I often catch myself saying, “that’s one of my top five, all-time favorite beers.” Note the “often” at the beginning of that sentence. How many top-five beers can one beer lover have?
I sat down tonight to make a comprehensive list of my top five favorite beers, and came up with seven. These are the beers that I could drink forever without getting sick of them. As much as I wanted to make it a Top Five list, I just couldn’t narrow it down any further.
7. Golden Monkey
Victory Brewing’s Golden Monkey is my favorite Tripel. I was first introduced to Tripels at a hole-in-the-wall bar in Hell’s Kitchen over a decade ago. I remember diving into my first Chimay and pretty much being blown away by it. Fast forward years later, and I discovered Victory’s beers, including Golden Monkey. It’s not the most robust Tripel around, but I love it because I find it to a little bit sweeter than most.
This cream ale brewed in the heart of Ireland is an especially drinkable beer, though somewhat hard to find here in the states. I only drink this when it’s on tap because, when a cream ale is poured from a nitro tap, you get the full flavor of an ale with the creamy, smoothness of a stout. I’ve had other cream ales, but Kilkenny is my favorite. Though, admittedly, that probably has as much to do with my fond (and foggy) memories of a crazy night in the town of Kilkenny as it does with the beer itself.
5. UFO White
This is a lightly spiced wheat beer from Harpoon Brewery. Being a wheat beer with citrus flavors, some bars serve it with an orange, but I’m never quite comfortable with having fruit in my beer. Fruit not withstanding, this is a straight-up summer beer: refreshing, delicious, and with an excellent mouthfeel. (Come on, did you really expect to read a beer post without the word “mouthfeel”?)
4. White Rascal
Speaking of summer wheats, let’s talk about Avery’s White Rascal. I could drink this beer all summer long. In fact, I think I did last summer. It’s a white, wheat beer with coriander spices added to it, but despite all of that (or maybe because of it), it’s smooth, refreshing, and highly drinkable.
3. Lagunita’s IPA
Hands-down my all-time favorite IPA. And I drink a lot of IPAs. Given the choice of any and all IPAs, I’d take Lagunita’s every single time–but only in bottles. A few months ago, I had it on tap for the first time and was surprised to find I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I do in bottles. If you’re in the mood for a strong IPA, seek this one out in bottles, and you will be pleased.
2. Upslope Pumpkin Ale
It’s like drinking everything fall should be: spicy., pumpkin-y, and absolutely tasty. Upslope only releases limited batches of their Pumpkin Ale, and it sells out every single time–the first batch usually sells out in the very same day. There are plenty of pumpkin ales to be had in the fall, but the best of all is Upslope’s. If they made it year round, I would probably drink it year round. When it comes out again next fall, grab me an extra four-pack, will you?
If you know me, then you knew this was coming. Of all the beers in all the world, a perfectly poured pint of Guinness stands above the rest. Pictured above is one of the many, many perfect pints I had in Ireland. But the Emerald Isle doesn’t have a lock on the perfect pint, I’ve had particularly good pours from New York City to Hong Kong. Nothing beats a “pint o’ the plain.”