15 Craft Beers You Need To Try Before You Die

We scoured the internet in search of the best American craft beers.

Christopher Osburnby Christopher Osburn

There are thousands of breweries in the US making amazing, boundary pushing beer. If you can get your hands on any of these fifteen craft beers, you should hold on and never let go (except when you’re done drinking one and you need to grab another).

Best Craft Beers in America

Pliny The Younger (Russian River)

This 11% ABV American Double Imperial Ale might have “younger” in the name, but it’s definitely not for craft beer novices and should be at the top of your “must try” list.

Pliny The Elder (Russian River)

This “elder” version of Pliny is 8% ABV, but is just as beloved as it’s “younger” counterpart. If you can get your hands on either of these craft beers you’re pretty lucky.

Heady Topper (The Alchemist)

Alchemist brewer John Kimmich has modestly said that Heady Topper is nothing special, but that doesn’t stop beer enthusiasts from flocking to Vermont to buy a few cans to bring home and savor.

CBS Imperial Stout (Founders)

This 10.6% ABV imperial stout is not playing around. The Canadian Breakfast Stout was the first in the breakfast stout series and will ruin you for every other stout on the market.

Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout (Goose Island)

Every year, people await the new offerings from Bourbon County more than the Oscar nominations. If you have time to wait in line or manage to come across this 13.4% ABV stout, enjoy it.

Kentucky Breakfast Stout (Founders)

If you’ve tried the Canadian Breakfast Stout, it’s time to try the Kentucky Breakfast Stout. This 11.2% ABV Imperial Stout is perfect for breakfast or any other time of day.

Zombie Dust (Three Floyds)

If you ground zombies into dust and brewed them into a beer, they wouldn’t taste remotely as good as this 6.2% ABV American Pale Ale.

Parabola (Firestone Walker)

Firestone Walker is known for pushing the envelope on taste and ABV and Parabola is no different. At 14% ABV, this craft beer should be hidden away and imbibed when nobody else is around to try to mooch any.

The Abyss (Deschutes)

The Abyss was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid and Deschutes’ Abyss is one of my favorite beers as an adult. At 11% ABV, drinking it is the closest you’ll ever feel to Ed Harris’ character felt before he started his descent.

Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout (Cigar City)

Cigar City Brewing is quickly becoming one of the big names in the craft brewing industry. Their best beer is the 11% ABV Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout that is aged with cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, chilies and cinnamon.

Supplication (Russian River)

Another offering from beer pioneers Russian River, Supplication is a 7% ABV American Wild Ale that is aged in Pinot Noir casks.

Black Note Stout (Bell’s)

If you can manage to find this 11.4% ABV Imperial Stout, buy it. This widely sought after brew from the famed brewery is aged in oak bourbon casks for a creamy, caramel flavor.

Abrasive Ale (Surly)

Minnesota’s Surly Brewing Company is angry about brewing. They want to punch you in the face with flavor and this 9% ABV Oatmeal Double Ale is a perfect balance of malt and hop flavor.

Duck Duck Gooze (Lost Abbey)

California’s Lost Abbey is known for its Belgian style ales. Duck Duck Gooze is an American Wild Ale brewed with the natural yeast of the area and shouldn’t be missed.

Enjoy By IPA (Stone)

If you can find one of these 9.4% ABV Double IPAs, you should definitely purchase it. It’s a can’t miss for hop-heads, but be sure to drink it by the date on the bottle for maximum freshness and taste.

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