Friday, September 15, 2006
Men's Journal Top 25 Beers
Are these the 25 best beers America has to offer? The editors at Men's Journal think so. In the magazine's October issue, Christian Debenedetti and Seth Fletcher write about the publication's third annual survey of American beers.
It's hard to argue with any list of great beers that has the likes of Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Bell's Expedition Stout or Smuttynose Big A IPA on it. However, I think the great things about these types of lists is that they get you thinking and talking to friends about what is missing. My three complaints about this list are:
(a) Some of the beers on the list are not the best beers from the breweries that brew them. Four cases in point: Stoudt's Pils at number 3? I'd suggest Stoudt's Double MaiBock. Ommegang Hennepin? Good beer for sure, but Ommegang Three Philosophers gets my vote. New Glarus Yokel? It's hard to find fault with one of their beers, but I'd tell you that New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red is one of the best cherry beers in the world. Don't even get me started about the fact they list Alaskan Amber and not Alaskan Smoked Porter.
(b) The list spends a good amount of time on the east and west coasts, with a couple of stops in the Midwest, but it ignores chunks of the country. I count only one beer from Colorado (Avery is indeed a great brewery), but others deserve attention. There is nothing from the southeast. I'd argue that room could have been made for Highland Kashmir IPA, Cottonwood Endo IPA (both out of North Carolina) or Terrapin Golden Ale from Georgia.
(c) A list like this needs to tip its hat to pioneering breweries like Sierra Nevada, Anchor or Harpoon that have introduced many a palate to craft beer.
All that said, I would not throw any of the beers on this list out of my fridge.
The Men's Journal Top 25
1 - Firestone Walker Pale Ale: Paso Robles, CA
2 - Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA: Milton, DE
3 - Stoudt's Pils: Adamstown, PA
4 - Russian River Temptation Ale: Santa Rosa, CA
5 - Avery Mephistopheles' Stout: Boulder, CO
6 - Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale: Boonville, CA
7 - Great Lakes Holy Moses White Ale: Cleveland, OH
8 - Full Sail Session Lager: Hood River, OR
9 - Rogue Brutal Bitter: Newport, OR
10 - Bell's Expedition Stout: Comstock, MI
11 - Southampton Double White: Southampton, NY
12 - Smuttynose Big A IPA: Portsmouth, NH
13 - Penn Weizen: Pittsburgh, PA
14 - Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale: Cleveland, OH
15 - Ommegang Hennepin: Cooperstown, NY
16 - Samuel Adams Black Lager: Boston, MA
17 - Sprecher Hefe Weiss: Milwaukee, WI
18 - Alaskan Amber: Juneau, AK
19 - Deschutes Broken Top Bock: Bend, OR
20 - Lost Abbey Avant Garde: San Marcos, CA
21 - Jolly Pumpkin Bam Bière: Dexter, MI
22 - Victory St. Victorious Doppelbock: Downington, PA
23 - Allagash Interlude: Portland, ME
24 - Alesmith Speedway Stout: San Diego, CA
25 - New Glarus Yokel: New Glarus, WI