1. Ananke (Freetail Brewing, San Antonio, TX)
Style: American Sour Ale, ~6% ABV
Details: A soured golden ale aged in wine barrels. With two well-received batches and one raspberry variant under their belt, Freetail’s flagship sour proves it can hang with the big boys.
When: Spring, annually.
Falling into the lighter side of the style, this oak-aged American sour is tart, crisp, and refreshing. Boldness of the flavors subsides quickly, finishing dry and just a tad watery. Yeast imparts more citric flavor than raw funk, and this affords Ananke an inoffensive, easily approachable flavor profile friendly to those unfamiliar with the style. The raspberry variant ramps up the sourness considerably, holding true to the nature of its added fruit. Aroma is a bold raspberry puree with acidic funk undertones. Soft fruity sweetness in the middle. Much more in-your-face than the base, and likewise better suited for the more experienced drinkers in your household.
—from 20 of the most coveted craft beer releases in America
A beer drinker’s guide to Banff, Alberta
Banff Ave. Brewing Co.
110 Banff Ave, 2nd floor
When I asked the bartender at the Banff Ave. Brewing Co. why he lives in Banff, he said, “I moved home [to Ontario] to go back to school. Seven years later, here I am back in the Rockies. The mountains just suck me in.”
It’s the beers that sucked me in. Banff Ave. is one of the few places in town to escape the usual Kokanee, Keith’s, and Pilsner taps. I had pints of Grand Fondo Red, Head Smashed IPA, and Banff Ave. Blond Ale. The latter’s description — no regrets in the morning after enjoying this blonde — proved true.
Best deal: Tequila chasers on Sundays.