Belt’s Beer Garden: Best Beers of 2022

It’s time to take a yearly look back at the best beers I’ve discovered in the last 365 days.

And, as always, I like to start with some stats (because I’m such a geek).

This year has been a great year for beer! Moving across the country has allowed me to find a lot of new places and great beers, last year I tried 658 beers and this year I smashed it… this year he has 1094 beers (+436!!!). That’s why it was so hard to come up with this top 10 list.

Belt’s Beer Garden has been running for over eight years now, and in that time has featured 661 beers from 440 different breweries (50 new breweries this year!) in all 50 states and 14 countries.

Hop-forward beers continue to be my go-to beers, and I sampled more IPAs than any other style, so I’ve split the rankings between Top of the Hops (Pale Ales, IPAs, DIPAs) and Best of the Rest (all other styles). style).

Dive right in with my 10 favorite hoppy beers of 2022!

*Note: Just because a beer is on this list, it doesn’t mean it was first brewed in 2022, just drank it for the first time this year*

Top of the Hops: Top 10 Hoppy Beers

10: Welcome Young One – Moksa Brewing (Rocklin, CA)

Style: Hazy IPA
Alcohol content: 8.2%

9: Jew-Jitsu – Loma Brewing (Los Gatos, CA)

Style: Hazy IPA
Alcohol content: 6.4%

8: Do I Make You Hazy Baby? – Front Pourch Brewing (Phoenix, Arizona)

Style: Hazy IPA
Alcohol content: 6.5%

7: Scenic West – Bow & Arrow Brewing (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Style: Hazy IPA
Alcohol content: 6.5%

6: Green Yield – The Drowned Lands (Warwick, NY)

Style: Hazy IPA
Alcohol content: 7.2%

5: Theory & Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, Chapter II: Freedom is Slavery – Root + Branch (Copiague, NY)

One of the most drinkable triple IPAs I’ve come across. 9.4% highly crushable and chock-full of sweet, citrusy and grassy flavors.

4: Mammoth – Brew Gentlemen (Bradock, Pennsylvania)

Like its predecessor, Mammoth was insanely drinkable despite its high alcohol content.

3: When In Doubt – Woodhouse Brewing (Santa Cruz, CA)

Wodehouse was a surprise this year. I spotted them randomly on my drive home and decided to stop in for a beer.That’s when I found When In Doubt and fell in love. Juicy, tropical, floral, crushable, sessionable – This was all you could ask for from an IPA. I took the crawler home and it took less than 10 minutes. delicious.

2: In the Shrine – Neue Methode (Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania)

What they call an “opaque modern IPA” we call Hazy. And damn they made one of the best Hazy’s out there. Can’t wait to get more beers in the future. Beer’s complete record can be found here.

1: General Braddock’s – Brew Gentlemen (Braddock, Pennsylvania)

Easily the best IPA I’ve had all year. If Mammoth was great, this was out of this world. So soft and creamy and packed with flavor. Oranges, mangoes, passion fruit…all of them. This is a complete and detailed article on brewing.

Best of the Rest: Top 10 Nonhoppy Beers

10: Juice! Ginger + Lemon – HenHouse Brewing (Santa Rosa, CA)

Style: Fruit Goth
Alcohol content: 4.6%
Refreshing and delicious gose with ginger and lemon!

9: Glazed (Cinnamon Donut) – Alvarium Brewing (New Britain, Connecticut)

Style: Spiced/Herb Beer
Alcohol content: 5.4%
Brewed with cinnamon, vanilla, lactose and cinnamon donuts, this is the perfect fall beer!!

8: Tie XI – Monday Night Brewing (Atlanta, Georgia)

Style: Strong Ale
Alcohol content: 12.5%
They took eight base beers from 25 spirits casks, including Stout, Quad, Brown, Barleywine and Dopplbock blends, and aged them with Brazilian Ambrana wood and Madagascar vanilla. It sounds intense and tastes great.

7: Doom Tree – Fonta Flora Brewing (Morganton, NC)

Style: Korsch
Alcohol content: 5.2%
Collaboration with Arizona Wilderness. I usually don’t like Kolsch, but this Kolsch made with lemon zest and elderflower was sweet and delicious. It was light, a little sticky, and too crumbly.

6: Coconut, Brah – Humble Sea Brewing (Santa Cruz, CA)

Style: Porter
Alcohol content: 9%
I tried this porter made of coconut, vanilla and cacao nibs in the middle of summer after a hike and it was surprisingly refreshing.

5: Unicorn Milk – Twenty-Six Acres Brewing (Concord, NC)

Style: Cream Ale
Alcohol content: 6%

This cream ale with blueberries and vanilla was sweet, smooth and just too good. Twenty-Six Acres has climbed the ranks of my favorite breweries over the years.

4: Oktoberfest Beer – Strike Brewing (San Jose, CA)

Style: Fest Beer
Alcohol content: 6.1%

This festival beer was the only beer I drank in October. It was clean, refreshing, flavorful and downright dangerous! It’s good to have these guys near my home because I keep coming back for this brew over and over again.

3: The Zen Cow – Peoria Artisan Ales (Peoria, Arizona)

Style: Chai Cream Ale
Alcohol content: 6.2%

A slightly spicy cream ale perfect for autumn and winter with lactose, vanilla beans and chai spices (cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and pepper).

2: Flight Wave: Bourbon Maple – Ad Astra Brewing (Prescott, AZ)

Style: Barley Wine Barley Wine
Alcohol content: 14%

This English Barleywine was aged for 10 months in Buffalo Trace casks that previously held the maple syrup for 2 years. A blend of bourbon and maple syrup is a sweet and savory combination. The 14% ABV was completely hidden, making it the most dangerous beer of the year (in a good way). Full write-up is here.

1: Fika – Beer Tree Brew (Port Crane, NY)

Style: Stout
Alcohol content: 7.9%

A coffee stout made with lactose, coffee, and hazelnuts? Yes, please! Sweet and savory, it was the best!! The full article can be found here. If you’re in New York, I recommend finding it!

FIKA – Beer Tree Brew

Two years ago I had V. Latte w/ Blue Heron Bearded Iris as my top beer. This was the first time a stout had won this award. Hmm… Fika *might* be better than that V. Latte. A great stout to drink every morning! Ideally, you’d want to try the two side by side to see which one is better, but you can’t go wrong with either coffee stout.

Since first spotting it earlier this year, Beer Tree has been smashing it in every style. It barely beats Gentlemen’s General Braddock.

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