Ring in the New Year with some new beers

As New Year’s Eve approaches, it is a time to reflect upon the past and a time to look ahead to a bright, shiny 2018 and a few new beers to share with friends as the festivities go on.  While there are many options out there to fill the midnight toast on New Year’s Eve, 2017’s end asks to be toasted with the complex flavors that beer can provide along with some of the many food flavors that beer can enhance or play along with.  While 2017 may be coming to an end, the flavorful journey into beer is just beginning.


Here are a few new beers to try with the end of 2017:


Terrapin Beer Company MooTellaTerrapin Beer Company’s Moo-tella (8.5% ABV): Athens, Georgia’s Terrapin Beer Company has had a longstanding relationship with Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Company, and this beer illustrates what a beautiful friendship can taste like.  Moo-tella blends an imperial stout from Terrapin with hazelnuts and chocolate from the chocolatier to create a decadent treat that “you’ll wish you could eat with a spoon.” This beer is a limited release from the brewery and is only available for a limited time.  To get more cheer out of the beer, try it with a decadent aged gouda or with a slice of poundcake.




Chimay Brewery’s Grande Reserve (Blue) (9% ABV): One of the gold standards of Belgian brewing, the monks of Scourmont Abbey make the beers under the Chimay label with the utmost care.  Both dark and sweet with layers of compexity, Chimay Grande Reserve (Blue) is the dictionary definition of a Belgian Quadruple. This beer uses dark malts for flavors of caramel and sugary sweetness that improves with age and changes as it gets warm.  To get more cheer out of this beer, try it with a chunk of Chimay Blue cheese or with some fudge.



Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale



Sierra Nevada Brewing’s Celebration Ale (6.8% ABV):  This seasonal beer has been Sierra Nevada Brewing’s holiday favorite since 1981, and its recipe is a classic.  Using hops at the height of freshness after harvest season, this IPA starts to surface after Halloween and hopefully sticks around into the New Year.  With an intense pine and citrus aroma followed by a taste of caramel malt with that pine and citrus, Celebration Ale is a Christmas present to hop lovers with the freshest hops brewed to be bold.  To get more cheer out of this beer, try it with roast turkey and dressing or some Manchego cheese.





21A Fireside Chat Can



21st Amendment Brewery’s Fireside Chat (7.9% ABV): A beer full of warmth and spices, 21st Amendment Brewery’s Fireside Chat is a “subtle twist on a traditional seasonal beer.” This deep, ruby brown ale features cocoa nibs and spices to give a beer that should be shared around a warm fire or fireplace.  Great for pairing with darker flavors or simply enjoying on its own, Fireside Chat will give all of its goodness in the glass with or without a fire.  To get more cheer out of this beer, try it with roasted chestnuts or cheesecake.

New Belgium Brewing French Oak Saison





New Belgium Brewing’s French Oak Saison (7.5% ABV): New Belgium Brewing loves to dry on the Old World brewing traditions of Belgium, and this oak-aged saison illustrates just that.  Drawing from several regions of Belgian brewing tradition, this beer blends a golden ale with a saison and then sours it in French oak wine barrels for 15-18 months, yielding a “rustic, goldenrod yellow saison offering pleasant lemon and white grape aromas and a bright, mouthwatering sourness with a clean, dry finish.”  To get more cheer out of this beer, try it with pad thai noodles or fresh mussels.


As 2017 is fading into the sunset, several of these beers are as well.  Several of them are seasonal beers, which means that they are here today and gone tomorrow.  Take a stroll over to our Beer Finder, and search by brewery for retailers of these fine beers.

This New Year, may your glass be filled with flavorful beer, and may the your table be filled with cheerful friends.  From our Team to your family, we wish you a very Happy New Year.  Cheers!

Congratulations to US Open Beer Tasting Championship winners

Every summer, thousands of breweries across the United States compete in the U.S. Open Beer Tasting Championship, a competitive judging of beers.  This summer, several of Team Cone’s suppliers took home serious hardware from this competition, beating out a massive number of brewery entrants.

For a complete list of winners, click here.

Blue Moon Brewing Company Logo

German Kolsch
Gold – Kolsch – Blue Moon Brewing – Colorado
Honey Beer
Silver – Summer Honey Wheat – Blue Moon Brewing – Colorado

Samuel Adams logo

Wood / Barrel aged strong beer
Gold – Samuel Adam Utopias – Boston Beer Company – Massachusetts

Coppertail Brewing Company

American Pale Ale
Gold – Powder – Coppertail Brewing – Florida

British Imperial Stout
Bronze – Cryptid – Coppertail Brewing – Florida

New Belgium Brewing logo

Out of Bounds IPA
Gold – Voodoo Ranger Juicy Mandarina IPA – New Belgium Brewing – Colorado



Congratulations to our suppliers on these well-deserved accolades!


About the US Open Beer Tasting Championship
Breweries from Vermont to Vietnam sent in more than 6,000 beers representing over 100 different styles for the 2017 U.S. Open Beer Championship, which announced winners today. The competition includes professional breweries and award-winning home-brewers, with judges from England, Canada and the United States. Judging in the U.S. Open Beer Championships is blind; the judges do not know what beers they are tasting. The final round of judging was held at the Quarter Barrel Brewery & Pub in Oxford, Ohio.

Behind The Label: New Belgium Brewing’s Fat Tire Amber Ale

Behind every craft beer label there is a story of how this beer came to be. Join us as we peel back the layers of the beer and find the story behind the label.

New Belgium Brewing’s Fat Tire Amber Ale, and the entire company of New Belgium Brewing is built on the iconic image of a bicycle, but why? That bicycle and the company it represents were all dreamt up on New Belgium Brewing’s co-founder’s legendary bicycle tour of Belgium.

When he was 32 years old, Jeff Lebesch set off on a bicycle tour of Belgium on a fat tire bike in an attempt to slow down and connect with nature and people in a way that would have been impossible on a train. While touring the city of Bruges, Jeff stopped at a bar called Bruges Beertjes on a Wednesday. Normally, the bar would have been closed, but because it happened to be a national holiday, the bar opened at 4pm. When Jeff went into the bar, it was empty because all local patrons assumed it was closed. As he was the only patron in the bar, Jeff had an enlightening experience with the bar’s owner. For ninety minutes, the publican poured forth knowledge of beer and spices, history and science and at the end of that time, Lebesch left the bare aflame with the spirit of Belgium’s brewing culture.

Upon returning to Colorado, the story of Fat Tire began to take shape. Jeff starting brewing and amber ale that he called Fat Tire, a nickname for mountain bikes in Colorado, in honor of that trip overseas. When he and his then-wife Kim Jordan started New Belgium Brewing Company in 1991, Fat Tire would go into production as the brewery’s cornerstone. All the initial production of New Belgium’s beers was done in the couple’s basement. By 1992, Jordan and Lebesch decided to move the company into its own home and out of theirs. Ten years later, New Belgium installed a second brewhouse in their Fort Collins brewery. By 2013, New Belgium Brewing had transitioned to 100% employee ownership. And in May of 2016, New Belgium opened a second brewery in Asheville, North Carolina. While New Belgium’s success cannot be attributed solely to Fat Tire, the brewery would not have come so far without Jeff’s trip or the amber ale that was born from it.

Since that bicycle tour helped invent the idea of a “New Belgium” in the United States, the bicycle became the icon for the brand and is now stamped on every beer and etched into every corner of the company’s culture. After one year of employment at New Belgium, employees receive their own limited-edition Fat Tire Cruiser. After five years of employment, those employees get to go to Belgium to trace Lebesch’s steps on the same tour to “expand [their] knowledge and culture of all things Belgian.”

An entire company got its start from one bike ride, and now New Belgium Brewery has committed itself to spread the love of Belgian culture and appreciation for unique beer that Jeff Lebesch found on that fateful day through their Fat Tire Amber Ale, Fat Tire Belgian White Ale, and all other beers made by this iconic brewery.