Beer is everywhere and enjoyed by anyone who can drink it. It’s in every convenience store, grocery shop, restaurant, and bar. Japan even has a vending machine filled with various beers in their streets. Also, any celebration almost always has some beer ready to be served.
This brew is as old as time, and there are reasons why it is loved by many from generation to generation. It has such rich history, and beer has kept up with the changing taste of every era and culture. Beer comes in a diverse range of flavors and is beloved worldwide.
The brews you have tasted today are undoubtedly thirst-quenchingly delicious, but vintage beer brands will take you to a whole new level of unique experience that can transport you back in time.
Brewers’ way of making beers in this century cannot match how vintage beers are crafted using traditional methods and recipes and are still loved and enjoyed today. Some vintage beers have become staples in the world of beer enthusiasts.
If you haven’t tried drinking vintage beer and wondering which ones are truly the best, Destiny has made you cross paths with this article for this reason.
In this article, expect to get blown away by the best vintage beer brands on this list with each of their story and flavor profile. You’ll find out how they have lived in the hearts and hugged the taste buds of beer lovers worldwide.
10 Best Vintage Beer Brands
1. Westvleteren 12
The Westvleteren Abbey’s Trappist monks have been brewing this vintage Belgian beer for over 70 years, making it highly coveted worldwide. This dark ale has a rich and intricate flavor profile with notes of caramel, fruit, and spice. To truly experience its complexity, enjoy it at room temperature alongside hearty stews or aged cheeses.
2. Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout
Since 1987, the renowned Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, has been crafting an English stout that is a true classic example of Russian imperial stouts. Boasting an impressive ABV of 7.0% and rich, dark flavor, this beer is brewed using roasted barley through a traditional process to reach its distinctive taste profile. Its flavors are known to complement chocolate and dessert dishes perfectly.
3. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
The Goose Island Beer Company, based in Chicago, Illinois, produces an American stout that has been a fan favorite since its creation in 1992. The beer is matured in bourbon barrels to create a distinct flavor profile with hints of vanilla, caramel, and oak. To best experience this vintage brand at cellar temperature and let it go with grilled meats or spicy foods.
4. Schneider Weisse Aventinus
The Schneider Weisse brewery in Kelheim, Bavaria, has been brewing this German wheat beer since 1907. The deep, dark beverage is a strong ale with fruity, spicy, and caramel notes. Unfiltered and bottle-conditioned – it’s one-of-a-kind in both taste and texture. Try serving it at cellar temperature alongside grilled sausages and salty snacks for the perfect pairing.
5. Orval Trappist Ale
Orval Abbey, a Trappist monastery located in Luxembourg, has been brewing this Belgian ale since 1931. Using a unique blend of hops and yeast gives it an exclusive taste and aroma, characterized by notes of fruit, spice as well as hints of funk. The beer is complex and earthy. Its best-served cellar temperature makes it ideal paired with grilled meats or savory dishes.
6. Rochefort 10
Stepping into the Belgian countryside is an unforgettable experience, especially when discovering the Rochefort 10. For centuries, resolute monks at Abbaye Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy have perfected this Trappist beer to produce a robust and velvety vintage drink that tantalizes the senses with its captivating aroma of dark fruits, caramel, and spices. Best savored by those seeking a divine and contemplative drinking experience.
7. Fuller’s Vintage Ale
Whisked away to a cozy and inviting traditional English pub, the essence of the timeless atmosphere is captured in Fuller’s Vintage Ale. This annual brew by Fuller’s Brewery boasts a unique recipe and character with flavors evolving over time.
Notes of toffee, dried fruit, and a hint of floral hops burst in each vintage release. Experience the depths of English brewing heritage through this delightful journey.
8. Rodenbach Grand Cru
Rodenbach Grand Cru, a vintage beer from Belgium, promises a tantalizing taste bud adventure. This Flemish red-brown ale is aged in oak casks for up to two years, allowing wild yeast and bacteria to work their magic and create an intricate blend of flavors.
A sip opens your palate to a world of sourness intertwined with tart cherries, balsamic vinegar, and subtle oak. Each sip uncovers another layer of intrigue that makes Rodenbach Grand Cru irresistible to any avid beer enthusiast looking for something unique and vibrant.
9. Anchor Steam Christmas Ale
On a cozy winter evening, imagine sitting by the fireplace with snowflakes falling outside. Anchor Steam Christmas Ale perfectly captures the holiday spirit in each bottle. The limited-edition vintage beer has been brewed since 1975 by Anchor Brewing Company and boasts a unique recipe and label design every year to celebrate the festive season.
This brew features warm flavors of roasted caramel, spices, and just a hint of pine for that extra touch of merriment on your palate – making it the ideal companion for enjoying holiday cheer.
10. De Dolle Oerbier
De Dolle Oerbier, a vintage beer from Belgium’s De Dolle Brouwers, promises a wild ride for the taste buds. The name “Oerbier,” meaning “original beer,” showcases the brewery’s dedication to traditional brewing methods. This strong and dark ale is bursting with bold flavors of dark chocolate and fruits, complemented by lively yeast notes.
Its effervescence adds a playful zing to each sip, leaving you intrigued and craving more. De Dolle Oerbier offers an unconventional charm that entices those in search of a truly unique beer experience outside of the typical mold.
Each vintage beer brand caters to a specific audience. Some appeal to beer enthusiasts who savor the depth and legacy of brewed beverages, while others delight those who indulge in bold and savory beers that complement certain foods. For instance, Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout satisfies sweet-tooth cravings as an excellent dessert accompaniment, while Goose Island Bourbon County Stout appeases heat-lovers with its perfect pairing with spicy dishes.
Vintage beer brands speak to the elegant craft of brewing, a blend of art and science. Each brand transports you back in time, revealing the unique flavors and traditions of a distant era. If you seek an exceptional brew that harmonizes history with taste, look no further than these vintage brands.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.