Beer: Caffeinated, Censored, and 9,000 Years Old at Total Wine
Total Wine & More in North Miami is a mecca for all things booze and booze-related. For beer lovers, the best thing about this place is not only the incredible selection, but also that any beer can be bought by the bottle, meaning you'll be able to cram six totally different experiences into each six-pack. Choosing from a brew collection this large can be daunting, so we've done the legwork for you, sacrificing our cash (and our livers) in the name of beer education.
Without further ado, we give you ten of the most interesting brews at Total Wine:
Southern Tier Jah-va
From: New York
Price: $8.49 (22 oz)
ABV (alcohol by volume): 12%
Style: Imperial stout
Caffeine and booze in one bottle? This jet-black beer is loaded with dark roasted malts, two types of hops, and Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. Have it for breakfast, have it for dessert, but either way, you'll want to take it slow with this imperial brew.
Dogfish Head Chateau Jiahu
Price: $12.99 (750 mL)
Style: Ancient ale
This beer will take you back -- like 9,000 years back. Brewed using an ancient recipe discovered while analyzing preserved Stone Age pottery jars in Northern China, this beer is made with brown rice syrup, orange blossom honey, muscat grapes, barley malt, and hawthorne berries and then fermented for a month with sake yeast. A whole lot of work for a very unique beer.
Price: $3.99 (16.9 oz)
This darker, stronger version of a wheat beer is a great combination of price, flavor, and booziness. At $3.99 for almost a beer-and-a-half, this complex brew is a steal. And at 8.2% ABV, this highly drinkable beer is sneaky -- trust us.
Cigar City Jai Alai IPA (Humidor Series)
Price: $9.99 (750 mL)
Coming out of Tampa, this beer, an upgraded version of Cigar City's Jai Alai IPA, is "luxuriated" over cigar box cedar, imparting a spicy, tobacco-scented flavor to this hoppy brew. Goes great with -- you guessed it -- a big, fat Cohiba.
Stone Baird Ishii Brean Tea
Price: $3.99 (12 oz)
This collaboration between Stone and Ishii Brewing Co. in Guam, brewed with green tea leaves to impart an herbal character and a "Japanese spirit," was developed to raise money for the Japanese Red Cross to help with tsunami recovery efforts. Saving the world, one boozy brew at a time.
Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar
Price: $6.99 (650 mL)
Style: American brown ale
Don't let Masaharu Morimoto's mug confuse you. This delicious beer existed way before Rogue slapped the Iron Chef's mug on the label. Great with dessert (or for dessert), this syrupy sipper has a rich, nutty flavor and a smooth, malty finish. Allez cuisine!
Clown Shoes Tramp Stamp
Price: $5.99 (22 oz)
Style: Belgian IPA
This new brewery out of Massachusetts has been causing controversy from the start with its "sexist" labels, but at least the beers back it up. This beer, the best reviewed of the bunch, is brewed with Belgian yeast and three types of hops -- and "like a stamp on a tramp, is about not-so-subtle seduction."
Lagunitas Censored (Kronic) Ale
Price: $1.99 (12 oz)
Style: American amber ale
This beer was originally named Kronic ale, but the government approves all beer labels, and this one didn't make the cut. Thus, Censored was born. Brewery workers were busted for pot possession at one of their weekly events, but clearly they were putting their altered state of mind to good use when they created this malt-heavy beer that tastes of dark fruits.
Estrella Damm Inedit
Price: $9.99 (750 mL)
In honor of the closing of El Bulli, pop a bottle of Inedit, a collaboration between Spanish brewer Estrella Damm and Ferran Adrià of El Bulli. Designed as the "first beer specifically created to accompany food," this highly drinkable wit would certainly pair well with a variety of seafood and other light dishes.
Deus Brut des Flandres
Price: $28.99 (750 mL)
Style: Biere de champagne
The most expensive beer on the list (and at the store), Deus is Belgian beer that's matured using the same method as champagne, which involves a secondary fermentation with the bottle inverted, allowing the added yeast to collect in the neck and then removing it before the final corking. Anybody who thinks beer can't be as classy as wine needs to try this one.
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