Just this year, I really got into the craft beer world. I’ve spent a lot of time Tweeting and Facebooking the new beers I’ve tried and good ol’ Keith asked me to write a list of my top ten favorite beers tried in 2010.
(Honorable mentions: Sam Smith Winter Welcome and Brooklyn Brewery’s Winter Ale.)
10. Anchor Humming: A pale ale Anchor (San Francisco) put out for autumn this year, you could really taste the hops on the back end. There was also a sweetness that came through. A surprise, as I really didn’t know what I was getting when I picked this brand up.
9. Flying Dog Old Scratch Lager: I’ve enjoyed just about everything Flying Dog put out, but this was by far my favorite. Much in the style of Anchor Steam, this lager is smooth and a really good beer to drink when you’re plain thirsty. A crisp flavor, it’s great on a summer afternoon.
8. Captain Lawrence Kaptain’s Kolsch: This beer surprised me. Brewed in Pleasantville, NY and currently only available in growlers or local bars. This is one of the best summer beers I’ve ever hard. It’s not a wheat beer, but instead an immensely drinkable refresher. Bring this to nearly every BBQ you have, because you don’t need to drop sliced lemons or oranges in it to enjoy. You just pour it in a solo cup, close your eyes and drink it down.
7. Dogfish Head My Antonia: A heavy Pilsner. Dogfish Head rarely puts out anything simple, and this is no exception. It has the smooth flavor of a great pilsner, but it drinks heavy. A great beer to treat as a meal. Served in 750 ml bottles, this isn’t something you can drink too many of.
6. McSorely’s Dark: Okay, this is more an experience beer than one that actually tastes good. If you’re ever in New York City, you HAVE to go to McSorely’s. It’s one of the oldest bars in the city. They only serve two things, dark and light ale. The light is a bit bitter, and since most of the beer comes out a bit… warm… the dark is the way to go. The dark is very sweet and has much more flavor. Not to mention you get two mugs with every order.
5. Founder’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout: A seasonal brew, this one’s tough to find. It’s a heavy beer, and at just over 11%, you can really only drink one. But it’s worth it, thick, black, and boozy, this is a different kind of beer. Perfect for a snifter and closer to an after dinner drink than a beer, this is on to savor.
4. Samuel Adams Utopias: A rare beer served in a gold (or is it bronze?) bottle: this is considered the Holy Grail of beer drinking. You drink this beer like it’s whisky, because that’s how it’s made. Take regular beer ingredients and age it in whisky bottles, you have this beer. I got to try it at a beer tasters party and it was every man’s dream. Very syrupy and boozy, this is a great, rare beer. If you get a chance, try it.
3. Stone Pale Ale: One of the best Pale Ales going. Very hoppy, but still smooth, I think this is Stone’s best ale. It’s both floral and citrusy and goes down real easy. This is one of my craft beer gateway drinks.
2. Sierra Nevada Glissade: Their spring beer. It pours orange and tastes like citrus. It lacks the bitter hops of a pale ale. You could drink four or five of this without even batting an eye. The surprise seasonal of the year.
1. Terrapin So Fresh & So Green Green: My brother brought this to our birthday dinner and I’ve been searching for it ever since. A hoppy IPA, this one bursts with flavor. The hops stick out, but there’s a definite strong citrus in it as well. There also seemed to be a hint of caramel too. And the ingredients are organic as well, so you know it’s fresh!
And to top it off, there’s still two weeks left in the year, so who knows what else I’ll discover.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dave White is the Shamus Award nominated author of two Jackson Donne crime novels: WHEN ONE MAN DIES and THE EVIL THAT MEN DO. He teaches 8th Grade and lives in Clifton, New Jersey. He blogs at Do Some Damage and not so much at Dave White’s Writing Blog