Fifty Best Beers
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  Country: United States  
  Style: Wild Ale  

Lost Abbey Cable Car
San Marcos, California

Cable Car from Lost Abbey Brewing is a division of Port Brewing, the highly decorated brewpub and brewery in Southern California. With a cabinet full of awards to display their pedigree, the brewers set out to create a sour ale for their friends at Toronados, a preeminent beer bar in San Francisco. Cable Car is sour from the funky Brettanomyces yeast, providing an acidic sour quality and dry, earthy finish (think sour dough bread). There is a load of lemon tang on this medium bodied, well-carbonated 7% ABV ale. Aptly celebrates Toronados’ 20-year reign over the San Francisco beer culture.

Lost Abbey Cable Car

 

  Country: Denmark  
  Style: Imperial Stout  

Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel
København, Denmark

Mikkell Borg Bjergsø is a Danish gypsy brewer that has an obsession with high quality beers crafted from the finest ingredients. He travels around spreading beer love and the gospel of craft beer, but he doesn’t have his own brewery. Beer Geek Brunch Weasel is an imperial stout brewed at the Nøgne Ø brewing facility in Arendal, Norway. The rich dark ale is made with the world’s most expensive coffee beans that have been sifted out of the droppings of weasel-like civet cats. Southeast Asian civet cats eat and digest only the choicest berries that are ripe and ready. These rare coffee beans are strong in taste, highly aromatic and very acidic. There are tons of burnt malt, bitter coffee aromas and flavors on this 10.9% ABV stout. A mellow citrus hop flavor up front that is almost completely overridden by pungent coffee flavors. Perfect with a scoop of coffee ice cream.

Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: Pilsener  

Moonlight Reality Czeck-Style Pils
Fulton, California

Reality Czeck is the Moonlight Brewing Company's ode to western Czech-style lagers. At 4.9% ABV, this is a typical pilsner with its very golden color and slight floral snappiness from Bohemian heritage hops. The beer is soft and delicate with subtle grassy notes and overall grainy taste. Clean and extremely sessionable, Reality Czeck proves that a light beer can still be full of flavor and invigorating to the senses.

Moonlight Reality Czeck-Style Pils

 

  Country: United States  

New Glarus Belgian Red
New Glarus, Wisconsin

New Glarus Brewing Company is a Wisconsin State staple. The beers of New Glarus are not distributed very far from where they are brewed, making Wisconsin an unlikely travel destination for beer enthusiasts the world over. The Belgian Red is brewed with whole Montmorency cherries found in Door County, Wisconsin. Hallertau hops, Wisconsin local wheat and Belgian roasted barleys are blended before being stored in oak tanks and aged for a year. There is over a pound of cherries in every bottle. The ale is bright, ruby red in color and bursting with cherry flavors and cherry aromas. The tart cherry quality is the main component with a very smooth, vanilla-like oaky finish. Only 4% ABV, but packed with layers of flavor. The carbonation is a nice counterpoint to the puckering sour cherry flavor. New Glarus calls the Belgian Red, “the marriage of wine and beer.” Great pairing with sorbet or raw sheep’s milk cheeses.

New Glarus Belgian Red

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: Imperial Stout  

North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
Fort Bragg, California

North Coast Brewing Company pays tribute to the original ales shipped from England to the Russian Imperial Courts with their Old Rasputin Stout. Accompanied by flavors that never fade and a 9% ABV, this stout packs a wallop. “Old Raspy” has a thin, nutty brown head and rich sweet aroma. A combination of roasted malts and chocolate flavors conceal a very warming, bitter taste. A fine balance of coffee bitterness, bold cocoa flavors and a hop bite in the back leaves the palate craving for desserts to pair with. This big stout is a great addition to a moist chocolate cake or rich pudding.

North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: Scottish Ale  

Odell 90 Shilling Ale
Fort Collins, Colorado

The flagship ale from Odell Brewing Company, introduced at the brewery’s opening party back in 1989. 90 Shilling is a lighter take-off on the traditional Scottish ale style. The Scottish method of naming beer is based on original gravity and the resulting taxes issued. A 5.3% ABV shows that this is not true Scottish ale, but a modern version that is not alcohol laden and heavy like its predecessors. An amber colored body with a light tan head conjures up aromas of dark fruits and sweet caramel. Toasty flavors and smooth finish make this ale extremely drinkable.

Odell 90 Shilling Ale

 

  Country: Belgium  
  Style: Pale Ale  

Orval Trappist Ale
Villers-devant-Orval, Belgium

The story behind this ale goes something like this: Matilda of Tuscany, who was to be betrothed into the royal family of the region, lost her gold ring in a pool of water. She prayed frantically for its return. A trout answered her wishes and popped out of the water procuring the ring in its mouth. The princess promised to build a monastery to commemorate the miracle. The Abbey D’ Notre-Dame d’ Orval was built on the site by the pool of water and is considered one of the seven official Trappist breweries in the world where the beer and its business is still run by monks. The only style of beer produced by this monastery is a hazy-orange, almost copper ale. Orval has a large, rambunctious head that gives off waves of damp, earthly aromas. Apples, blossoms and leather waft upwards on the nose. The taste is slightly tart at first, before yielding to a splendid show of apples, pears and grassy essences. The finish is relatively smooth and creamy. It is hard to pigeonhole Orval ale into a particular style category with its unique taste amongst the normal Trappist beer styles. Orval is balanced and dry with slight earthy, tart notes and a leathery must from the use of Brettanomyces yeast strain. The monks claim the beer will be good for up to five years, and the beer’s character changes radically with aging, becoming even more tart with less snappy hop bite.

Orval Trappist Ale

 

  Country: United States  
  Style: Imperial Stout  

Oskar Blues Ten FIDY
Lyons, Colorado

Oskar Blues Brewing Company describes their big imperial stout as, “the beer equivalent of decadently rich milkshake made with whopper malted-milk balls and heaven’s best chocolate ice cream.” It has a quickly dissipating chestnut-brown colored head with aromas of malt chocolate and licorice. There is a surprising hop bitterness that cuts through everything up front. The bitterness continues from roasted malts, as well. As the name Ten FIDY implies, it’s at 10.50% ABV. Warm with alcohol flavor on the finish, but never overly boozy. Made with two-row malts, chocolate malts, roasted barley, flaked oats and hops. The hop bite provides a 98 IBU bitterness reading. Wave after wave of chocolate goodness fills every sip. Ten FIDY is the best stout in a can.

Oskar Blues Ten FIDY

 

  Country: Belgium  
  Style: Quadrupel  

Pannepot Reserva
Oostvoteren, Belgium

This dark Belgian Strong Ale came about when the head brewer of De Struise Brouwers and his colleagues formed an idea to age Pannepot, their flagship ale, in oak barrels. The beer pours a deep mahogany color with a very thin grayish, off-white head. A strong bouquet of figs leads with a tart and sulfurous aroma. Dark fruit flavors exhibit a deep mellowness from the oak aging. Pannepot Reserva becomes dry about halfway through and remains extremely dry to the finish, with a hint of tobacco leaf.

Pannepot Reserva

 

  Country: Germany  
  Style: Kolsch  

Reissdorf Kölsch
Cologne, Germany

In Cologne, the land of Kölsch style, this beer is simply a head above the rest. Kölsch is warm fermented like an ale but then cold stored like a lager. This provides for Kölsch’s light color and taste, not as bitter as other German pale lagers. The Reissdorf Kölsch is straw yellow in color, crisp and clean on the palate, with a snappy hop bite and lemon-like zestiness. An aroma of almost spring-like floralness is omnipresent. Brauerei Heinrich Reissdorf has a tradition dating back to 1894 in making this 4.8% ABV sessionable brew.

Reissdorf Kölsch

 

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