Here at DCBeer, we’re starting off 2016 by looking back at the beers that impressed us in 2015. Unlike other websites that give you all of their year-end content at the end of the year, we’re giving it to you at the beginning of the year instead. We remain the most iconoclastic DC-based beer blog around. There were no guidelines for what did and didn’t count as 2015, as you’ll see. Some of us restricted our lists to beers that were first released in 2015, or that we first had in 2015 regardless of release, or even just the best overall beers we had in 2015 regardless of when they were released or when we first had them. Life is fickle.

Here’s the second set of picks from our staff and friends of the site. You can find the first part here.

Bill Jusino: 

Other notes:


2015 has been a great year for beer. 2016 will be even better.

Donnie Hatcher: 

Aaron Morrissey:

Locally, this was the year of Port City. Even aside from the Small Brewery of the Year Award, I defy anyone to pick out a beverage they released this year that wasn’t delicious, while many of the beers — Ways & MeansOktoberfest, and Tidings come to mind right away — are excellent, and Essential Pale Ale andDownright Pilsner remain go-to beers for me for many reasons. (Maybe the go-to beers, if it wasn’t for the continued excellence and evolution of Bluejacket’s Forbidden Planet.)

Heading northbound, I was really impressed with DC Brau Oktoberfest this year, which I drank a ton of. (Reminder: stop drinking pumpkin beers when things like this are available, people.) Meanwhile, Brau’sSolar Abyss in cans was probably the beer of the summer, and I drank tons of Brau Pils, as well — the boys on Bladensburg had a very strong year. Right Proper’s Diamonds, Furcoat, Champagne is an absolutely outstanding beer that I’m sure others here will fawn over. As for newish breweries: I was impressed with Handsome’s initial offerings, especially their Galaxy Saison — hopefully, they can continue to build on their launch and influence the local scene in much the same way that Right Proper has. You’re all going to be drinking lots of Pulaski next year, too, and Old Ox and Ocelot are also some to keep an eye on.

Continuing further north, D.C. and Port City aside, though, the biggest story of the year for me was all about Maryland. Union, Burley Oak, and RAR all crushed it this year. Old Pro Gose and Nanticoke Nectar are all amazing beers. Old Line State breweries are going to have a very big 2016 if you ask me.

As for other readily available beers around D.C., Boulevard absolutely killed it this year (not that they don’t every year, but still). I’ve bought several packs of Collaboration #5, which for someone who loves both American pale ale and tropical flavors was an absolute godsend. (Additionally, The Calling was probably the best new widely available IPA that was released this year, and took up rotation with Troegs Nugget Nectar and Bell’s Two Hearted in my fridge.) And look, Tired Hands is now on draft in D.C. — if you’re not drinking everything they’re putting out, you are doing yourself a massive disservice.

There was also that time I drank an entire bottle of Cascade Foudre #1 at Boundary Road (beaming smiles) and that time I drank an entire bottle of Pretty Things Field Mouse’s Farewell at Churchkey (drowning in frowns).

Finally, just for kicks and in no particular order, here are ten of my favorite (generally) out-of-market beers that I drank out-of-market over the past year.

Go on a beer trip this year, it’s always worth it.

Bill DeBaun: 


I drink a lot of beer. Probably too much beer, but that’s for another post. Consequently, it can be tough to remember all of the beers that I have in a given year. Fortunately, that isn’t the point of this exercise. The beers below are those that are most memorable; they stopped me in my tracks and became bright spots and defining moments across the past 12 months. When selecting these beers, I chose beers that I had for the first time in 2015, regardless of whether they were first brewed last year.