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Inspirational Reads

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

March 27, 2007

Inspired by Eric's list of favorite brews, I thought I'd toss one out there, too.


To date, I've had something around 425 different beers. A far cry short of the 30,000 or so out there (which is the number I think I saw on Beer Advocate last time I logged in there). We also shouldn't mention that my beer list is woefully out-of-date, and that it's lacking nearly 75 entries, which are all written down, but not entered into any sort of database. Someday, I'll remedy that.

That's also not counting the nearly fifty brews I have sitting around waiting for me to drink. Something funny happens to me between the beginning of November and about now: I can't drink beer. No matter what, from the tamest pilsner to the most robust stout, my stomach just rejects them. I used to think it was only the hops that made me ill (whatever hops and/or additives Anheuser Busch puts in their beers, it curdles my stomach...all beers, across the board...and it's not just because they're a macrobrew...Hamm's doesn't curdle my stomach, nor does Blatz...in a blind tasting, I can identify the A-B brew just based on whether I feel like upchucking immediately after downing it). Now, I don't know what it is. But, around Easter time every year, I can drink again. My body is very odd.

So, with these nearly-500 beers in my memory banks, I always get asked the question: which is your favorite? Lord. That's like asking which of my children I love more, or who my favorite player on the '92 Hoosiers was...it can't be done!

In that light, I thought I'd offer a list of different styles and some of my favorite beers from those styles. Hopefully, if anyone stumbles upon this, this list will inspire them to go out and have a sampling of something I feel is tasty.

Wheat Ale: Oberon from Bell's in Kalamazoo, MI
American Pale Ale: Sawtooth Ale, Left Hand Brewing Company, Denver(?), CO
India Pale Ale: Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Milton, DE
ESB: Adnam's Suffolk Special Bitter, London, UK
Fruit Beer: Ruby Raspberry Wheat Ale, Mad Anthony's Brewing, Fort Wayne, IN
Spiced Beer: Post Road Pumpkin Ale, Brooklyn Brewery, NY
Brown/Amber: Nut Brown Ale, Carolina Brewing Company, Holly Springs, NC
Irish/Red: Four Horseman, Mishawaka Brewing Company, Mishawaka, IN
Lager: Yuengling, D.G. Yuengling and Sons, Pottstown, PA
Macro-lager: Sam Adams Boston Lager, Boston Beer Company, Boston, MA
Pilsner: Utica Club XX Pilsner, Matt Brewing Company, Saranac, NY
Porter: Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Great Lakes BC, Cleveland, OH
Imported Porter: Flag Porter, London, UK
"Special" Porter: Oatmeal Porter, Highland Brewing Company, Asheville, NC
Stout: Storm King Stout, Victory Brewing Company, Downington, PA
"Special" Stout: Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Brooklyn BC, New York, NY
Special Release/Christmas Beer: Our Special Ale, Anchor Brewing, San Francisco, CA
Barley Wine: Old Crustacean, Rogue Ales, Portland, OR

You can tell I tend toward the darker beers, which is why not being able to drink between November and April really sucks. However, these beers are well cellared by then. Of all these, I'd probably choose barley wine as my favorite style, though ESB, IPA and Porter definitely ranks right up there. I chose Old Crustacean as my favorite only because it was the first, and much like the first girl who lets you unbutton her blouse, you always have a special place in your heart for that first beer that makes you say "Holy fuckin' shit this is good!" You'll also notice that I have a definite east-coast bias here; I haven't had a whole lot of beers from the west, but those that I have had, I won't complain about. Someday I'll get a beer from Idaho, I swear it.

1 comments:

Chemgeek said...

I've never had a good beer from Idaho. I've obviously not tried them all, but so far, no luck.

I like your list but, I've experienced only 2 of these. So much beer. So little time.

I occasionally take detours from beer into things like scotch or gin and tonics. It is very weather and season related. Though I must say, being totally turned off to beer for months on end is a bit weird.