The interwebs are a-clutter with an endless list of lists, which can take away some of the shine of being included in one. But then there are lists that rise to the top of our list of reliable sources. Chief among them are the ranked collections put out by Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine. In the past few years, this well-done periodical has evolved into the biggest beer publication in the country in terms of readership and distribution, behind strong reporting, comprehensive articles and deep dives into the flavors, aromas, textures and production of ales and lagers. So when we found out our Feral barrel-aged blonde ale, The Swindler, was included on Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine‘s prestigious “Best 18 Beers of 2018” list, we were instantly elated. That elation transmorphed into downright slap-happiness when we read the kind words the members of their illustrious judging panel put into print about this beer, which we already loved, and now hope others will come fall in love with as a result of this top-notch industry honor.

The Swindler Feral Blonde Ale

“There’s no shortage of wild ales on the market today. We’ve come to accept there will be an acidic quality, bits of funk, and general effervescence that piques the interest of our tastebuds. So when a beer such as the Swindler comes along, what with its perfect balance and delicate yet powerful flavors from time spent in California wine barrels, we can’t help but raise an eyebrow in admiration as a big, happy grin spreads across our face. The Brettanomyces is more funk than barnyard, and the carbonation is so robust that you could think it’s a glass of champagne. Each tiny bubble brings to the surface bright lemon, a variety of herbs, and a sweet, earthy, vanilla note. A splash of bracing acidity at the end of each swallow gets the salivary glands working double time and the brain clamoring for another sip. The swindle here is that if you’re with a group, there’s never enough to go around.”Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine

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