I spent 2008 drinking a lot of lousy beers. But it wasn’t my fault.
Candis and I shared the responsibility of bringing home the coveted puffy vest that comes with completing The Winking Lizard’s beer tour. We got a late start (February 29) but finished last Tuesday – with roughly 36 hours to spare.
We weren’t that smart and saved all the bad beers for the end. Nonetheless, we finished. And I can say, that after 100 beers, my favorites are safe. Not one came close to even cracking the top five. Too many fruity, yeasty, crazy beers. That might be part of the reason why you are able to choose your beers this year (from a list of 150).
It did impact my top five list though. It got me thinking – here I am trying all these beers and I’m denying myself the ones I like the best. So, without further ado, here is my tribute to the old faithful brews that will always hold a place in my heart – and my list.
1. Fat Tire. (New Belgium) [previously: no. 1] No change here. Still the best tasting, smoothest beer I’ve ever had. Now, if I could just get them to ship that stuff east of Chicago, I’d be happy.
2. Yuengling Lager. (Yuengling) [previously: no.3] Despite a strong late-season surge from his brother, Black and Tan, I have to keep the Lager here, sound and secure at number two.
3. Christmas Ale. (Great Lakes Brewing Company) [previously: no.4] Despite a weaker than normal showing this Christmas, I find myself appreciating this beer more and more every year.
4. Oktoberfest. (Samuel Adams) [previously: no.2] Dropping a tad because of the great showing Great Lakes Oktoberfest had this year. And I’m starting to look forward to Samuel Adams Winter Lager a little more. Not sure if it’ll hold on next year.
5. New Castle Brown. (New Castle) [previously: unranked] Oh my this was hard. There are so many beers right there at number five – not to mention the one it bumped – Honker’s Ale (Goose Island). However, like I said in the beginning, I had an appreciation for those beers I just plain like. And I find myself defaulting to New Castle more and more.
Now, like I said, the final spot was hard. So hard that I have to mention the cluster that is 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, etc., etc.: Honker’s Ale, Samuel Adams Winter Lager, Yuengling Black and Tan, Great Lakes Oktoberfest, Great Lakes Conway’s Irish, Shiner Bock, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada ESB, Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, Bell’s Pale Ale and….LaBatt’s! Yea, I said it.
What do you like?