As what has been a stunning year for Fyne Ales comes to a close we thought we would take the chance to ask our in-house brewing experts what their favourtie beers of 2013 have been. Each brewer has picked their favourite Fyne Ales beer and favourite beer from the plethora of other beers around the world from 2013.
Favourite Fyne Ales Beer of 2013 - Kellaa
Kellaa was my favourite Fyne ale of the year. It had just the right amount of full bodied bitterness and a tropical fruit aroma all coming from a single experimental hop.
Favourite Non Fyne Ales Beer of 2013 - Odell Brewing – Mercenary
I like the extremely oily resinous bitterness and pungent floral aroma, a top beer!
Favourite Fyne Ales Beer of 2013 - Fyne Bank
I was a little surprised just how well we got Fyne Bank, for my palate it was just enough peated malt to let you know it’s there. The light smokiness was complimented by my favourite hops, Pearl and Mount Hood, giving it a rich piney flavour. A perfectly balanced beer for me.
Favourite Non Fyne Ales Beer of 2013 - Black Jack Brewery – Place Bet
I was told the sign of a good beer is one that you go back for a second glass of when you have a great selection in front of you. This hit home with Place Bet. A lemony, very zesty, pale beer almost like homemade lemonade. Superb!
Favourite Fyne Ales Beer of 2013 – Cool as a Cucumber
In my opinion the best beer Fyne Ales released in 2013 was ‘Cool as a Cucumber’. This sessionable cucumber and mint saison was brewed in collaboration with the Wild Beer Company from Dorset. Using a strain of Belgian saison yeast, added with the addition of selected strains of brettanomyces wild yeasts, which add; funky, peppery, spicy and earthy flavours and make for a surprisingly different and immensely enjoyable beer, especially on a hot summer’s day. I’ll certainly be looking forward to seeing this one brewed again next summer!
Favourite Non Fyne Ales Beer of 2013 – Russian River - Pliny the Elder
In my opinion the best commercially available beer I tried in 2013 was Pliny the Elder by Russian River brewery from San Diego county in California. This imperial IPA is on every beer aficionado’s hit list and is widely touted as one of the best beers in the world. After searching long and hard I finally managed to get a bottle brought back from the US. As a lover of big, bold and hoppy American IPAs I was expecting to enjoy this very much but was cautious that its excellence might have been overstated, I was not disappointed at all! At 8%ABV and with more hops than you could shake a stick at, Pliny was surprisingly drinkable and extremely well balanced.
Favourite Fyne Ales Beer of 2013 - Bell Rock and Hop
Really good levels of hopiness, not too strong that you couldn't have a couple of pints. From a geeky point of view, first time we'd tried dry hopping in Fermenter with pellets rather than cones in conditioning tank. Still not so much hops that it was green though! Possibly try that next year... ;-)
Favourite Non Fyne Ales Beer of 2013 – Magic Rock – Unhuman Cannonball
Someone else's is harder, partly due to never taking notes. Defo not a Ratebeerian me!! Probably have to be Unhuman Cannonball from Magic Rock. Strong, and hoppy enough to make you twitch. Just what the doctor ordered!
Tell us what your favourite beer of 2013 has been in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.