1. Heady Topper (The Alchemist)
Quote: Since it came to my attention two weeks ago that Heady Topper has been named the best beer in America and the best IPA in the world by some beer rating outlets, it became my unbridled mission to get my hands on a can during my Vermont trip. I finally acquired a couple cans in a trade. It was quite tasty! Had the first can from a glass, beautiful hazy orange gold, nice hoppy aroma, citrusy piney taste but a little weaker than expected. Second came from the can and definitely much better, taste lingered on the palate, very smooth texture. A very good brew!
2. Dark Lord (Three Floyds)
Quote: A demonic Russian-Style Imperial Stout brewed with coffee, Mexican vanilla, and Indian sugar, this beer defies description. Available one day a year, in April at the brewery: Dark Lord Day. I’ve personally tried this and I loved it, the luxurious taste was too much to handle.
3. Schneider Weisse Unser Aventinus.
Quote:Dark-ruby colored wheat doppelbock with a creamy fine head. Strong notes of ripe bananas, raisins and plums meet liquorice and roasty aromes. Full-bodied and warming, with a well-balanced and smooth finish. The ideal companion for hearty roast meat, venison and also fruity chocolate desserts, “Kaiserschmarrn” (pancakes), “Elisenlebkuchen” (christmas cookies) or blue cheese. I’ve done this with a group of friends, this was one of the first I ever tried.
4. Westvleteren XII
Quote: Westvleteren has the smallest output of the Trappist breweries, with only a small part of their production available outside of Belgium. I’ve never personally tried this but speaking to my father he recommend me to add this to the list.
5. The Abyss (Deschutes Brewery)
Quote: This special Reserve Series brew will only be offered December – February (limited distribution)
The Abyss: Stout brewed with licorice and molasses with 33% aged in oak and oak bourbon barrels. It’s dark. It’s deep. It’s mysterious. Aged in French Oak and Bourbon barrels, this special brew has immeasureable depth inviting you to explore and discover its rich, complex profile. The flavor of molasses and licorice draw you in further and further with each sip. The Abyss beckons. Enjoy the journey.
6. Pliny the Elder (Russian River Brewing Co.)
Quote: Pliny the Elder was a Roman naturalist, scholar, historian, traveler, officer, and writer. Pliny died in 79 AD while observing the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. He was immortalized by his nephew, Pliny the Younger, who continued his uncle’s legacy by documenting much of what he observed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Pliny the Elder, the beer, is brewed with 40% more malt and over twice the amount of hops as compared to our already hoppy IPA. I have also tried this not too long ago since my family are Russian and we have family back there who send us packages monthly. Cannot say this doesn’t belong here, one of the best ones by this company..
7. Pliny the Younger (Russian River Brewing Co.)
Quote: Pliny the Younger was Pliny the Elder’s nephew, in the case of this beer, the “Younger” is a triple IPA. Pliny the Younger is hopped three times more than our standard IPA, and is dry hopped four different times. Same as the previous one but just a bit more sour. I’ve tried this also.
8. Trappistes Rochefort 10
Quote: The top product from the Rochefort Trappist brewery. Dark color, full and very impressive taste. Strong plum, raisin, and black currant palate, with ascending notes of viciousness and other complexities. Never personally tried this but it’s definitely on my to-do list.
9. Rogue Chipotle Ale
Quote: Deep golden in color with a tight head, rich malty aroma, delicately smooth and crisp flavor, and subtle chipotle chili finish. This was another recommendation from my father, he has drunk over 200 different types and I’ve done just under 3/4 of that.
10. Dogfish Head
Quote: You could eat straight hop pellets, or you could drink a 120 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head. While it might be better to relax in front of the TV with a bottle of 60 Minute or 90 Minute, the high alcohol and IBUs are worth the headache the next morning.
11. Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout
Quote:Founders is one of those breweries you can always rely on for consistently good beers. Their CBS (not to be confused with the also awesome, KBS) may be their finest.
12. Saison Dupont
Quote: Saisons have been hot for a bit, and if you want to try the gold standard, you’d be wise to get your palms on some from the Dupont brewery. It’s easy drinking after a day of working in the fields.
13. Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen
Quote: Because you’ve always wanted to drink the smell of your grill, there’s this smoked beer from Germany. While it’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea (or pint of lager), it is something you should swig at least once.
14. AleSmith Speedway Stout
Quote: If you’re the kinda guy who seriously enjoys his espresso, Speedway Stout from AleSmith in San Diego is right up your alley. It sports an incredible coffee profile that any coffee and beer fan will enjoy.
15. Lips of Faith – La Folie (New Belgium Brewing)
Quote:If you want to ease into sour beers, this is not the place to start. It’s super sour, but – at least in our book – super delicious. Personal favourite of my father.
16. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
Quote:An incredible IPA that you don’t have to hit the lottery to get in your fridge. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale boasts a hefty hop aroma with the perfect amount of sweetness.
17. Darkness (Surly Brewing Co.)
Quote:You want big flavor, you got big flavor. Surly’s Darkness is not a Russian Imperial Stout to mess around with. It’s chocolatey with a bunch of nuances that any beer fan would appreciate.
18. Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek
Quote:Lambics are not often considered the manliest of beers, but you can’t hide deliciousness. This Kriek lambic from Cantillon won’t win you many points with frat bros, but you’ll be laughing to the bottom of each cherry flavored glass.
19. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier
Quote:If you don’t speak German, just point at the bottle or tap and hide your pride at the door. It’s worth it. This is the classic German Hefe which all others should be measured against.
20. Cable Car (The Lost Abbey)
Quote:A funktastic American wild that packs a sour punch. If you’re the kind of guy who bites into straight grapefruit, this is a beer worth storing in your collection.
21. Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
Quote:As far as porters go, you could do far, far worse than this brew from GreatLakes.
22. Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale (Sierra Nevada)
Quote:On a cold winter night, this is the beer we reach for. It’s exactly what you want in a robust brew.
23. Peche Mortel (Dieu du Ciel)
Quote:Another one for the coffee nuts. Peche Mortel (French for “Mortal Sin”) is an Imperial Stout that acquires a lot of its flavor from the fair-trade coffee it’s infused with.
24. Sam Adams Utopias
Quote:Who is ready to get wrecked? If you raised your hand, save up and search out Sam Adams Utopias. At 27% ABV it’s more like a light bourbon. Of course, that’s part of the fun.
25. Zombie Dust (Three Floyds)
Quote:A just flat-out great pale ale from Three Floyds. It’s hoppy, fruity, and should be a summertime staple if you can get it.