Fifty Best Beers
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  Country: United States  
  Style: Pale Ale  

21st Amendment Bitter American
San Francisco, California

An excellent example of beer that does not have to be extreme to be flavorful. At only 4.4% ABV, this low alcohol beer packs more hop and malt flavor into a can than most bitter ales out there. The pale golden colored liquid is achieved using Simpson’s Golden Promise, 2-Row Pale, Munich and Crystal malts. The hop varieties used are Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe and Centennial, which yield a bright, grapefruit aroma with a particularly hoppy bite. Described as an Extra Pale Ale, this canned beer is the most flavorful sessionable beer on the market today. Originally released in the late winter/early spring months, but may soon be available for a longer duration due to its popularity.

21st Amendment Bitter American

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: Porter  

Alaskan Smoked Porter
Juneau, Alaska

Developed in 1988 as a variation on the smoked German style Rauchbier. There are five types of malts, two hop varieties, yeast and water in the this beer. Alaskan Smoked Porter is very dark in color with a distinct smokiness. The smoke flavor is woody and filled with all the nostalgia of a campfire. A definite burnt taste from coffee bitterness, roasted malt and dry finish hovering at 45 IBUs. With a sweet malty background and thick, heavily carbonated head this ale introduced many folks in the United States to smoked beer styles. This 6.5% ABV porter is a multiple award winner.

Alaskan Smoked Porter

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: Wheat - Witbier  

Allagash White
Portland, Maine

Allagash White is a rendition of the classic Belgian Wheat beer known as Wit. Hazy golden in color with a rather cloudy appearance, this ale tastes of oranges from the Curaçao orange peel and coriander spice. Allagash wanted to give this beer an “American twist”, so the hop aroma is bitter and snappy. Settles in at 5% ABV, and a great tasting match with seafood and salads (especially those with goat cheese).

Allagash White

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: IPA  

Alpine Nelson
San Diego, California

Alpine Beer Company is part of the blossoming beer domination that San Diego’s breweries have over the craft beer scene in America. Pat McIlhenney, a retired firefighter, is the owner/brewmaster in this mostly family run enterprise. Alpine Nelson is described as a Golden Rye IPA, coming in at 7.0% ABV. The ale features Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand– characteristic by a very distinct taste of lemons and white grapes. European rye is added to impart a smooth, dry finish and provides for its dark color. Nelson is a very sweet IPA with a thick, chewy mouth feel. Flavors of white grapes are present, combined with other fruit punch notes, and pine. Pine and tropical fruits are noticeable on the nose immediately upon opening this potent brew. The pungent pine bouquet will fill the room.

Alpine Nelson

 

  Country: Germany  
  Style: Lager  

Augustiner-Brau Lagerbier Hell
Munich, Germany

Founded in 1328, Augustiner is the oldest brewery in the beer mecca of Munich. The Augustiner “Helles,” or “Light” is a pale golden lager of 5.2% ABV. It has a super frothy head wafting up bready aromas. Somewhat floral from a combination of several German noble hop varieties. Cheerio-like flavors from earthy grains make it more rounded and a bit more malty than a typical traditional Pilsner style. A very delicate, smooth beer that is always refreshing on the palate.

Augustiner-Brau Lagerbier Hell

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: IPA  

Avery The Maharaja
Boulder, Colorado

The Avery Brewing Company named this IPA for the “Great Kings” of ancient India. Pouring hazy amber-orange in color, the beer is a cataclysmic collision of hop intensity and sweet malt base. Grapefruit and pinecone flavors from Simcoe, Columbus, Centennial and Chinook hops waft up from the burnt-orange waves of two-row barley malt. Maharaja has a warming sensation and hop tingle at the end of each sip from a 10.3% ABV. The exuberant flavors of fruity hops and creamy malt balance out nicely. Listed at 120 IBUs but due to additional caramel, doesn’t feel overwhelmingly bitter at all. Avery recommends trying Maharaja with shrimp cocktails.

Avery The Maharaja

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: IPA  

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
San Diego, California

Ballast Point is the only brewery with its own sport fishing team, naming beers after their passion— fish. The Sculpin is a fish known for its sweet meat and poisonous spikes. This 7% ABV IPA is similar with a very sweet malt backbone and tons of bitter hop bite. Bursting with aromas of apricot and citrus. The hop flavors are very crisp and bright, showcasing 70 IBUs. Centennial hops and all sorts of California “C” hops are most likely used in this World Beer Cup Gold Medal winner (Pale Ale category) for 2010.

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: IPA  

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA
Healdsburg, California

Located in the heart of Napa Valley wine country is California’s own brewery, Bear Republic. At the top of every page of their website it proclaims that they have the “Best IPA in the U.S.A.” And they might be right. Bright citrus hop flavors bite into your tongue on the first sip. A marriage of grapefruit, grass and bittersweet hops balance nicely with the sweet American pale and crystal malts. Very full-bodied amber colored ale with an assault of “C” hops- Chinook, Cascade, Columbus and Centennial— register at 75 IBUs. At 7% ABV this is one of the most balanced, bright and floral IPAs in the country. Winner of the 2009 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal in the American Style Strong Pale Ale category.

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: IPA  

Bell's Two-Hearted Ale
Kalamazoo, Michigan

Bell's Brewery turns out very exceptional brews as is evident in their IPA, Two-Hearted Ale. The Centennial hop variety from the Pacific Northwest is showcased with its grapefruit notes and piney taste. An unbeatable, crisp flavor that can rise over the hot flavors in spicy dishes or be enjoyed alone by a true hophead. Exactly 7% ABV, the Two-Hearted is amazingly balanced with sweet malt and bitter hops in what can only be described as natural synthesis.

Bell's Two-Hearted Ale

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: Saison  

Boulevard Saison-Brett
Kansas City, Missouri

The Missouri-based Boulevard Brewing Company makes a delicious bottle conditioned saison with Brettanomyces yeast, aged for three months prior to its release. Tank 7, another more frequently available saison from Boulevard, is the basis for this funky farmhouse ale. The Saison-Brett is an even more aggressively hopped take on a saison with the Brettanomyces yeast as the star of the show. Citrus-peel aromas and funky, spicy flourishes abound. The aroma comes out like hay in a barnyard or fruit at market. A bit of the 8.5% alcohol seeps through the funky earthiness of this ale to give a warming taste towards the end.

Boulevard Saison-Brett

 

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