So, GQ eh? Well why the hell not? They are a bunch of dudes, dressing well, tossing around money – they have to do a beer thing. Its the new fad in looking cool, right? I mean that’s why you are all here. Of course, GQ is jumping on the bandwagon.
Luckily, for you I don’t believe anything I just wrote. Beer is freaking beer. Anyone can love it – as long as you are 21 (Message/Disclaimer!).
We do not discriminate against anyone throwing out their opinion on beer. We are regular people like you all. In total, we are a lawyer, a development administrator, and a learning assistant brewer at a small brewery. Just regular people. Just regular thoughts about beer.
But, when you put your opinion up on the web, its the rest of our jobs to police it to some extent, by listening, sparking dialogue and trying to build a community opinion. So, lets.
GQ published an article today on their website of the top 50 beers that everyone should try before they die. Important note: its not the Top 50 beers, just 50 beers you need to try. So we keep that in mind in discussion.
The list is teeming with small brewery american ales, epic belgian grog, and even a few mass produced “beers.”
Here is my reaction:
They had to add these 5, and we are damn glad they recognized!
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA
Orval Trappist Ale
Russian River Pliny the Elder
If you have not had the pleasure of drinking each of these 5 beers, you really need to take action ASAP. These are standards.
Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA rules the category of sweet IPAs and Pliny takes over the bitter category.
Orval is probably the first trappist beer you should try. They make only one beer for a reason – its damn good. Westvleteren 12 is a hard find, but necessary as the world’s most famous beer (thanks Michael Jackson).
Brooklyn’s Black Chocolate Stout should be your first foray into adjunct filled stouts. Its so delicious and almost no one can turn it away. Try your mom, grandma, nephew, or dog – guarantee they like it.
I am so happy to see that they added these beers, and didn’t expect it…..
Alesmith Speedway Stout
Struisse Pannepot Fisherman’s Ale
Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier
If you can find Speedway Stout, buy it and drink it. It does not require aging, its perfect off the shelf. Problem : WA does not have Alesmith. Why? no clue, but I’m perplexed. Similarly, Espresso Yeti is incredible off the shelf. This is probably the best coffee stout out there, especially if you like a flavor explosion as opposed to subtlety.
Struisse’s Pannepot is just incredible. We sampled this beer before taking off for Belgium in March (2006 vintage) and then had some at the famous De Zon in Woesten, Belgium, which was the venue of an amazing bar visit. Its probably the best example of a huge mixing pot of Belgian flavors.
Cantillon’s Iris was one of 8 bottles we purchased at the Cantillon brewery in Brussels. I think its the best choice for this list because it personifies the lambic styling of Belgium.
If you like sausage or anything smoked for that matter – Aecht Schlenkerla is for you. This is the ultimate example of rauchbier. Lucky for us, we can get it almost everywhere in the US.
It kills me to know that GQ had these beers – because I have not and so badly want to…..
Leelanau White Ale
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel Route des epices
Sam Adams Utopias
Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout
Russian River Beatification
Where to start? This list of rouge ales is so impressive. Alvinne is just an all-around great brewery. Alvinne is at the cusp of progression in Belgian beer, taking a more globally influenced attitude about making beer. We visited the brewery in March and fell in love with everything they make – for some reason I still have not had a Melchio, but I do have 3 rare Oak Aged Podge’s in the cellar.
Dieu Du Ciel is the best of Canada (sorry Unibroue). All their beers are mind boggling, incorporating interesting adjuncts into the wort. This one has escaped me, and its made with peppercorns. Need to try.
Leelanau is a brewing label brewed by Ron Jefferies of Jolly Pumpkin. If you read Notes of a Beer Nerd ever, you know that we love all that he does, and this spiced white ale needs to be obtained.
Utopias is a huge 30%+ monster of “beer” that we would like to try, so that it can be compared to BrewDog’s Sink the Bismark and Nuclear Penguin, which we tried courtesy of Davey at Alvinne.
These last two are the highest on my list. Kentucky Breakfast Stout is supposedly bacon and eggs coated in bourbon – why not? Their selection of Beatification was puzzling and angering at the same time. This means they skipped over more obtainable sour ales from Russian River, such as Consecration, Temptation and Supplication – and went for the only one I cannot obtain in WA. Damn you – but thank you for reminding me to find this beer.
Two quick “wish they would have went another direction” but the brewery should be on the list…..
Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold
So, I love Great Lakes. Its a familial love too, and i am certainly an apologist. But Dortmunder is just not a great choice. Again, I understand that they are trying to pick “best of” styles, and so Dortmunder is a great lager. But, still….. I would have added Christmas Ale, another incredibly unique beer made by Great Lakes that has a cult following.
Smuttynose got selected as the barleywine on the list. Bad choice. Dogfish Head, Firestone Walker, Mikkeller – all better barleywines. They could keep Smuttynose on here though for their Wheatwine, which is by far and away the best wheatwine I have ever tried.
Any other thoughts on the beers listed on the 50 to try? Leave them below.
The week of Thanksgiving leaves Pacific North Westerners with little to do in the realm of beer events. As previously posted, Beer Blotter has a big week ahead with Big Wood Fest at Brouwer’s Cafe and Winter Ale Fest at Hale’s Brewery. But in the name of introducing your weekly event blog, the show must go on.
Around the country, the week of November 23, 2009 holds exciting places to go and beers to drink. The following events are not chosen at random, they are selected as events that if we had a transporter, a magic carpet or could travel with Doc Brown we would go.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
- Bell’s Stout Party: Minneapolis, Minnesota
7:00PM- 10:00 PM @ Bryant Lake Bowl
Enjoy Cream Stouts, Rye Stouts, Double Stouts, Java Stouts and more from Michigan’s Bell’s Brewery!
- Great Lakes Night, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
7:00PM- 10:00 PM @ The Devil’s Den
Although the beloved Christmas Ale of Great Lakes Brewing Co. will not be in attendance, the event’s draft list features Commadore Perry IPA, Burning River Pale Ale, Dortmunder Gold & Elliot Ness Lager.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
- Southern Tier Pumpking Tapping, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM @ Old Eagle Tavern
A tasting quite fitting for the day/night before Thanksgiving. Southern Tier’s Pumpking will be tapped at 7:00PM and will be served all night.
Thursday, November 26, 2009 Turkey Day!
———> Keep in mind, the Pilgrims drank beer and so should you.<————
- Boundary Bay Beer-to-Go, Bellingham, WA
10:00 AM- 2:00PM @ Boundary Bay Brewery
Head over to Boundary Bay Brewery to start your Thanksgiving day right! Grab some beer to go and head home to the feast that awaits you.
Friday, November 27, 2009
- Belgian Christmas, Dayton, Ohio
7:00 PM- 9:00 PM @ Southpark Tavern
The day after Thanksgiving marks the official start of the Christmas season and time to fully enjoy Christmas beers. Some of the featured Belgium Christmas ales are: St. Bernardus Christmas; Avec Les Bon Veoux; Scaldis Noel and Troegs Mad Elf. These beers will be tapped at opening until they run out. Should be a good drunken time. Enjoy!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
- 3rd Annual Holiday Beerfest, Omaha, Nebraska
3:00 PM- 7:00 PM @ Beertopia
For $25.00 (in advance, $30.00 day of), you receive access to more than 75 winter beers at this annual event. 4 hours of 2oz pours will put you in the holiday spirit.
- NOLA Cask Conditioned Ale, New Orleans, Louisiana
4:00 PM- 6:00 PM @ Avenue Pub
A city close to our hearts and a bar that is a must for beer lovers visiting the “Big Easy,” this event features local brewery, NOLA Brewing Company and their Brown ale, spun with oak chips and rock candy. Food recommendations: Budda’s Temptation (dried apricots stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped in bacon and deep fried- yea…that’s right)
Monday, November 30, 2009
- Movember Mustache Party, Denver, Colorado
6:00 PM- 9:00 PM @ Great Divide Brewing Company
Any event held at Great Divide Brewing Company would be worth attending. With beers such as the Chocolate and Espresso Yetis, Hercules Double IPA and the Fresh Hop Pale Ale (amongst many more), come drink up and support prostate cancer research.
To all our readers, if you attend one of these events or have an event you would like to share, please leave a comment. Beer Blotter would love feed back about beer events around the country!
Until next Monday, let us give thanks for beer and the people in our lives that we can share it with! Cheers!