The immensely successful Southern Tier Brewing Company got a modest start in 2002 outside of Lakewood, NY. In 9 short years, they went from being small brewery distributing locally to a company producing 30,000 barrels of beer a year across the United States and to 8 other countries, winning award after award. Here I have listed five great beers from the wide variety they make to maybe inspire you to try one. 

  • Hop Sun- 5.1% abv. American Pale Wheat Beer. For being called Hop Sun, the hops here aren't overwhelming. The smell of grass and lemons leads to a citrus and pine flavor with a crisp, clean texture. The hoppy bitterness lingers for a while after the beer is finished. This is a fantastic, refreshing summer beer.

  • Raspberry Wheat Beer- 4.5% abv. American Pale Wheat Ale. I will tell you right off the bat that this beer doesn't rate high with many reviewers, but it is still a great beer for those that don't analyze their alcohol so harshly. This beer has the sweetness of a fruity mixed drink, a lot of sugar and raspberry flavors. In the wheat beer style, bittery hops are not really a factor here. This beer is not too complex; the simplicity is easy to appreciate for a round or two.

  • Gemini- 10.5% abv. Imperial Blended Ale/Imperial IPA. Sweeter than your general IPA, this beer brings some tropical fruit and citrus flavors to the table while retaining its hoppy bitterness. Maybe it's the sweet malts or maybe it's the moderate carbonation, but Gemini is easier to drink than one would expect out of an IPA. It's a little heavier than expected too, but it should definitely be on the menu for a beer drinker seeking an alternative way to approach an IPA.

  • Pumking - 8.8% abv. Imperial Pumpkin Ale. There are a lot of awesome things about this beer, but one of its outstanding features is the smell. If you close your eyes and sniff, it is similar to smelling a fresh pumpkin pie: pumpkin, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon. Here, Southern Tier achieves a bold pumpkin flavor is a major strong point as well, much bolder than most attempts at a pumpkin ale. The beer is not too thick and adequately carbonated, some calling the texture slightly chewy. That being said, it is a perfect compliment to fall, a beer that all beer lovers should try at least once.

  • Choklat Stout- 11% abv. Imperial Chocolate Stout. Before you even taste this beer, the smell hits your nose like an explosion of chocolate. The liquid is so thick and dark that it looks more like melted dark chocolate than beer. Taste wise, the chocolate is very apparent, but the sweetness is not overpowering. Some florally hops do come through. Overall, it almost feels like you're drinking a tootsie roll. The 11% alcohol is extremely difficult to detect, making this beer very easy to drink. Southern Tier hit a home run here. Choklat Stout only comes out during the winter, so I suggest buying a few and saving them.

 Southern Tier is a great brewery that has much more to offer than just these beers. This is just a sampling of some of their best. Cheers!