Not a big fan of Black Friday? Us aliens neither. We would rather enjoy a cold brew while everyone else is waiting in long lines at the mall, or wherever you humans get your Christmas gifts. Us aliens just gift beer, or beer-related gifts, so I guess there’s not much point to save on all those other, non-beer related gadgets. Again, we just don’t get what the hype is all about.
Instead, we celebrate the holiday our own way—by drinking BLACK beer! It’s a no brainer, really. When we first arrived on planet earth, that’s what most of us assumed the Black Friday was all about anyhow. Over the years, we’ve gotten accustomed to most human holidays, and have come to enjoy most them, especially when good beer is involved. But this one… this one we don’t get. So, when in doubt, we drink beer instead.
For us aliens, it’s the time to celebrate black beer at its finest. Black IPA’s, Black Lagers, Black Porters, Black Tripels, or just anything with the word “Black” in the name, really. It’s an excuse to try a variety of beers that might otherwise get overlooked.
So we rounded them up and here’s our list this year. Download TappHunter to find these or some other special black beers near you.
Black Friday has actually become one of our favorite holidays, and I’m sure it’ll become yours too, now that you know our secret!
There’s a little something for everyone on this list, so whether it’s one beer or, like us, a whole slew of deliciously dark beers, we hope you make this Black Friday about the beer too and celebrate your favorite BLACK or try one of these new ones!
1. Black House Coffee Oatmeal Stout
Brewery: Modern Times
City: San Diego, CA
Stats: 5.8% ABV
“Black House is an oatmeal coffee stout bursting with coffee aroma and flavor. Modern Times is one of the only breweries in the world to roast our own coffee, which allows us to be exceptionally picky about which coffees we use and how we roast them. The result is an abundantly flavorful beer that’s incredibly complex and aromatic, with loads of roast character and a chocolate-covered espresso bean finish. Black House is also available on Nitro. So creamy.”
2. Unkindness American Black Ale
Brewery: Barley Mow Brewing Co.
City: Largo, FL
Stats: 7.4% ABV
“This is the beer that got it all started…We used a ton of hops for
both bittering and aroma. It’s dark, but don’t be fooled, it’s not nearly as roasty as it appears.”
3. Black IPA
Brewery: Culture Brewing Co.
City: Solana Beach, CA
Stats: 7.2% ABV / 76 IBU
“A well balanced iteration of the newest widespread style of India pale ale, utilizing dark roasted malts to create an onyx-colored IPA that still leads with hop bitterness while introducing flavors of dark chocolate, roast coffee, char, and/or black licorice.
Mild by comparison to other San Diego black IPAs (or Cascadian dark ales as they are referred to in the Pacific Northwest), it provides a delicate enough backdrop for taste buds to pick out the nuances of the individual hops without them being overshadowed by the accompanying cocoa notes.”
4. Black Tulip
Style: Belgian Tripel Ale
Brewery: New Holland
City: New Holland, MI
Stats: 8.8% ABV
Description: “Mysterious, alluring and seductive, yet tantalizingly elusive; these are the storied characteristics of the Black Tulip. Pairings: melon, semi-hard cheese, berries and ginger.”
5. Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout
Brewery: Cigar City Brewing
City: Tampa, FL
Stats: 11% ABV
We snuck this beer onto our list because even though it’s not a ‘black’ beer per-say, it is black in color and it’s a must try if you haven’t had it! Perfect flavors for this time of year.
Description: “Pours extremely dark in color with a brown head with notes of big chocolate and espresso, moderate notes of vanilla and cinnamon and a mild tinge of tobacco and chilis. The flavor opens with a big blast of chocolate and moderate espresso with elements of dark toffee and interjecting threads of vanilla with lingering hints of cinnamon and tobacco and chillies notes with a mild scoville heat in the finish.”
-Head Brewer Wayne Wambles
6. Deschutes Black Butte Porter
Brewery: Deschutes Brewery
City: Portland, Oregon
Stats: 5.2% ABV
Description: “This is the beer that they’ll have to pry from my cold, dead hands. Dark, smoky, complex, satisfying…Pack your floss, this isn’t a beer so much as a meal. Black Butte Porter is Deschutes’ flagship beer, and it seems appropriate that one of the Pacific Northwest’s greatest breweries would hang its hat on such a hearty brew.”—James Stafford
7. Back in Black IPA
Brewery: 21st Amendment Brewery
City: San Diego, CA
Stats: 6.8% ABV, 65 IBU
Description: “Inspired by Paul Revere’s midnight ride, we rebelled against the British style IPA, embraced the more aggressive American version and then recast it in bold, brave, defiant black. Our Black IPA is a Declaration of Independence from the tyranny of the expected.
Back in Black is a year-round beer available in six pack cans and on draft. Brewed like an American IPA but with the addition of rich, dark malts, this beer has all the flavor and hop character you expect with a smooth, mellow finish.”
8. Firestone Walker Wookey Jack
Brewery: Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Stats: 8.3% ABV
City: Paso Robles, Calif.
Description: “Black IPA, American black ale, “Cascadian dark ale,” call it whatever you want, but this style is here to stay. It’s also pretty hard to do well, but Firestone Walker’s Wookey Jack makes great black IPA appear easy. It does exactly what you would hope, lifting the best elements of both “black” and “IPA” into a whole. The hops are over-the-top and distinctly West Coast, which is important because they really need to pop and stand out cleanly in order to hold up the IPA side of the bargain. The beer never falls apart or feels muddled.” —Jim Vorel
9. Bitter Neighbor
Style: Black IPA
Brewery: Third Street Brew House
City: Cold Spring, MN
Stats: 6.5% ABV / 62 IBU
Description: “You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family. You can pick where you live, but you can’t pick your neighbors. That is, until now, When you pick up a glass filled with frothy, dark-colored Bitter Neighbor Black IPA, it won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth. In fact, it’s quite good. (Sorry. We can’t help you with the family part.) Suggested food pairings would include spicy foods and curries. Smoked meats and blue cheeses. Spiced and sweeter desserts are beautiful adjuncts for this beer.”
10. Black Friday Beer*
Brewery: Lakefront Brewery
City: Milwaukee, WI
Stats: 11.4% ABV
Description: “Black Friday Imperial Stout Aged In Bourbon Barrels combines massive caramel and roasted malts with huge vanilla and oak flavor. The 11.4% ABV makes it worth the wait.”
*Only available at the Wisconsin brewery and only on the day of. We still thought it deserved to be on this list and like how it assumes one needs a seriously strong beer after a long Black Friday fighting the crowds
[Editor’s Note: While Goose Island Bourbon County beers are released on Black Friday, they were not included in this list simply because every human is already aware of that series, or at least should be… ;)]
Be sure to follow us on Social Media as we invade more breweries and discover more awesome craft beers from all over the world! Cheers humans!