Readers’ Favorite Beers
To understand the real diversity of American beer, walk no further than a beer-lover’s refrigerator. We heard from over four-hundred beer drinkers about the beer they enjoy on a routine basis; the beer they save for a special meal; and the beer they save, period. However, the comment that summed up your love of beer and the camaraderie it generates came from one reader: “I don’t jealously guard any of my beer: beer is for sharing.” Thanks for sharing your favorites with us: here are a hundred of them, with many more delicious choices on the web, www.allaboutbeer.com
What beer do you keep in the fridge?
Budweiser, Anheuser Busch, St. Louis, MO. The most consistent brewery.
Guinness Stout, Arthur Guinness & Son, Dublin, Ireland. Desert island situation, etc., this’d be the One Tap.
Two Hearted Ale, Bell’s/Kalamazoo Brewing Co., Galesburg, MI. Possibly the best IPA I’ve tasted…
Bitburger, Bitburger Brauerei, Bitburg, Germany. This stuff gets a unique kick to it; a very good German beer.
Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Boston Beer Co., Boston, MA. The go-to beer for 20 years.
Budvar/Czechvar, Brewery Budweiser Budvar, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic. The best lager in the world, which is saying a lot because I don’t like too many lagers.
Blonde Doppelbock, Capitol Brewery, Middleton, WI. Malt, malt, and more malt—but balanced!
Coors Original, Coors Brewing Co., Golden, CO. The best combination of American style “drinkability” and Old World ingredients, purity, and flavor.
Yuengling Traditional Lager, D.G. Yuengling & Son, Pottsville, PA. Just a good, basic, satisfying, quality brew.
60 Minute IPA, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE. Best “no second thought beer” on the market!
Doggie Style Pale Ale, Flying Dog Brewery, Denver, CO. Consistently good—hopped, but well-balanced.
Pale Ale, Flying Fish Brewing Co., Cherry Hill, NJ.
Fosters Special Bitter, Fosters, Australia. This is my idea of a “session beer”—a not-overwhelming taste, goes down smooth, some hops
Wild Goose India Pale Ale, Frederick Brewing Co., Frederick, MD. Wild Goose IPA is not an over-the-top hop bomb, just a well balanced true-to-style IPA I can drink several of without losing my taste buds. The best!
Honkers Ale, Goose Island Beer Co., Chicago, IL. Beautiful hop aroma; so well balanced all around.
Harpoon IPA, Harpoon Brewing Co., Boston, MA. My mass-brewed guilty pleasure.
Berghoff Dark, Josef Huber, Monroe, WI. Tastes like a craft beer, at a price anyone can afford.
Stegmeier Porter, The Lion Brewery, Wilkes-Barre, PA. Drinking it for forty+ years.
Blind Faith, Magic Hat Brewing Co., Burlington, VT. Excellent usage of hops. Ringwood yeast plays a nice role in adding a light fruitiness to accentuate the dry-hopped Cascades, which are not overplayed.
Old Speckled Hen, Morland, Green King, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England. Wonderful session beer. Great on cask.
Fat Tire Amber Ale, New Belgium Brewing Co., Ft. Collins, CO. Micro/brewpub taste and quality anytime, anywhere. I compare all others to this.
Hazelnut Brown Nectar, Rogue Ales, Newport, OR. So smooth and tasty.
Newcastle Brown Ale, Scottish & Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, England. A great everyday beer.
Export Ale, Shipyard Brewing Co., Portland, ME. Great all around beer, great for the fridge, family and friends.
Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, CA. A classic west coast American pale ale.
Old Brown Dog, Smuttynose Brewing Co., Portsmith, NH. From little Rhode Island I have only found two stores that carry it. Old Brown Dog Ale is robust and flowing with tons of flavor. I only drink one, due to the prize-winning taste that I cherish.
American Style Pale Ale, Stoudt’s Brewing Co., Allentown, PA. We call it “Flag Beer,” as it has a large flag on the label.
Extra Pale Ale, Summit Brewing Co., Minneapolis, MN. Refreshing pale ale; smooth bitterness with a lingering roughness. This well-balanced amber hued ale is drinkable from the tap all day.
Sweetwater IPA, Sweetwater Brewing Co., Atlanta, GA. I buy bottled in Atlanta, drink draft at the 5 Points Grill in Birmingham.
Alpha King Pale Ale, Three Floyds Brewing, Munster, IN. of the best things about living in Indiana.
Hopdevil Ale, Victory Brewing Co., Downingtown, PA. When I was still new to “craft beer,” I would drink this often, and still do! Very well balanced.
Hobgoblin, Wychwood Brewery, Witney, Oxford, England. Always have a private stock of this one. When a friend is over and has never heard of it, I break it out and they are hooked instantly.
Yards Philadelphia Ale, Yards Brewing, Philadelphia, PA. Good every day beer.
What do you buy for a special meal?
La Chouffe, Brasserie d’Achouffe, Achouffe, Belgium. Goes great with seafood.
Liberty Ale, Anchor Brewing Co., San Francisco, CA. I will commute 45 minutes by subway to one special bar called Mug’s in Brooklyn, NY that pours the best imperial pint of Anchor Liberty outside of San Francisco.
Boonville Oatmeal Stout, Anderson Valley Brewing, Boonville, CA. Flavor!!
Avery IPA, Avery Brewing Co., Boulder, CO. Drank the beer in Boulder, loved it. Met owner Adam Avery, great guy. I personally stumped at beer stores and distributors in Michigan to get it here—it’s here!
Celebrator Doppelbock, Ayinger Brauerei, Aying, Germany. My first favorite; others are Aventinus, Schlenkerla rauchbiers…
Black Chocolate Stout, Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, NY. A great dessert beer, absolutely fabulous!
Rose De Gambrinus, Brasserie Cantillon, Brussels, Belgium. Goes incredibly well with salads and food involving cilantro. An excellent lambic/gueuze representation.
Carnegie Porter, Carlsberg Brewery, Falkenberg, Sweden. My favorite.
Abbey Brown, Brouwerij Corsendonk, Oud-Turnhout, Belgium. The Donk!
Hoegaarden, Brouwerij De Kluis, Hoegaarden, Belgium. Two bottles last the meal and night!
120 Minute IPA, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE. I keep trying to cellar some…but keep inventing special occasions to visit the cache. Safety deposit box, maybe?
Moinette, Brasserie Dupont, Tourpes-Leuze, Belgium. Be sure to drink with enough time to truly appreciate all this wonderful brew has to offer.
The Wise, Elysian Brewing, Seattle, WA.
Flying Fish Pale Ale, Flying Fish Brewing Co., Cherry Hills, NJ. I love the bitter taste of this beer. I only get it when I can afford it (yeah I’m in college).
Hefe Weizen, Franziskaner, Munich, Germany.
London Pride, Fuller, Smith & Turner, London, England.
Aventinus Weizenbock, Georg Schneider & Sohn, Kelheim, Germany. Almost like great wine with meats.
Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Great Lakes Brewing Co., Cleveland, OH. Best micro in the lakes.
Fraoch Heather Ale, Heather Ale Ltd., Strathaven, Scotland. An interesting taste sensation. Reserved for special times. It is well worth the anticipation.
Heineken, Heineken, Amsterdam, Holland.
Kashmir IPA, Highland Brewing Co., Asheville, NC. A well-balanced IPA. It’s not overwhelming hoppy like the West Coast IPAs, so it goes really nice with a spicy meal or with a nice array of cheeses.
Schwarzbier, Köstritzer Schwartzbierbrauerei, Thüringen, Germany.
Milk Stout, Lancaster Brewing Co., Lancaster, PA. An unusual style. Drink it instead of dessert.
Steelhead Scotch Porter, Mad River Brewing Co., Blue Lake, CA. Excellent with barbequed anything.
Duvel Belgian Golden Ale, Brouwerij Moortgat, Puurs, Belgium. Smooth, yet thick with flavor.
PranQster Belgian Style Golden Ale, North Coast Brewing Co., Ft. Bragg, CA.
Oak Barrel Stout, Old Dominion Brewing Co., Ashburn, VA. Aged in Jack Daniels barrel wood chips; this beer rocks!
Orval Trappist Ale, Brasserie d’Orval S.A., Villers-devant-Orval, Belgium. World class, even better over there in person. At $5 for an 11 ounce bottle, definitely my treat beer. Incredible character, nice hop and malt blend—wonderful dry finish.
Hefeweizen, Paulaner, Munich, Germany. Nice, smooth hefe.
Rebel Garnet, Rebel, Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic. Excellent flavored beer
Brutal Bitter, Rogue Ales, Newport, OR, I love it! No one I know who has tried it likes it. More for me!
Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout, Samuel Smith’s, The Old Brewery, Tadcaster, England.
Optimator, Spaten, Munchen, Germany.
Winter Oatmeal Stout, Tröegs Brewing Co., Harrisburg, PA. My love for stout makes it difficult to keep a “house” beer because most visitors don’t like stout…coincidence?
Merry Monks Belgian Ale, Weyerbacher Brewery, Easton, PA. A pronounced freshness, with dry crispness. Fantastic with burgers off the grill.
What beer do you guard jealously?
Speedway Stout, AleSmith Brewing Co., San Diego, CA. Beer doesn’t get any more flavorful than this.
Michelob Ultra, Anheuser Busch, St. Louis, MO. Michelob Ultra is by far the best low carb beer on the market. This is a beer that you can sit back and enjoy with out feeling like you’re missing out on a smooth taste.
Hog Heaven Barley Wine, Avery Brewing Co., Boulder, CO. Everyone gets a kick out of the label and a kick out of the beer.
Deus Brut des Flandres, Brouwerij Bosteels, Buggenhout, Belgium.
Samuel Adams Utopias, Boston Beer Co., Boston, MA. Warms you up on a cold Chicago night.
Chimay Grand Reserve (Blue), Chimay, Abbeye de Notre-Dame de Scourmont, Belgium. I (heart) Chimay.
World Wide Stout, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE. One year-old WWS for friends; two year-old WWS for good friends.
Samichlaus, Eggenberg (formerly from Hürlimann), Eggenberg, Austria. I bought 10 bottles of 1994 from a small “ma and pa” store for a $1 a piece. If they’re port drinkers, then I have won them over.
Double Barrel Ale, Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, CA. Hard to find outside California, so I stock up when I can, and drink on very special occasions. The best beer I’ve had.
Leviathan, Fish Brewing, Olympia, WA. Complex barley wine, sure to satisfy the desert wine/aperitif drinker. Warming, raisiny.
Gueuze Marriage Parfait, Brouwerij Frank Boon, Lembeek, Belgium.
Fred, Hair of the Dog Brewing Co., Portland, OR, Intense!!
Cinderbock Lager, Heavyweight Brewing Co., Ocean Township, NJ. A smoky bock—excellent!
J.W. Lee’s Harvest Ale, J.W. Lee’s & Co. Manchester, England. These are like fine vintage wines.
Delirium Tremens, Brewery Huyghe, Melle, Belgium. If the bottle doesn’t freak them out, the 10% will do the job.
Belzebuth, Brasserie Jeanne d’Arc, Ronchin Lille, France.
Fire Rock Pale Ale, Kona Brewing Co., Kona, HI. My wife and I fell in love with this beer while in Hawaii. We order it every year.
Lindemans Framboise, Lindemans, Ulesenbeck, Belgium. The King!
Wisconsin Belgian-style Red, New Glarus Brewing Co., New Glarus, WI. I always have fun turning wine lovers on to this beer. They are always shocked at the flavor and balance of this brew.
Thomas Hardy’s Ale, O’Hanlons (formerly from Eldridge Pope), Clyst St. Lawrence, England. A true cellar beer.
Porter, Okocim, Brzesko, Poland. Not much left of this amazing beer.
Three Philosophers, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY. A wonderful example of what a beer can be.
Rochefort 10, Rochefort, Abbaye de Notre Dame de St. Remy, Belgium. Top of the top! Fell in love with it in Belgium (some lady in a shoppe in Antwerp got it from the brewery weekly!) At $8 for an 11-ounce bottle here, it’s worth every penny. “Daddy Candy” in a glass!
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Weizen, Schlenkerla, Bamberg, Germany. “Eww, it tastes like smoked salmon!” Oh well, more for me!
Celebration Ale, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, CA. I still have bottles of the 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1996 and 1993 vintages.
Arrogant Bastard Ale, Stone Brewing Co., San Marcos, CA. only the brave need apply.
La Fin du Monde, Unibroue, Chambly, Québec, Canada. Powerful and smooth.
Westmalle Triple, Westmalle, Abdij der Trappisten, Belgium. Great beer, but so hard to find.
Westvleteren 8, Westvleteren, Abdij Sint Sixtus, Belgium. I would have to say the best beer in the world. I prefer the 8 (Dubbel) to the 12 (Strong Dark).
Double Chocolate Stout, Young and Co. Brewery, Wandsworth, London, England. A beer with chocolate? That’s the usual reaction I get. Will they ever learn?