1. Ipswich Original Ale
Though Ipswich Brewery out of Massachusetts has only been around since 1991 (which is actually impressive in the craft beer world), it's nice to taste the product that started them off, their Original Ale. The claim to fame with this beer is that Wine Spectator Magazine named it one of the World's Best 10 Beers. I find a lot wrong with that claim, one being that you can't create a list of the world's best beers unless you're a seasoned traveler that's tried beer virtually everywhere. Second, it's a wine magazine. That's like basing your fantasy football team off a list created by Better Homes & Gardens. Anyway, I'll leave that claim be and use my own judgment. Is this one of the top 10 beers I've ever had? Ish don't think so. Is it good? Sure. It's of the English Pale Ale variety and it has some really bold flavors for 5.4% ABV. It's nicely balanced in carbonation, hop flavor, maltiness and earthiness. A nice session beer.
Overall Rating: B+
2. Sly Fox Black Raspberry Reserve
I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters...I bought a fruity beer. In my defense, Sly Fox out of Phoenixville and Royersford, PA, created this beer as an argument that fruity beers don't have to be fruity beers. I'd say this was one of the better beers I've ever had with added fruit, along with a few of Dogfish Head's selections. Some fruit-based beers have wayyy too much sugary sweet flavor to them. This one has a subtle balance of red and black raspberries, so you don't have to extend your pinky when consuming it. The subtle fruit taste definitely masks the fact that this beer is 8% ABV, because I couldn't find any alcohol taste. Definitely a good choice for someone who has yet to find a fruit beer that they like, though I'm not quite sure I'd buy this again.
Overall Rating: B+