Irish red ale, 4.3%
Unlike most of the other young upstarts on this list, Carlow (better known as O’Hara’s) can actually trace its history way back to Ireland’s first craft beer boom in 1996. But even for a beer that’s been available stateside for much of its existence, there are few breweries anywhere in the world who have avoided the temptation of trend chasing as well as Carlow. Take their Irish Red, for example, a style that has been as bastardized and lost to the sands of market forces perhaps more than any other. In the hands of many, it’s an overly sweet, unbalanced toffee bomb. In the case of O’Hara’s, it is a true-to-style, honest-to-goodness take with a refreshingly light body, a caramel-kissed toasty maltiness that soothes the palate, and a crisp, smooth finish that avoids the cloying profile of other beers supposedly made in this style. You owe it to yourself to revisit this done the right way.