There are plenty of outstanding Ohio beers that have racked up awards through the years.
I tend to gravitate toward the unusual. Remember, my taste may not align with your taste. Here’s a short list of Ohio-made beers that you really should try. And in no way is this an indictment of other beers:
• Barrel-aged B.O.R.I.S. the Crusher, an imperial oatmeal stout aged in Heaven Hill Whiskey barrels, from Hoppin’ Frog. Ratebeer.com calls this one of the best beers in the world.
• McLaren’s Scotch Ale from Marietta Brewing Co. in Marietta. It’s an unfiltered beer and its appearance in the glass is so strange, dark and cloudy. Brewer Mike Arnold uses 20 to 25 pounds of peat malt per batch, giving the beer an amazing smoky flavor.
• Peanut Butter Coffee Porter from Willoughby Brewing Co. in Willoughby. The beer has a heavy roasted coffee aroma and flavor followed by just a hint of peanut butter.
• Cucumber Wheat from Black Box Brewing Co. in Westlake. Brewer and owner Jerome Welliver uses real cucumbers in this refreshing summer beer. It finishes with a cucumber flavor that quickly dissipates, leaving you wanting to take another sip.
• Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Apparition from Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery in Athens. The imperial stout is so silky smooth that you don’t even notice the 10.5 percent alcohol.
• Head Hunter IPA from Fat Head’s. There’s not much else to say other than this beer won a gold medal at the West Coast IPA Festival in 2009 — the first time a brewery east of the Rocky Mountains picked up the top honor. It also won the National IPA Challenge in 2010.
• Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock by Boston Beer in Cincinnati. It’s made with cocoa nibs that provide a smooth and big chocolate flavor.
• 12 Dogs of Christmas from Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. in Akron. It’s a Christmas beer, obviously, made with honey, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Some holiday beers are overwhelmed by the spices. This one is not.
Now stop reading and go have an Ohio-made beer.