Allagash – Avancé
Allagash Avance is a limited edition strong sour ale that comes in around 11 percent. It’s brewed with molasses, and aged with strawberries for three years in bourbon barrels. Also, Avancé is only available at the brewery in Portland, Maine. Road trip, anyone? Of note, the folks at Allagash also recommend Interlude, which is released in November. It is fermented with house Brettanomyces, and therefore ages really well.
Hill Farmstead Brewery – (Brewer’s Choice)
Moser pointed out to us that part of collecting means getting your hands on the item that everyone wants. Hill Farmstead Brewery has become the latest darling of craft beer drinkers, even being dubbed the best brewery in the world. And under the laws of supply and demand, their brews have become virtually impossible to obtain. The tiny Vermont brewery only sells its bottles out of its onsite retail store. Did we mention that people travel from all over the world for a chance to try Hill Farmstead’s beers? Since they sell out almost immediately, you’ll have to keep an eye out. They have a list of upcoming brews here that’s worth monitoring, including E. (April 16th or 23rd release), a Farmstead pale ale that’s aged in wine barrels for 1.5 years for $20 and the cost of gas to drive up there.
Smuttynose – Wheat Wine
Smutttynose is an interesting case. They sort of have a word-on-the-street reputation of “just” being Smuttynose. We discussed with Moser, and the consensus was “underrated.” Smutty’s Big Beer Series includes a Wheat Wine that’s dry hopped and bottle conditioned to ensure it ages well. The brew has won two gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival and one at the Mondial de la Biere in Strasbourg France. Aging it 1-3 years is recommended. The brewery notes that after five years the flavor profiles can get very “interesting,” which can be a lot of fun if you have an adventurous palate. You should be able to find it on some store shelves around Boston.
New England Brewing Company- Imperial Stout Trooper
This is another brewery that’s quickly gaining a reputation for great beer. Their Imperial Stout Trooper is has grown very popular among beer drinkers and can sometimes be difficult to get. It weighs in around 8.5%, which as a stout, makes it a prime candidate for aging.
Marshall Wharf Brewing – MacFindlay Scotch Ale
This is yet another one can be difficult to get a hold of from a smaller New England brewery. It’s a seasonal brew, and the 22 oz bottles are only for sale at the brewery. It’s brewed with peat smoked malt and blended with 2-year-old bourbon barrel-aged scotch ale. There’s also a straight up barrel-aged version. If you happen to stumble across that one, buy it and store it.
Tributary – (TBA)
Perhaps you’ve never heard of Tributary. That’s because they don’t actually exist… yet. Tributary is expected to open this Spring. So, how can we recommend aging a beer from a brewery that doesn’t exist? Owner and brewer Todd Mot is the same man who created the recipe for Portsmouth Brewery’s Kate The Great Russian Imperial Stout, a 12% ABV beer that saw crowds line up overnight outside the brewery each year for a chance to grab a bottle. When Mot left the brewery, he brought his famed recipe with him. In other words, stay tuned…