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Thursday, February 9, 2012

These favored few…Skye's favorite beers of all time

“Beer, it’s personal.” 

My friend Kim told me that a few weeks ago while I was rambling about some beer topic like I'm prone to do. Like a lot of truths it was succinct and deep all in one go. We talk about the two tenets of this blog every so often, how beer should always be approachable and how there is a time and place for every beer. Now I think there is room for the “Beer, it’s personal” statement as a third tenet, because let’s face it, beer is personal. It can bring back memories, sights, smells, sounds and everything else. Beer gets tied to a time and place like only food can. With that in mind it is time to talk about our favorites.

So the challenge put for the members of the Jolly Good Fellows was this: name your five favorite beers of all time. Not the event, such as the first beer of vacation, or a style, but the actual beer and why you return to it when you can.

If there is a theme in mine it is beer that was formative to how I approach it now, going through my list, each one of these now serves a standard bearer for what I expect from beer

I only have one more bottle of this beer.
I enjoyed this one on New Years this year
New Glarus Stone Soup – This is my favorite beer hands down. It does so many things for me and it always takes me back home to Wisconsin. If you told me that I could only drink one more beer in my lifetime, I am going to choose this one because I know that I will enjoy it. I’ll be incredibly disappointed if New Glarus stops brewing this at some point.

Fraoch Heather Ale – This was the beer where I really felt I was starting to venture out into a much greater and impressive world of beer. It had history on its side, unique ingredients, and tasted so good and different than anything else up to that point. It gave me a confidence to continue to expand my beer horizons. A few years after I had encountered this beer in the states I had this on draught in Edinburgh and it was otherworldly delicious. I haven’t had a bottle in several months; I think it is time to remedy that.

New Glarus Spotted CowReliable and refreshing, I have drunk many gallons of this. 
Spotted Cow is a hard working beer that doesn’t do anything spectacular but it has become iconic in the state of Wisconsin. If I only could have one session beer for the rest of my life this would be the beer chosen.

Lindemans Cassis - I have no one but my friend Rob to thank for this entry. I heard Rob tell stories about his brief time in France drinking Lindemans Kriek so often that when I did stumble across a bottle in JRs in Stevens Point it was immediately purchased and drank. It was a revelation; soon after I had tried the peche and framboise. It was the Cassis though that was really captivating and stays so to this day. For me the black currants make it a much more rewarding beer. Sweet lambics may get pushed around a bit by beer snobs now but I’ll never forget that these were my doorway into that awesome world. There is a bottle in my fridge right now.

Central Waters Satin Solstice Imperial Stout – Mackeson’s introduced me to the dark world of stouts, but this beer stole my heart. I know that there are better stouts out there, hell I’ve even had a few of them, but when it comes time to measure how good they are they are all compared to this one. Hence the reason it was the first review for stout month!

Honorable Mentions

New Glarus Solstice – This beer has been retired for years and in my opinion every wheat style beer New Glarus has brewed since doesn’t measure up to my memory of the Solstice.

Shiner Ruby Redbird –This turned out to be the summer beer I never knew I was actually looking for all along.  

Let's see yours in the comments and come back tomorrow to see Sarah's five favorites.

1 comment:

  1. Hook & Ladder Golden Ale. Being from a firefighting background, this beer is special to me because some of their proceeds go towards assisting burn victims.   

    A newly added favorite is Allagash Four. I first picked out this one based off of a recommendation from a friend. It really blew me away with it's flavor. Since I am new to the micro brews the one tops the list 

    Dogfish Head, Shelter Pale Ale comes in third. It's kinda the first micro brew that I tasted from the microbrew scene when my wife took me out on a date during my first trip to Va. 

    Guinness Stout has and always will share a place in my heart and memories. From all the times that I spent drinking this beer with fellow fire fighters and police officers, friends, before 9/11 around Saint Patricks day. 

    I'm still working on the last favorite but if I was a betting man, the Port City Anniversary Ale would come in fifth.