What's your favorite beer?
May 23, 2006 6:51 PM   Subscribe

What's your favorite beer?

I've tasted quite a few beers, but I'm always happy to taste more. I'm curious for mefi suggestions.

Some of my favorites:

Porter: Bell's Porter. The best example of the style that I have found.

Imperial Stout: Bell's Expidition Stout. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout is good too.

IPA: Bell's Two-Hearted Ale. God, it's so good.

Hefeweizen: Paulaner Hefeweizen. Hoegaarden and Hacker-Pschorr are both good as well, but Paulaner is my fave.

Strong Dark Ale: Guldendraak. Hide it away for some months and it's super delicious.

There's plenty other brews I'd love to mention, but these are some of the outstanding ones.
posted by mealy-mouthed to Food & Drink (96 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
posted by pompomtom at 6:52 PM on May 23, 2006

Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout.


Newcastle Brown.

For lager, in order of availability: Grolsch, Kronenbourg, Stella (also affectionately known as wife-beater).

Bitter, not so much now, but in my day, I was partial to Bishop's Finger.
posted by veedubya at 6:56 PM on May 23, 2006

All the Québec-based Unibroue selections are worthwhile, from Trois Pistoles to Don de Dieu to La Fin du Monde.
posted by Mr. Six at 6:56 PM on May 23, 2006

I am partial to Yuengling lager.
posted by ludwig_van at 6:59 PM on May 23, 2006

Before I stopped drinking, my favorite beer was Anchor Porter. But I've been dry for 11 years and I don't even know if they still make it.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:59 PM on May 23, 2006

I'm having a good Robust Porter right now, from Smuttynose.
posted by Miko at 7:01 PM on May 23, 2006

posted by allthewhile at 7:02 PM on May 23, 2006

Most anything by Pyramid Brewery.

Many of the brews by Rogue.

There's a local place called the Faultline Brewery that I like as well.

I'm not naming any particular brews because each of the breweries that I've listed have several good beers, and some of them are seasonal. :-)
posted by drstein at 7:04 PM on May 23, 2006

Young's Double Chocolate Stout. Badger Brewery Golden Glory (flavoured with peach blossom extract). Anything brewed to a recipe remotely resembling Jeff Renner's "Your Father's Mustache" recipe. Little Creatures Pale Ale.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 7:07 PM on May 23, 2006

Response by poster: I've seen Pyramid in stores recently and have wondered about them. Thanks for the recommendation, drstein.

Thanks to everyone else for commenting too. Keep 'em coming!
posted by mealy-mouthed at 7:07 PM on May 23, 2006

Miller Lite.
posted by bitdamaged at 7:09 PM on May 23, 2006

Stoudts' American Pale Ale and Yards Brewing Company's Philadelphia Pale Ale are absolutely outstanding. On a larger scale, you can't go wrong with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Blue Moon. Suddenly I'm getting thirsty ... Bottoms up and happy drinking!
posted by shallowcenter at 7:09 PM on May 23, 2006

posted by alexmikayla at 7:12 PM on May 23, 2006

Corona. Yes, I know about Sol; I just haven't found a bar around here that serves it.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:13 PM on May 23, 2006

Newcastle Brown
Coopers Dark Ale
posted by Jimbob at 7:14 PM on May 23, 2006

Domestic, I prefer Sapporo Black Label.
Foreign but semi-local, I'm a big fan of 333 from Vietnam.
Western, I developed a bit of a taste for Rickard's Red on my last trip home, despite the ridiculous commercials on tv.
posted by nightchrome at 7:15 PM on May 23, 2006

Paulaner Hefeweizen in the summertime, St. Arnold's Elissa IPA the rest of the year, cask conditioned if I can get it.

If I'm in the mood for a fruity, sweet beer I'll go for one of the Lindeman's lambic's.
posted by beowulf573 at 7:16 PM on May 23, 2006

posted by gergtreble at 7:16 PM on May 23, 2006

Lager, and anything by Victory in Downingtown, PA
posted by Loto at 7:19 PM on May 23, 2006

Czechvar. In Europe, it's called Budweiser - word on the streets is (although this is not really mentioned in the wikipedia article) is that Annheuser-Busch took their namesake because of its excellent reputation for quality in Europe. Having just recently tasted it (it made it to the top upon the first bottle) I found it to be the most divine, full-bodied lager I've ever had.
posted by invitapriore at 7:20 PM on May 23, 2006

Bells Bells Bells? Don't get me wrong, they're good, but there are other Michigan brewers you should get to know.
posted by revgeorge at 7:21 PM on May 23, 2006

Since you profile says you're in Michigan, I believe you can get the Great Lakes line of beers. Anything by them is well worth it. The true stand-out, based partly on your list of beers, has to be their Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. It really is one of the defining American porters now.

For West Coast beers, Bear Republic's line (Racer 5 is a great IPA and Big Bear Black Stout is a simply amazing double America Stout.) I just recently tried Green Flsh Brewing Co.'s West Coast IPA and it's top notch.

Moving east, Oscar Blues Dale's Pale Ale and Old Chubb Scottish Ale are close to the best beers you'll find in a can.

Most of Old Dominion's line is worth trying (out of Virginia, so may not be around you), but their Spring Brew (a double Pilsner) along with their Oak Barrel Stout are nice. If you're into Pilsners, both Tuppers' Hop Pocket Pils (brewed by Dominion) and Victory's Prima Pils are great examples of that style. I was thrilled with Troegs Nugget Nectar (a winter release) this year, so make sure you pick it up if you see it next year.

Finally (for now), if you ever see a bottle of D. Carnegie & Co. Stark Porter (from Sweden) sitting on a shelf, buy it. Maybe buy two or three. They don't make it every year, but it ages great. I'm still kicking myself I only bought one bottle of it from the 2004 bottling.

There are just so many great beers out there. Based on my list, I've had at least 118 beers (and sampled probably 50 more) and I barely feel like I've had any. And remember, Beer Advocate (and I'm too lazy right now to link to all the beers above) is a great source for both learning about beer in general and looking up particular beers.
posted by skynxnex at 7:22 PM on May 23, 2006

Full Sail Amber
posted by santacruz at 7:24 PM on May 23, 2006

Just started drinking Hoegaarden this week (and right now). Very good stuff. My favorite is Anchor Porter of SF. Also recommend Spaten Optimator, a dark brew. Friends who don't like Anchor Porter like the Optimator, which surprised me. Paulaner and Franziskaner Weiß beers are excellent too.
posted by umlaut at 7:24 PM on May 23, 2006

Mackeson's Triple X Stout
Murphy's Irish Stout
posted by iurodivii at 7:24 PM on May 23, 2006

I've the good fortune of living near one of the best bars in Chicago. They often have St. Bernadus Abt. 12 on tap. It's wonderful stuff, but has a steep alcohol content. I wasn't aware of this when I first tried it, and it snuck up on me quickly.

When such a brew isn't available I tend to gravitate toward Bass as a standard.
posted by aladfar at 7:26 PM on May 23, 2006

Pilsner Urquell.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:27 PM on May 23, 2006

Weihenstephaner Hefeweisen
Franziskaner Hefeweisen is good too
...and second Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout
posted by bricoleur at 7:32 PM on May 23, 2006

I'm partial to Full Sail Pale Ale.

Boont is really good, too. It's imported (to Oregon) from Colorado. It's got a sweet, honey-ish flavor that I haven't encountered in many other brews.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 7:36 PM on May 23, 2006

I see your Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout (yummy) and raise you a Samuel Smith nut brown ale. I'll toss in a New Belgium Fat Tire and 1554 and enjoy this post until it gets killed as chatfilter, which it almost surely will.
posted by JMOZ at 7:38 PM on May 23, 2006

Seconding Unibrou: all great, but the Éphémère is especially fantastic served cold on a hot afternoon.

I'd also include Seadog Porter from Maine, Birra Moretti from Italy, and Fat Tire, from the New Belgium Brewery, although I've never found it on sale here in New England. And in December, Harpoon Winter Warmer. Just to name a few.

Also, the Tuckerman beers -- which are probably hard to find outside of New Hampshire -- are excellent.
posted by dseaton at 7:40 PM on May 23, 2006

Brakespeare's Special
Fuller's London Pride
Creemore Springs Lager
Creemore Springs Ur Bock
Hacker Pschorr Hesse Weisse

the Unibrue stuff rocks too
posted by unSane at 7:47 PM on May 23, 2006

Allagash Tripel ABV: 9.0% yummy
posted by matimer at 7:53 PM on May 23, 2006

Lindeman's Framboise lambic.
Spaten Optimator, a double bock.
Bitburger lager - if it's fresh, it is the perfect exemplar of the Bavarian-style lager.
I second the Unibroue recommendation; if you can get a hold of their seasonal fruit beers, they're always spectacular.
Duval. It's a lot like Chimay - a cask-conditioned ale - but it has its own thing going on.
Pacifica, my favorite Mexican Corona-like beer.
Negra Modelo, my favorite Mexican dark beer.
Blue Moon wheat beer. Sure, I know it's owned by Coors. It's still good.
Rolling Rock. Rice and corn - there's nothing like it.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:05 PM on May 23, 2006

I'm pretty sure this has come up before, but I'm going to buck the trend in this thread and suggest the noble and majestic Pabst Blue Ribbon. It is perfection, as far as domestic beers go. Olympia's pretty much the same thing, but PBR is a lot easier to find. I've been drinking one or the other since I started drinking nine years ago.
posted by Captain_Tenille at 8:10 PM on May 23, 2006

I think I am way out of my league here, but when in England I drink Old Speckled Hen (warm, of course), and on the east coast I drink Harpoon's IPA.
posted by scarylarry at 8:11 PM on May 23, 2006

Favorite IPA:
Dog Fish Head, 90 Minute IPA (beats Racer 5 , my previous favorite, hands down, but it'll cost you $8 for a 4-pack. Also, I've not had their 120 Minute IPA, which I assume is better but costs $9/bottle)

Favorite Porter:
Deschutes, Black Butte Porter

Favorite Barleywine:
Dominion, Millenium (all their beers are fantastic, and the brewery is right down the road from me!)

Favorite Belgian-style:
Unibroue Edition, 2004
Het Anker, Gouden Carolus Grand Cru of the Emperor

Favorite Bock:
Ayinger, Celebrator Double Bock

Favorite Wheat Beer (Hefeweizen):
Schneider-Weisse, Aventinus

Favorite Holiday Beer:
Anderson Valley, Winter Solstice
Het Anker, Gouden Carolus Noel

Oh, how I miss Toronado in SF...
posted by pmbuko at 8:14 PM on May 23, 2006

Umlaut, you and I have identical taste in beer.
posted by saladin at 8:15 PM on May 23, 2006

Absolute favorite: Weyerbacher Insanity (oak barrel aged barleywine)
Lager: Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold, Rogue Morimoto Imperial Pilsner
IPA: Dogfish Head Sixty Minute (or 90 minute or 120 minute), Flying Dog Doggie Style Pale Ale, Old Dominion Hop Pocket, Stone Ruination IPA
Wheat: Harpoon UFO, Franziskaner Dunkel, Aventinus, Widmer Hefeweizen
Belgian: Victory Golden Monkey, Duvel, La Fin Du Monde, Ommegang 3 Philosophers, Stoudt's Triple, Avery The Beast, Delirium Tremens, Rodenbach Grand Cru
Trappist: Chimay Blue Cap, Orval, Westmalle Dubbel, Rochefort 10
Porter: Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, Arcadia London Porter, Rogue Mocha Porter
Stout: Weyerbacher Heresy, Youngs Double Chocolate Stout, Victory Storm King, Old Dominion Oak Barrel Stout, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Founders Breakfast Stout
Barleywine: Sierra Nevada Big Foot, Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot, Victory Old Horizontal, Rogue Old Crustacean, Stone Old Guardian
posted by ecrivain at 8:15 PM on May 23, 2006

mmmmm Pilsner Urquell....

On the other hand, a few pints of Old Foghorn will put you on your ass (in a good way).

Or possibly my favorite beer name. A great pitch black ale.
posted by doctor_negative at 8:21 PM on May 23, 2006

My favorite beer is Guinness.

My favorite beer to have alongside a plate of hot wings is J.W. Dundee's Honey Brown Lager. The runner up in this category is Sam Adams Winter Lager.

My favorite seasonal brew is Sam Adams Octoberfest. Any beer enthusiast will come up with 20 better choices that I would no doubt enjoy, but this one is my favorite.

The freshest, most crisp tasting beer I've had would be Flying Dog "Tire Bite" golden ale.

In the high alcohol content category, my pick is Victory's Golden Monkey at 9.5%.

The best beer experience I've had at a time when I least expected it was Sweet Magnolia Brown Ale. This beer is brewed in Walt Disney world and is a dark & heavy winter seasonal.

And for the jeers...

I'd give the "Most Overrated Beer Award" to Heineken.

Fortunately I have not had any absolutely atrocious beers, but the worst beer I've ever tasted was Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic. There's absolutely nothing good about this beer whatsoever. To phrase it poetically, it tastes like someone crushed a batch of cranberries with their bare feet and then shook them up in a bottle of Coors Light.

The runner up to the worst beer I've ever had would be Rolling Rock Green Light. Some beers taste like seltzer beer; this tastes like water beer.
posted by tomorama at 8:22 PM on May 23, 2006

My favorite American beer (and favorite porter, all around) is Deschutes's Black Butte Porter.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:24 PM on May 23, 2006

I really like all the beers from New Glarus. They change up their lineup a lot, but last winter they were selling their barlywine for 7 dollars a six pack!
posted by afu at 8:27 PM on May 23, 2006

Maybe I'm just a tightwad student, but I find that Yuengling and Shiner Bock does it for me for relatively tasty beer that is easy on the wallet.

Otherwise I'd have to go with either: Czechvar or Sierra Nevada for my fav. beers.
posted by scalespace at 8:33 PM on May 23, 2006

IPA: Bell's Two-Hearted Ale. God, it's so good.
posted by cellphone at 8:39 PM on May 23, 2006

Not that it's any use to you (given your location) but my current favorite beer (lager) is Blue Tongue. Gets good reviews too.
posted by dangerousdan at 8:57 PM on May 23, 2006

Saxo and I second that Stella.
posted by Number27 at 9:00 PM on May 23, 2006

Hoegaarden? LOL! Anyone speaking well of Hoegaarden is an opinion you may wish to disregard. It is for the uncultured who want to drink Belgian, but can't handle the real thing.

Most any Trappist-style beer from Belgium or the Netherlands will do you mighty fine, but I most recommend tripple or stronger. The strong beers manage a more refined flavor. Chimay is already mentioned early on (good reason, it's widely available and wonderful). Also, Leffe, West Malle, Rochefort (try the 10!) and others. On the lighter side, try a Kwak (preferably in their unique glass).

Personally, I totally dismiss any wheat beer. I can't stand light beer. I will, if I really want beer and can't get anything else, drink a lager, but most any pilsner is far superior. British bitter ale is better than lager.
posted by Goofyy at 9:03 PM on May 23, 2006


Amazingly good, smooth, dark beer.
posted by atom128 at 9:06 PM on May 23, 2006

I loves me some Little Kings,cream ale/corn beer, from Ohio.
posted by hortense at 9:09 PM on May 23, 2006

Sleeman Dark (Canada)
posted by Artful Codger at 9:09 PM on May 23, 2006

Anything by Albertas Big Rock

mmmmmm...... Traditional on tap!
posted by vidarling at 9:20 PM on May 23, 2006

Bell's makes some pretty great beers. Two Hearted is a favorite.

I also enjoy Boulder Brewing's "Hazed & Infused" quite a bit. And it's cheap! Actually, I enjoy quite a few of Boulder Brewing's beers.

(I should really try some Xingu. Was examining that at the beer store yesterday.)
posted by neckro23 at 9:28 PM on May 23, 2006

Stella Artois, Harp, Pilsner Urquell, Newcastle Brown, Guinness. Brooklyn varieties, Red Hook or Yuengling if we're talking US-made. PBR as a last resort.
posted by emelenjr at 9:37 PM on May 23, 2006

posted by geekyguy at 10:04 PM on May 23, 2006 [1 favorite]

Black Butte Porter and basically anything from Rogue (Chocolate Stout, Imperial Stout, and Shakespeare Stout being my favorite). Black Butte Porter is made by Deschutes Brewary...both Deschutes & Rogue are microbrews in Oregon. As as bonus, Rogue has some amazingly cool ceramic bottles for some of its XS brews.

Outside of Oregon, Guinness Extra Stout is good. I liked Arrogant Bastard alright, but I'm not sure it lived up to its name or price.
posted by devilsbrigade at 10:44 PM on May 23, 2006

Man, you beat me to it.

Another vote for Arrogant Bastard Ale.

Also, Old Speckled Hen. Love those pint bottles.
posted by mono blanco at 10:48 PM on May 23, 2006

No one's mentioned Wisconsin!

The best beer in the world - Spotted Cow.

(From the great state of Wisconsin)

Moose Drool
Capital Brewery - Autumnal Fire.
Lake Louis

The great Midwestern cheap beers: Minnesota: Grainbelt Premium, Wisconsin: Blatz, Schlitz, Hamm's, Huber.

I guess malt liquors weren't mentioned, but, clearly - Mickey's is the finest malt liquor around. Don't drink it in forties, drink it in "Grenades" - drink, then throw.

General rule: never EVER drink Bud, drink Miller instead.

Get some cheap beers from northern Wisconsin - so much iron in them, they taste like blood. I recall Wisconsin Club = $1.99 for a six pack.

There's that Polish beer Zywiec - just great.

Czech beers, of course - Urquell, Gambrinus, Budvar. Don't drink Staropramen, Starobrno, Radegast, or Zlatopramen. Best cheap Czech beer: Branik. Drink it with dumplings, pork parts, and sour cream.

Oh, and it appears my drunk guitar playing has angered someone in the neighborhood, who is now shouting and banging on something. Goodnight.
posted by mammary16 at 11:10 PM on May 23, 2006

PBR! Aww yeah.

Oh, and Ommegang's Three Philosophers isn't bad either, I suppose.
posted by mullingitover at 11:58 PM on May 23, 2006

Anything room temperature; nothing chilled.
posted by A189Nut at 12:06 AM on May 24, 2006

Leinenkugel is a tasty Wisconsin beer, which should be available to you if you live in Michigan. The Honey Weiss is quite good and their Berry Weiss (seasonal) is a great summer-afternoon sweet beer.
posted by shokod at 12:11 AM on May 24, 2006

Hoegaarden? LOL! Anyone speaking well of Hoegaarden is an opinion you may wish to disregard. It is for the uncultured who want to drink Belgian, but can't handle the real thing.

Huh? That's like saying that vinho verde is only for n00bs that can't handle port. The only common factor between wheat beer like hoegaarden and trappist style strong ales like Chimay is their country of origin. Who would want to drink Chimay over an early lunch, out in the sunshine after all? I can't imagine anything less pleasant. Everything in its place I say.

Having said that, it's not my favourite wheat beer, although it's drinkable in the absence of better alternatives.

If you can find Marstons or Rebellion brewery ales (probably only in the UK) in casks, you can't be far wrong. Brakespear's Best is an absolutely perfect example of a high quality, traditional english bitter.

A current fave is Greene King's "Beer to Dine For" - it has a terrible name, is a clear marketing gimmick, and is about as untraditional as you can get, but it drinks pretty well. It's a medium strength pale ale, made with hops more traditionally used in lager and as you might expect goes really pretty well with food.

All the Fullers beers are pretty good considering how easy they are to get hold of too - particularly London Pride.
posted by bifter at 2:17 AM on May 24, 2006

I like Tasmanian beers. Boag's and Cascade both make some good brews.

Closer to home, the Grand Ridge Brewery in South Gippsland also makes some very good beers. They have an 8.5% alcohol brew called Moonshine, and an 11% called Supershine, that go down very nicely indeed.
posted by flabdablet at 2:46 AM on May 24, 2006

Guinness. Oh, sure, you can get fancy with the microbreweries and all that, but I'm sticking with some good Irish stout. For variety, Guinness Extra Stout.
posted by graymouser at 3:49 AM on May 24, 2006

Winter: Franziskaner
Summer: Red Stripe

Do you live close enough to Wisconsin to get Point? I've liked the little I've had. Good enough for The Badger, good enough for me. Words to live by.
posted by yerfatma at 4:10 AM on May 24, 2006

Miller Lite.
posted by ND¢ at 4:37 AM on May 24, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. Many I've tried and enjoyed, but there's quite a few new names too.

One can never have enough beer.
posted by mealy-mouthed at 4:57 AM on May 24, 2006

To put up a regional suggestion, in Brooklyn there is a young, small brewery called Sixpoint Craft Ales. So far it is only available on tap mostly in NYC and Mass, but none of their beers has ever disappointed me.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:30 AM on May 24, 2006

Old Speckled Hen
Marston's Pedigree
Charles Wells Bombardier
Pig's Ear

Full Sail Pale Ale
Sunspot Gold (served at Jupiter in Berkeley, CA)
Blue Heron (I think)

This is a far from complete list, but I should point out that as a UK beer lover I was exceedingly pleasantly surprised by the quality of beer I got to drink while living in California.
posted by MrMustard at 5:38 AM on May 24, 2006

Little Creatures Pale Ale. Voted the best in the world and made in a boutique brewery in Fremantle Western Australia. It's GREAT stuff.
posted by Jubey at 5:41 AM on May 24, 2006

Trappiste Westvleteren 12.
posted by KimG at 5:45 AM on May 24, 2006

Out and About: Newcastle Brown, Stella Artois
Wishes: Kostritzer, Caffreys (Coors blocked sales in the US, so I'm boycotting Coors)
In the fridge: Anything Rogue, and Framboise for the Mrs.
posted by jwells at 5:55 AM on May 24, 2006

Negra Modelo, and (though I haven't found it in years) Steinlager, from New Zealand.
posted by rleamon at 6:00 AM on May 24, 2006

Guinness for drinking-drinking, unless I'm in a place that looks like it hasn't served one in days. With food I don't really care, whatever Thai or Indian or Greek or whatever bottle is on the menu.

I drank Carlsberg almost exclusively from the ages of 15 through 21 or so, and now I haven't had one in years. I just thought about that. Weird.
posted by jamesonandwater at 6:07 AM on May 24, 2006

Timothy Taylor's Landlord is my all time favourite alcoholic drink.

Sam Smith's Organically Produced Ale is pretty good too. I like so many lagers, it would be difficult to list a favourite, but at the moment its Tusker Malt, because it's the only decent beer available in Kenya.
posted by davehat at 6:17 AM on May 24, 2006

Mealy— You're in Michigan, which (at least in 2002) had the second most number of breweries in the country, along with some absolutely fantastic homebrew clubs. So... Drop me an email, and I'll show you my favorite beers.

Bells is good, but I think they're a bit over-rated, especially the Oberon. Two-Hearted is my favorite winter IPA, but is too strong once it gets hot out.
I would like to second, in the most strenuous terms, the Edmund Fitzgerald porter. It is simply the best porter in the country, hands down. Great Lakes is a solid brewery, and their Elliot Ness is good too.
There's also New Holland, which has a pretty decent IPA (Mad Hatter), and a couple other fine beers.
Dogfish Head is excellent if you can get it on tap, but don't bother with the overpriced bottles.
Arbor Brewing Company's Terminator Dopplebock is excellent, as is their Maibock, and their Faricy Fest stout.
Leopold Brothers (who also make some of the best gin ever) have a good red, a decent pale, and absolutely fantastic Maibochs and Oktoberfests.
King brewery has a pretty good pale, but their red has an ass aftertaste.
Motorcity's Ghettoblaster gets all the hype, but isn't that good. Their Nut Brown, however, is one of the best in the state.
I can't remember who makes the red with the Glenn Barr art on it, but it's excellent.

Onto the cheap: Ignore those folks extolling Leinies, as they're pretty ass. If you're drinking that level, Labatt's are much better than they should be. And if you hop over the border, you can get real Black Label, still in the bottles. Canadian Black Label is, for some reason, a million times better than the domestic.

But again, drop me an email if you want to check out these things in person.
posted by klangklangston at 6:45 AM on May 24, 2006

Darkside Vanilla Porter, brewed by award winning Empyrean Ales out of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Absolutely delicious, and I'm not just being biased toward my hometown. If you're ever in the neighborhood pick up a six pack (or try one of the other 5 beers they brew).
posted by dead_ at 7:01 AM on May 24, 2006

I'm a huge fan of Dog Fish Head. Their IPAs are incredible. But their other beers are great too. Midas' Touch knocked me cold one night.

Stone's Arrogant Bastard is a great beer. As is their Ruination IPA.

I have a special place in my heart for Smuttynose, out of Portsmouth, NH. I went to tour the brewery there and spent a good long time chatting to one of the brewers and drinking beer. He poured us a bottle of a Wheat Wine (similar to Barleywine but made with wheat!). It was great. So smooth and caramelly. I'm still not sure if they were ever able to sell it as they were having problems getting the name/label approved by the ATF. But man it was good. Their Big A IPA is excellent too. In fact, just about anything they make is great, IMO.

Heavyweight in NJ recently announced that they're closing shop, but if you can find anything by them you'll be in for a treat. They make some good beers. I'm looking forward to trying one they're going to make called Smorgasbord that is going to be made with everything they have left at the brewery. I bet it's interesting...

I guess I'm a fan of breweries where it seems like the brewers enjoy making beer. DFA, Heavyweight, Smuttynose, Stone... They all seem like they're in it for fun.
posted by bDiddy at 7:03 AM on May 24, 2006

On draught (hand pump) nothing is better than Courage Directors, though Old Speckled Hen comes close. I've had the latter in a local British(-run) pub here in Rochester, NY, of all places. They bring over a firkin or two now and then :)
posted by tommasz at 7:06 AM on May 24, 2006

I like my beers to match my humor: dark and bitter. That said...

Check out Highland Brewing Co. in Asheville, NC for some really great dark beers. Their Oatmeal Porter and Mocha Stout are a great way to end a day.

Dixie Brewing of my beloved NOLA makes a great dark lager (!!!) called Blackened VooDoo.

Also from the swamps, Abita Turbodog is another great dark ale.

N+1 to Mackesons (which makes a killer beer float with a scoop of Breyer's Vanilla).

And if you're ever in Columbia, SC look up the Hunter-Gatherer brewery and get one of their stouts or bitters. In fact I'm heading there after work today. Mmmm. Is it 5 yet?

What's in my fridge right now? Why PBR in cans, of course. It's hot here and I want cold, smooth beer after I mow the yard.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 7:25 AM on May 24, 2006

Bridgeport IPA but I'll try a Dog Fish Head later today.
posted by poodlemouthe at 7:26 AM on May 24, 2006

All the Québec-based Unibroue selections are worthwhile, from Trois Pistoles to Don de Dieu to La Fin du Monde.

Seconding the above. Especially La Fin du Monde.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:38 AM on May 24, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions, klangklangston.

Heh, I love how any mention of Bell's sends MI people into rabid froth. I realize they get a lot of attention over other MI brewers—even midwest ones—but they're damn good at what they do. I've had a lot of other midwest brews, many of which I enjoy immensely. There's tons of other MI beers I could mention that are great, but not necessarily my favorite representation of a style. For example, I love Arcadia's ESB, but I'm not certain how good an example of the style it is. In the few styles I mentioned I think Bell's stands out. And that doesn't mean that in other styles Bell's makes a good representation.

And I didn't even mention Oberon. Besides some special Cherry Festival brew they made last year, I think it's probably their weakest offering. ;)

Admittedly, I haven't tried Great Lakes Porter. I tried their IPA and it didn't make much of an impression. It was definitely a good beer, just not outstanding. But I will make an effort to get some of their porter.

Either way, we'll have to have a round together sometime.
posted by mealy-mouthed at 7:45 AM on May 24, 2006

It's my opinion that Oberon has declined steeply from the late 90s to today. That might have as much to do with pleasant college memories, but I really think it's just not as good as it used to be.

These days, I'm mainly drinking something from Christian Moerlein and, if I can track it down, Hudy Delight.
posted by cramer at 8:04 AM on May 24, 2006

Stiegl from Austria, though all attempts to get it in the States have this far failed.
I'm still poor and love me some belgium beer, so I go with Blue Moon when I want a lot.
For high-gravity beers, I'm partial tp Duvel, but it could also be because my last name's duval. Even so, it's the only high-gravity where it didn't taste like someone added a shot of whiskey for good effect.

Budweiser - word on the streets is (although this is not really mentioned in the wikipedia article) is that Annheuser-Busch took their namesake...
The story I heard was AB approached them about buying the company and expanding it to the States. AB got a big FU, so they turned around and started it up here with the name.
posted by jmd82 at 8:16 AM on May 24, 2006

Seconding anything from Smuttynose. I have a keg of the Portsmouth on the way for the weekend. Lager + smoking meats = crazy delicious. Their IPA is groin grabbingly good. I was worried for awhile back when it won a whole bunch of awards and the brewery couldn't keep up with demand, but it looks like their supply issues have been sorted out for now.

I'm slowly moving out of my hophead phase and starting to develop more of a taste for the Belgians. Finding them in any sort of variety on tap is tricky. While in NYC, my wife and I marched the 90 blocks from uptown to Vol de Nuit and then loitered outside their doors until we could get in the moment they opened.

Unibroue continues to do pretty well, even though Sleeman bought them out a few years back. One of the best parts of a recent trip to the Great White North was being able to sample all the varieties of Unibroue I can't get in the states.

But the Belgians and Unibroue are more treats than staples. Staples include Guinness, Sierra Nevada, Anchor Steam, Smutty, and occasionally Harpoon. I'd love for my staples to include some English session beers or some of the more select west coast offerings, but it's hard to get out of the shadow of Sam Adams at your average Beantown bar. Outside of their Black Lager, I'm not a huge fan.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:05 AM on May 24, 2006

Troutslayer Ale. I also used to love Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks brewery in Bozeman, but they seem to have stopped making it.
posted by LarryC at 10:43 AM on May 24, 2006

Oh, gawd. St Bernardus Abt 12 blew me away, but it's a special treat beer. For local pride, I have to put in a good word for Black Sheep Bitter and Double Maxim; from down south, I also love the bitter from St Peter's and Brakspear's. La Chouffe. Saison Dupont. Anchor Small Beer. Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. Young's Special. Too many, too many. And it's coming up to kriek season, too.
posted by holgate at 10:48 AM on May 24, 2006

Grolsch, Stella Artois, Chimay, Anchor Steam, Dixie (RIP.)
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 12:06 PM on May 24, 2006

Sniff. My favorite beer was recently retired: Foggy Bottom Lager. So I have to go with Brooklyn Lager instead.
posted by jrb223 at 12:33 PM on May 24, 2006

"and (though I haven't found it in years) Steinlager, from New Zealand."

No Beverages & More near you? Actually, Safeway carries Steinlager. It's good stuff too.

man, there are SO MANY decent beers on this planet. And such little time...
posted by drstein at 1:23 PM on May 24, 2006


East coast Canadian beer.
It is quite popular here on the prairies.
I don't know if it's available outside of Canada.
posted by utsutsu at 5:38 PM on May 24, 2006

Nobody has mentioned Foster's Lager yet, which just confirms my view of the hive mind's discerning judgement.

Nobody in Australia drinks Foster's, and for good reason. They have to ship it offshore to sell any at all.

Moose Head is available here, and is indeed good stuff.
posted by flabdablet at 6:35 PM on May 24, 2006

I guess my favourite commonly available brew is the Belgian brewed Leffe Brune, more regular day to day I like a New Zealand beer called Speight's Old Dark.

When I feel like something sweet & refreshing in summer, I'll get some Speight's Gold Medal Ale and have a shandy (50/50 Schweppes Classic Dry Lemonade / Pale Ale or Lager).

Worst beer... Well, maybe Belle-Vous Framboise, a completely awful lambic. So. Incredibly. Bad.

Really, though, I like a lot of beers.
posted by The Monkey at 7:05 PM on May 24, 2006

I remember when Bell's Oberon was actually called Solsun, and DAMN was that stuff good. I can't imagine that the quality is as good today as it was in 94 when Bell's was still relatively small.
posted by jasondigitized at 7:21 AM on May 25, 2006

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