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Countdown to Cult Beers

In our September/October 2012 issue, Joshua Bernstein unveils 50 of the world’s most cultishly revered beers. Many of the most coveted beers are released only once a year, and the highly anticipated release days are often celebrated with blowout brewery parties. Here’s a sampling of some releases to watch for this fall and winter.

 

Shipyard Pumpkinhead
Run, don’t walk, to your nearest beer store today because the Maine brewery is rolling out a first-ever canned version of its much-loved pumpkin and spice wheat ale this year (September 10–17). Six-packs will reach stores in Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, with more markets to follow.

 

Founders Brewing Breakfast Stout

Beer for breakfast? When it’s infused with oats, coffee and chocolate, why not? Every September, Founders releases its  Breakfast Stout in bottles, and it's not to be missed.

 

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA
This extreme IPA—at up to 20 percent ABV, it’s dubbed “more whisky than wine” by its makers—is due for another limited release this October. Grab it while you can!


Surly Darkness

Want a taste of Surly’s famed Russian imperial stout? You’ll have to travel to Minnesota—the beer’s available only in Surly’s home state, where it’s released in limited quantities every October at the band-filled Darkness Day.

 

The Bruery Black Tuesday

Black Tuesday is an epic beer with an equally epic release day. It’s not easy to acquire a bottle, but the lucky few who nab tickets to the SoCal Bruery on the last Tuesday of October will be able to take home some of this bourbon barrel–aged imperial stout.

 

Bell’s Brewery Hopslam

This smooth, aromatic winter seasonal is brewed with honey, and a taste can be yours come January.


East End Brewing Gratitude
Gratitude is what you’ll likely feel if you’re able to nab a bottle of this super rare, hand-bottled barley wine, which is released at the Pittsburgh brewery every winter. (Make that most winters—2012 hasn’t seen a release yet, so check the brewery’s website for news of a re-brew.)

 

Foothills Brewing Sexual Chocolate

This silky, cocoa-infused imperial stout is released at the North Carolina brewery just in time for Valentine’s Day and, for many, it’s love at first sip.

 

Firestone Walker §ucaba

California’s Firestone Walker earned a rapid following with its barrel-aged barleywine, Abacus—branding litigation led to a name change, but the new label isn’t likely to throw off its followers when it’s released in February.

 

Tröegs Nugget Nectar
Hopheads swoon over this intensely aromatic imperial amber, released each winter at the Hershey, Pennsylvania, brewery.

 

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