Three beers that were mentioned so often, they are in a class by themselves: the rare beers that everyone knows about, but few can buy.
Alaskan Smoked Porter, Alaskan Brewing Co. (Juneau, AK)
One of the most award-winning beers in the world, produced annually since 1988 from malt smoked at a Juneau salmon smokery.
Wisconsin Belgian Red, New Glarus Brewing Co (New Glarus, WI)
A sour fruited beer flavored with cherries. The brewery has pulled back distribution and the beer―and its companion, Raspberry Tart―is now available only in Wisconsin. This is the fruit beer that wins over skeptics.
Westvleteren 12, Brouwerij Westvleteren (Westvleteren, Belgium)
The fuss surrounding this Trappist ale could be dismissed as hype, except that the beer amazes drinkers with its complexity and nuance. It is available only at the monastery where it is brewed and a shop nearby.
Julie Johnson is the technical editor of All About Beer Magazine.