1. The Cloud, Stillwater Artisanal, Brooklyn, New York
Clouds are soft and fluffy, and so is the latest IPA from Stillwater Artisanal—or, at least, that’s what Brian Strumke set out to produce. To achieve his goal, the Brooklyn-based “gypsy brewer” added oats and lactose milk sugar to The Cloud’s otherwise lean construction, resulting in a slightly sweet beer with a silky mouthfeel. Of course, the use of such adjuncts in New England-style IPAs is quite trendy these days, which is another reason for its name: Strumke is pulling inspiration from “the cloud” of brewing groupthink. His twist on the style, however, was to massively dry-hop the beer with the next-generation German varietals Hallertau Blanc and Mandarina Bavaria. It was an unconventional choice, and one that pays off in wonderfully floral and fruity aromatics. In other words, you’ll want to download this one over and over again.