6. Black Toad dark ale
"This is a proper pub pint to be sure. It's porter-esque. It's super-roasty -- it doesn't have an astringent, acrid bitterness. This is good if you want a porter but don't want to deal with acrid burnt-toast finish. And who the hell would?"
5. Boatswain double IPA
"This looks like it should be served at a British pub, and it doesn't smell like it's 8.4%, which is good. Anytime they do a good job of hiding the alcohol I feel like they've done well. A lot of times, you have a shitty double IPA that smells like they had an IPA and poured some neutral grain spirit in it. But this has good bitterness and a solid mouthfeel. There's also a long finish with a touch of sweetness. This is what you and your whole crew need when you want to channel your inner hooligan and smack around intense flavor."
4. Josephsbrau Heller Bock
"I'd tailgate with this! It's super drinkable, with just a slight hint of banana, which is a welcome surprise. The color's nice. It has some banana on the nose, though not as much as a hefeweizen. The carbonation is good. The alcohol is well-integrated -- it doesn't smell or taste 'hot.' I don't feel alcohol burn."
3. Mission St. Hefeweizen
"This one has tons of banana aromas, but it doesn't smell like banana extract or banana runts that give it a synthetic feel like some other TJ's beers. It has good carbonation and mouthfeel, which adds a little bit of suppleness to the beer. It finishes really short -- you'd want a longer finish on a hef. But I'd drink this. It's not a beer I'd tell people they'd have to try. But when your buddies are having a cookout and you forget to bring your own beer, and you think, 'Shit, now I have to drink what they have!' -- if they had this, I'd be fine."