Flagship February - A Toast to Craft Beer classics

Tastes and trends in the beer world continue to evolve and sadly we’ve lost some beautifully made beers along the way. Beer writer Stephen Beaumont had a clever idea. Why not use the month of February to revisit some of the classics that helped build the American craft beer scene. We liked his #FlagshipFebruary call to action and revisited some of our favorite flagships. A big round of cheers to all these enduring classics.

Bell's Two Hearted Ale

Bell's Two Hearted Ale

12 Pack of 12 oz Can
$16.99
$20.99

RELEASED IN 1997
Named after the Two Hearted River in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, this Midwestern favorite has grown to become one of the most recognized IPAs in America. For years the packaging never really broadcasted that it was an IPA. Bell’s let the liquid speak for itself, and the beer with the brook trout on the label has stood the test of time.

Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat

Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat

15 Pack of 12 oz Can
$10.99
$16.99

RELEASED IN 2004
Wheat beers are big in the Midwest, and Goose Island made a serious splash with the release of 312. Featuring a soft and creamy mouthfeel and a refreshingly crisp finish - this citrusy Chicago staple is now enjoyed from coast to coast.

Firestone Walker DBA

Firestone Walker DBA

6 Pack of 12 oz Bottle
$9.99
$11.99

RELEASED IN 1996
Poured into a glass it sparkles a richly colored copper - exuding aromas of herbal hops, caramelized malt, and a wisp of dark fruit. Soft and creamy across the palate, it delivers flavors of toasted bread and English toffee atop a blanket of vanilla oak spice. A rush of earthy hops provides enough bittering balance to ensure a refreshing finish. A testament to the beauty of a well fermented pub ale, at 5% ABV this is the kind of beer you can share throughout the evening in the company of good friends. An enduring standout in the pantheon of American craft beer. 

Dovetail Helles Lager

Dovetail Helles Lager

4 Pack of 16 oz Can
$11.99

RELEASED IN 2017
Dovetail is a relative newcomer to the American craft scene, but this small Chicago brewery produces some exceptional renditions of old-world classics. They remain proudly committed to the laborious practice of decoction mashing, open primary fermentation, and extended secondary maturation in horizontal lagering tanks. Their helles lager has become their flagship – one taste and you’ll see why. Golden in color, with a thick crown of dense foam, it’s medium in body and delivers a refreshingly balanced finish, with citrusy and floral hop accents.

New Belgium Voodoo Ranger

New Belgium Voodoo Ranger

12 Pack of 12 oz Bottle
$15.99
$19.99

RELEASED IN 2010
Mention New Belgium and Fat Tire comes to mind. While that iconic amber ale was once the flagship that put them on the map, it was an IPA by the name of Ranger that would prove to be a game changer. First released in 2010, the Ranger recipe has been tweaked over the years, with a rebranding in 2017 sparking some real magic. The Voodoo Ranger series has grown into quite the tour de force, and while Voodoo Ranger Juice Force is all the rage as of late, we still love the OG.

Deschutes Fresh Squeezed

Deschutes Fresh Squeezed

12 Pack of 12 oz Can
$16.99
$18.99

RELEASED IN 2013
Black Butte Porter was, and arguably still is, the flagship brew from Deschutes - but for many, when they hear the name Deschutes, they think of this juicy IPA. Fresh Squeezed features Citra and Mosaic hops, which back in 2013, were two of the hottest new hops on the market. Now they’re one of the most iconic hop combos in craft, and Fresh Squeezed is one of the reasons why. Mosaic hops shine here, piecing together a complex hop profile that is piney, floral, and earthy - with bold tropical fruit flavors and notes of bright bramble berries.

Maplewood Son of Juice IPA

Maplewood Son of Juice IPA

12 Pack of 12 oz Can
$24.99

RELEASED IN 2017
In the beginning, there was Juice Pants, which in turn beget Son of Juice. While a string of juicy treats would follow, Son of Juice was such a fan favorite that it made its way into 12 packs. Built with Mosaic, Nugget, and Simcoe hops, it brims with tropical hop aromas, with pronounced pineapple and guava. Two types of oats help produce a pillowy soft mouthfeel, leaving the tongue awash with mango and papaya. The finish is long and citrusy, with lasting grapefruit and honeydew melon.

Lagunitas

Lagunitas IPA

6 Pack of 12 oz Bottle
$11.99

RELEASED IN 1995
Pouring a deep golden hue, Lagunitas IPA exudes lovely aromas of bright citrus and resinous pine. A touch of caramel malt is not only a solid nod to the style’s heritage, but it also provides balance and drinkability. Despite being famous for some monstrously hoppy brews, this iconic IPA is a lasting reminder that Lagunitas brews quaffable ales just as well.

Dale's Pale Ale

Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale

6 Pack of 12 oz Can
$11.99

RELEASED IN 2002
One of the first craft beers in a can! Nearly two decades have passed since Oskar Blues filled their first can of Dale’s and it’s as resiny and citrusy as ever. A hearty American classic that blurs the line between APA and IPA.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

12 Pack of 12 oz Bottle
$14.99
$18.99

RELEASED IN 1980
It’s hard to overstate the importance of this enduring American Pale Ale. A beer that’s inspired countless homebrewers and brewmasters alike, its superb balance marries the sweetness of caramel malt with the citrusy bitterness of the Cascade hop. An iconic APA that helped ignite the flames of a burgeoning craft revolution. Gameday pairing – goes great with just about anything, perfect with pizza and burgers.

Big Sky Moose Drool

6 Pack of 12 oz Can
$8.99
$9.99

RELEASED IN 1995
A serious beer with a silly name. People rarely talk about brown ales, and while the style might not seem very sexy, this is one beautiful beer. Four different malts build and impressive depth of flavor, while Goldings, Willamette and Liberty hops provide just enough bitterness to balance out the malt sweetness. One of the best brown ales ever brewed.

allagash

Allagash White

6 Pack of 12 oz Bottle
$13.99

RELEASED IN 1995
If you’ve only had one beer from Allagash, chances are it was this one. When it comes to Belgian-style witbier, it’s hard to beat this multi medal winner. Creamy, fruity and spicy, it’s a perfectly balanced white ale that’s become the standard bearer for the style.

Dragon's Milk

New Holland Dragon's Milk

4 Pack of 12 oz Bottle
$16.99

RELEASED IN 2001
New Holland began brewing this indulgent stout over two decades ago and it quickly became their most recognized beer. Oak aging imparts flavors of vanilla, butterscotch and sweet spice that meld perfectly with its big mocha finish. Unlike most barrel aged stouts, this delicious brew is available all year long, making it a dependable favorite. Also makes a great beer float – try adding a scoop of your favorite ice cream.

Great Lakes

Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald

6 Pack of 12 oz Bottle
$10.99
$11.99

RELEASED IN 1990
Great Lakes brews this porter as a tribute to 29 sailors who perished aboard the SS Edmund Fitzgerald. Famous the world over, it’s garnered a slew of awards and is regarded as one of the finest examples of the style. It showcases bittersweet chocolate on both the nose and the palate, with hints of coffee, molasses, and dark fruit culminating in a deep and lasting finish. Gameday pairing – goes great with chili and chocolate desserts.

Founders All Day IPA

Founders All Day IPA

15 Pack of 12 oz Can
$14.49
$18.99

RELEASED IN 2011
After workshopping more than 20 different recipes, Founders brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki crafted a sessionable brew that he dubbed Endurance Ale, a taproom favorite that was described as an All Day IPA. Once bottled and released into market, the description became the new name. One of the first and only enduring “Session IPAs”, once Founders started packaging it in 15 packs, it took the country and eventually the world by storm.
 

Gumballhead

Three Floyds Gumballhead

6 Pack of 12 oz Bottle
$13.99

RELEASED IN 2003
It’s hard to pick a flagship for 3 Floyds. Alpha King, Zombie Dust, what about Gumballhead? Originally released as a summer seasonal, Gumballhead got its name and label artwork from the Rob Syers comic character Gumballhead the Cat. This crushable American wheat showcases the Amarillo hop in all its glory, delivering big grapefruit, apricot, and peach aromatics. A super refreshing crowd-pleaser that’s inspired a long line of copycats.

Alaskan

Alaskan Amber

6 Pack of 12 oz Bottle
$11.99

RELEASED IN 1986
Alaskan’s signature amber ale is a German style Altbier that drew inspiration from a 19th Century Alaskan Gold Rush era brew. It's rich and malt forward, but with just enough hops to keep things perfectly balanced. Remarkably food friendly and a reliable crowd pleaser.

Left Hand

Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro

6 Pack of 12 oz Bottle
$11.99

RELEASED IN 1999
Not long ago, Milk Stout was an all but forgotten style. Thankfully Colorado’s Left Hand Brewing almost single handedly brought it back to life. Brewed with lactose (milk sugar), notes of dark roast coffee and cocoa slide into a soft, sweet finish. In 2011, Left Hand became the first American craft brewery to offer nitro in a bottle – taking this soft and creamy stout to a whole new level.

Deschutes

Deschutes Black Butte

6 Pack of 12 oz Bottle
$8.99
$9.99

RELEASED IN 1988
Rarely does a brewery pitch a porter as their flagship brew, but when it’s as good as Black Butte it makes perfect sense. The beauty behind Black Butte, is that it’s rich in complexity, yet light enough in body to leave you thirsty for another. A soft and creamy porter, with a lovely mocha finish.

Bell's Amber

Bell's Amber Ale

6 Pack of 12 oz Bottle
$9.99
$11.99

RELEASED IN 1985
So much of today’s talked about beer is all about extremes. Balanced beer might not seem sexy, but at the end of the day, it’s something we revere. Bell’s Amber offers caramel malt sweetness that’s perfectly contrasted with citrusy and earthy hop bitterness. When it comes to amber ale, Bell’s Amber is a benchmark beer.

Stone

Stone IPA

6 Pack of 12 oz Bottle
$10.99
$11.99

RELEASED IN 1997
Originally brewed in celebration of their 1st Anniversary, this is the first in a long line of iconic IPAs from Stone. Double, triple, black, white, red, Belgian, fresh, coffee… when it comes to IPA, Stone has done it all. In 2016 Stone tweaked their classic IPA recipe by adding Southern Hemisphere hops to the dry hop bill. While still piney and citrusy at its core, the aroma and finish now feature a beguiling touch of topicality.

North Coast

North Coast Old Rasputin

4 Pack of 12 oz Bottle
$11.99

RELEASED IN 1995 
Old Rasputin is a refreshing reminder that a well-crafted imperial stout need not rely on adjuncts for complexity or depth of flavor. This rich roasty stout is available year-round and it’s an affordable way to study how RIS develops in the cellar. After more than twenty years on the market, it’s still going strong, the embodiment of its slogan – Never Say Die!

domaine

Two Brothers Domaine DuPage

6 Pack of 12 oz Can
$11.99

RELEASED IN 2002
Two Brothers crafted this iconic Biere de Garde at the behest of a Naperville restauranteur and it’s been their flagship ever since. Rich malt complexity is the highlight here, with notes of caramel, fresh baked bread and just a touch of earthiness. This classic continues to impress, taking home GOLD at the Great American Beer Festival in 2016.

shiner-2-22-2019.jpg

Shiner Bock

12 Pack of 12 oz Bottle
$13.99
$14.99

RELEASED IN 1973
Introduced in 1913 as a seasonal brew, this beloved bock from Spoetzl Brewery has been brewed year-round since 1973. Malty and rich with just a touch of sweetness on the finish, it’s a food friendly brew that pairs well with nearly everything on the table. Gameday pairing – cheesy appetizers and all kinds of BBQ, especially brisket.

Samuel Adams

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

12 Pack of 12 oz Bottle
$20.99

RELEASED IN 1985
When Boston Beer Company founder Jim Koch looked out at the American beer scene in the early 1980s he saw depressing lack of options and flavors. Thankfully he, and a few likeminded pioneers persevered, resurrecting and tweaking long forgotten beer styles and introducing them slowly, but surely, to a thirsty public. After more than thirty years of experimentation, Jim’s favorite beer is the first he ever brewed, Boston Lager. While the look has changed over the years, the liquid’s stayed the same. Rich caramel malt is balanced by a healthy dose of noble German hops, providing a touch of herbaceousness to a long and satisfying finish. A classic brew and founding member of the American craft revolution.

Dogfish Head

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

6 Pack of 12 oz Bottle
$12.99

RELEASED IN 2003
The follow up to their wildly popular 90 Minute IPA, 60 Min is an easy and gentler cousin. Lighter kilned malts allow its hefty hop bill to shine, with 60 minutes of continuous hopping adding plenty of citrusy and piney hop flavor. The finish is refreshingly old school – bitter, but by no means overbearing. An iconic IPA that continues to stand the test of time.

Founders

Founders Dirty Bastard

6 Pack of 12 oz Bottle
$10.99

RELEASED IN 2002
Dirty Bastard might not seem like Founder’s flagship beer, but it’s the beer that saved the brewery. With bankruptcy looming, Founders decided to brew the kind of beer they wanted to drink, instead of the beer they thought people wanted to drink. Founders debuted this massive 8.5% ABV scotch ale at the Extreme Beer Fest and luckily, people loved it. Caramel, toffee, chocolate, molasses and dark fruit all rolled into one dangerously delicious beer.

Boulevard

Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat

6 Pack of 12 oz Can
$9.99

RELEASED IN 1990
Wheat beer is big in the Midwest, and this beer is one of the major reasons why. It’s not a Wit and it’s not a Weiss, and this uniquely American wheat doesn’t rely on spices or fruits for flavor. Aromatic yeast, soft creamy wheat and a kiss of citrusy hops make this both sessionable and satisfying. A trailblazer that inspired scores of other brews.

Odell

Odell 90 Shilling

6 Pack of 12 oz Can
$9.99
$11.99

RELEASED IN 1989
Odell’s been brewing this aromatic amber ale since they first opened their doors 30 years ago. True to its Scottish roots, it features a complex, nutty malt profile that is accented by notes of toffee and maple. Few American breweries have a Scottish style ale as their flagship brew, but when you brew one as good as 90 Shilling, it’s easy to see how so many fans fell in love.

Victory

Victory Golden Monkey

6 Pack of 12 oz Bottle
$10.99
$12.99

RELEASED IN 1997
Golden Monkey pours shimmering gold in color and is intensely aromatic, with spicy Belgian yeast delivering hints of allspice and banana. Initially sweet and fruity, a touch of herbaceous European hops provide just enough balance to keep its 9.5% ABV dangerously well hidden. It’s rare to see such a deliciously complex Belgian-style Tripel in a six pack; making this one of the best deals in craft beer.

Revolution

Revolution Anti Hero

12 Pack of 12 oz Can
$17.99
$21.99

RELEASED IN 2010
The relative newcomer to our list, Anti Hero is now a decade old, and it’s one of the most beloved IPAs in Chicago. Anti-Hero is an homage to the famous C hops. A mix of Citra, Crystal, Centennial and Chinook produces an IPA that is piney, citrusy, crisp, and clean. A reliable and refreshing classic.

Half Acre Daisy Cutter

Half Acre Daisy Cutter

12 Pack of 12 oz Can
$21.99

RELEASED IN 2009 
The Chicago classic. Daisy Cutter is dank and citrusy on the nose, with notes of grapefruit peel, lemongrass, and pine. Soft and citrusy across the palate, a touch of biscuity malt sweetness is followed by a wave of herbaceous hops, with a lingering papaya and pine. This beer is da bomb.

Jai Alai

Cigar City Jai Alai

6 Pack of 12 oz Can
$11.99

RELEASED IN 2009
The seemingly hard to pronounce IPA that put Cigar City on the map. It’s easy to see how Floridians fell in love with Jai Alai; it’s so citrusy you’d swear brewers squeezed oranges and tangerines right into the brew tanks. A bold, yet balanced, fruit forward IPA - before juicy was the word of the day. Gameday pairing – kicks spicy food like nachos and hot wings up a notch.