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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Our top 5 best beers of 2011

It is New Years Eve, the last day of 2011. This year has been a lot of things to many people, but for beer drinkers it has been a pretty decent year.  All this week we have been reading the best/ worst articles floating around the news and the internet.  We decided to compile one of our own from the best of category. As stated before in this blog, beer is subjective. Like food, it has memories that go with it and make it special, time and place become important. The beer experience is enhanced by the surroundings, the people, and your state of mind. With that in mind we each tackled the answer slightly differently.  

Brian Smith
Westvleteren beers are considered
some of the best in the world...
we didn't have any of those this year.

The first beer on a long vacation (This time it was an Old Dominion Aviator Amber)

Dark Helmet Schwartzbier at Titletown Brewery in Green Bay, Wisconsin

New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale, now readily available in northern Virginia.

Yuengling Traditional Lager, the house beer of the Smiths.

Jessica a.k.a Loverfishy

Red Eye Almost 100% Organic Pumpkin Ale. Pumpkin pie spice and aged over graham crackers (like their holiday ale was too) Pumpkin pie in a glass…I don’t even like pumpkin pie, and I couldn’t get enough

Rogue Juniper Pale Ale – Tastes like a pine tree in a glass according to my dad. To me, an IPA addict, that’s a pretty awesome thing. I discovered it at the Chocolate Moose in Ely, Minnesota of all places.

Lagunitas Maximus IPA – My absolute favorite IPA. Not very common in the upper Midwest, I get a bit excited when I luck out and find it on tap somewhere. Super hoppy, but still balanced, and not as much of a pucker-up aftertaste as the other superhopped IPAs.

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter – Yeah, quite a few places make a vanilla porter, but this was deep, rich, and smooth. One of the best I’ve tried.

I have to give number five a non-beer honorable mention to Stranahan’s Colorado whisky. Went on a distillery tour…cool place, and it’s owned by the guy who founded Flying Dog Brewery. The whisky is superb…buttery and smooth.

Skye Marthaler

New Glarus Stone Soup – This is my favorite beer and anytime I can get back to Wisconsin and find it makes me a happy man. I made it back this last May and brought a case back east with me. I don't know if New Glarus will be producing this in 2012 and if not that really sucks. 

Shmaltz He'brew Jewbelation 15 – A revelation and by far the best holiday beer I had. I recently got a second bottle to age out and I am looking forward to Jewbelation 16. I shared this with my father-in-law over Christmas.

Bruery Coton – Shared this with my best friend Rob back in May. We didn’t know what we had, it was my first Bruery experience, but we enjoyed the hell out that bottle. Maybe I should have aged that bottle but if you can’t share a ridiculously good beer with your best friend then fuck off. Seriously.

Dogfish Head Theobroma – Shared this with my brother Cody and his friend Matt while playing Settlers of Catan in September the night before we went to the Packers - Panthers game in Charolotte. It was delicious and both Cody and I are searching for another bottle of it.

Shiner Ruby Redbird – I drank gallons of this over the summer. I don’t know why it grabbed me like it did, but once it got a hold on me it became my go to summer beer. I still have one bottle left in the fridge that I will break out early next year on a cold winter’s day to remind me that summer does come back.

Honorable Mentions: New Glarus Spotted Cow in the stands at Lambeau Field and the Red Eye Rye Porter at the tailgate earlier that day.  

So there you go, our favorites or "best" beers of 2011. What were yours? Tell us down in the comments!

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