Stone Brewing Company, Escondido, California
The folks at Stone aren't being clever when they call this ultra-spectacular brew "Enjoy By." The freshness of the hops in the recipe is so important that, indeed, each batch is pulled from shelves and bars on a rigid basis - and that means you can only enjoy this edition until May 17. The brew bubbles like liquid gold into your glass, and the robust grapefruit flavor-anchor is nuanced by whispers of evergreen and even pineapple. Not sure how this resonates with professional beer snobs, but I say drink it icy cold. My god, this is a great beer - but be careful. The alcohol-by-volume level is a weighty 9.4 percent.
- RICK KOSTER