped with a thin, off-white head. Your nose fills with toasted malts, brown sugar, and fruit - cherries, dates, raisins - mixed with earth and Christmas spices.
Flavors are full of holiday memories - fruit filled breakfast cake, cloves and nutmeg, and toasted cinnamon bread sprinkled with brown sugar. An earthy pine lingers in the background, tempering the rich malt backbone. Hints of butterscotch and caramel add to the joy. A nice warmer to accompany your fireside chat.
Craft Brew of the Week Award 01/03/2007:
Double Barrel Ale - Batch 1000 - Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, California, USA
Style: Extra Special/ Bitter Ale
Coppery red with creamy, off-white head, Batch 1000 is a special, commemorative edition celebrating the 1,000th batch at the Paso Robles brewery. Unfiltered, bottle conditioned, and fermented in new American oak barrels, this beauty emits aromas of toasty malts, delicate earth and sweet vanilla. Flavors are smooth - citrus, caramel and toffee malts with lavish layers of vanilla that paint the mouth like burnished silk.
Craft Brew of the Week Award 01/28/2007:
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Goose Island, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Style: American Double Stout
A diabolical onyx body full of rich alcohol (11% abv) sucks the head from this aromatic brew. With a nose full of bourbon, wood, chocolate, espresso and vanilla, it delights the senses. The inky body shines mahogany along the edges, while a pour into your mouth meets with the reward of a velvety mouthfeel and glorious flavors. Single malt scotch notes enliven the tongue, while shades of malt, dark fruit, berries, cocoa, imported espresso, vanilla, coconut, licorice and molasses tumble across the sensory tastebuds within the mouth.
One to sip and savor!
Craft Brew of the Week Award 02/02/2007:
Humpy's Sockeye Red IPA - Midnight Sun Brewing, Anchorage, Alaska, USA
Style: American IPA
The coppery amber body sits like a crystalline jewel in the glass. A creamy, persistent, off-white head stands at attention, enticing your nose to take in the euphoric party that awaits. Ahhh! A power punch for the hophead! The olfactory senses are teased with citrusy orange and grapefruit aromas, with an ever-so-slight shading of malt whispering in the wind. Flavors are big - malty sweetness taking the edge off the assertive hops for a moment, then yield to the Centennial and Cascade hops that make thier presence known.
A medium to full body is a pleaser, while the creamy, viscous quality paints the inner recesses of the mind. A lusty brew for a hop lover's fantasy!
Craft Brew of the Week Award 02/10/2007:
Fairweather IPA - Moose's Tooth Pub & Pizzeria, Anchorage, Alaska, USA
Style: American India Pale Ale
Well-loved and strangely addictive, Fairweather IPA greets the nose with a clear citrus and pine profile. Originally developed as a homebrew recipe, this special brew is greater than the sum of its parts. The golden body sparkles with a gentle haze, topped by an off-white head of foam. Light breadiness backs up an assertive hop character of seven different styles of hops. Taste them: Crystal, Centennial, Cascade, Willamette, Chinook, Nugget, and a Secret...Ha! Measured at 64 IBU's, this is an American IPA with punch and pizzazz!
Craft Brew of the Week Award 02/21/2007:
Pranqster - North Coast Brewing Company, Fort Bragg, California, USA
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Gentle, citrus-orange fruit, spices of cinnamon, cloves, coriander and nutmeg, and yeasty breadiness wash the air, as the seductive elixir glows a hazy orange-gold inside the tulip. A white, eggshell head dissipates to a slight ring around the upper edge, tempting your lips closer, asking you to sample its sins. Alcohol hits the tongue, while a balance of malt, orange and spice merges in crisp effervescence. Deceptively drinkable, with a 7.6% ABV!
Craft Brew of the Week Award 03/05/2007:
Mirror Mirror - Deschutes Brewing, Bend, Oregon, USA
Style: American Barley Wine
As a revered selection in the 2005 Reserve Series, this ephemeral beauty sits cloudy amber-orange beneath a creamy white head of effervescent froth. Glaciers of lace float on the surface, leaving telltale webbing on the glass. The nose presents with the sweetness of figs, raisins, wood and caramel, threaded with a floral, citrus scent. On the palate, a sweet, caramel maltiness dances with dark fruit, oak and a light vinous character, balanced by grass, florals and notes of orange and grapefruit. Four months in French oak wine barrels and a few days of dry hopping before bottling impart a high level of complexity to this incredible tongue teaser.
Craft Brew of the Week Award 03/14/2007:
Sly Fox Saison Vos - Sly Fox Brewing Company, Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA
Seductive aromas of fruit, yeast, earth and sweet malt rise up as the 750 ml bottle is uncorked. A thick, chunky head of meringue lays firmly on the body of hazy, golden straw. Carbonation is classic in its style of softness. The palate is treated to a light fruity profile of lemon and tropical fruit, delicately laced with florals and white pepper. Grainy earthiness and light spice titillate the tastebuds. Warmth feathers the throat, as a satiating bitterness lingers on the back of the tongue.
Craft Brew of the Week Award 03/22/2007:
Hop Sun - Southern Tier Brewing Company, Lakewood, New York, USA
Style: American Pale Wheat Ale
Lightly hazed amber gold dances before the eyes and is capped by a frothy, white head. The genie slithers around your nose, dusting it with citrusy orange and grapefruit in an attempt to seduce you into the glass. Crisp, light and peppery on the tongue, this goddess fills your head with tantalizing fruitiness, satiating wheat, and feathered layers from hop heaven.
Craft Brew of the Week Award 04/06/2007:
Wittekerke - Brouwerij Bavik, Harelbeke-Bavikhove, Belgium
Style: Belgian Witbier
An iridescent, golden body seems to transmit floral citrus aromas through its magical, dense, creamy white head. The addition of oats to the wheat base adds to the creamy mouthfeel. Sweet fruitiness is enhanced by a secondary tartness, while spices extend like an extravagant gift to the awaiting tongue. The finish is subtle, complex and dry.
More Beer Fox Craft Brew of the Week Awards: