MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Everything old is new again -- at least in the beer world, where the trend in 2014 concentrated on brews made the old-fashioned way.
This is something John Green, general manager/buyer for Half Time Beverage in Mamaroneck, Westchester's largest beer store, expects to see continue as we head into 2015.
Among the biggest sellers for 2014? Sour beers like those from Sloop in Sauer Peach and Sauer Black Razz, and ciders, especially the drier and funkier varieties.
One of Half Time's highlights of the year: The rush to buy Bourbon County Vanilla Stout, a small-batch brew with 13.6 percent alcohol by volume (last year it was 15 percent), aged in bourbon barrels from Chicago's Goose Island.
Another hugely popular beer: Cantillon, a small Belgian producer that relies on Old World brewing techniques. The brewery allows for bacteria to get into the fermentation channels to produce the sour flavor.
Beer has come full circle, said Green, explaining that sours were the first type of beers ever produced. "I think beer trends are starting to go back to that," he said. "I hear all the time, 'I don't like beer. I don't drink beer.' But those folks probably never tasted the right beer, which will definitely change their mind."
“Everyone has a different palate," added Jason Daniels, Half Time's chief operating officer. “When people come into the store, we like to ask them their favorite tastes so we can help them pair the right beer to the right occasion."
The same holds true for ciders, which have been around for many years and are the new "go to" beverage. “Craft beer is under the microscope," said Daniels. "Everyone has tried the barrel blends and super-hoppy IPAs and overlooked ciders for so long, they are now in the fore focus, though ciders have been around forever."
For those who want something really different this season, he suggests Deus Brut des Flanders, a champagne-style beer that tastes like a really good bottle of bubbly.
Etienne Dupont Cidre Cuvee Colette is another popular cider and ranks as of one of Daniels' top holiday sellers. Paired with Deus de Flanders, Daniels said: "Though they are not champagne, they have a champagne style/characteristic to mix it up at your holiday party."
Half Time, which bills itself as the "world's largest beer store," is located at 139 Hoyt Ave., Mamaroneck, (914) 341-1666, www.halftimebeverage.com/ .
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