Best Beers of the Year

Food & Wine's Associate Wine Editor lists her five favorite brews

Anchor Brewing Humming Ale

Food & Wine’s tasting room pro, Megan Krigbaum, reveals the year's most exceptional beers.

Wandering Star Mild Heart, English Dark Mild Ale
About once a year, it seems, I come across a brew that tastes like a beer version of a chocolate milkshake. Last year’s was Geary’s Winter Ale from Maine. This year’s comes from Wandering Star brewery in Massachusetts, which was started by a superstar cast including the current and former presidents of New York City’s Homebrewers Guild and an editor at Ale Street News. The beer is rich and malty, but remains somehow light on the palate.

Anchor Brewing Humming Ale
There are days that just call for a beer — just a straight-up refreshing, slightly bitter beer like this one. Released for the first timeabout a year ago, it’s fresh and citrusy and relatively low in alcohol, making it a true everyday brew.

Magnolia Kalifornia Kolsch
From a spectacular brewery in San Francisco, this light, bright, zesty kolsch is as refreshing to beer lovers as Gatorade is to marathoners.

Short’s Brewing Company Bellaire Brown
In August, I spent my annual week in northern Michigan and made my first visit to Short’s in Bellaire. After tasting through about a dozen different brews, this simple, classic brown emerged as my favorite. I just wish I could get it here in NYC.

Köstritzer Schwarzbier
I’ve been really hooked on black lagers this year, and this German one — although not new at all — was new to me in January. It’s everything I love about these deceptive beers: It looks dark and hefty, but instead it’s just simple, malty, and clean… and way too easy to drink.

— Megan Krigbaum, Associate Wine Editor, Food & Wine


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