Best: There are way too many to list, but I'll start with a few breweries and some specific beers.
Bell's Brewery (Kalamazoo, MI)
Great Divide Brewery (Denver, CO)
Rogue Brewery (Newport, OR)
Stone Brewery (San Diego, CA)
Coast Brewing (Charleston, SC)
Avery Brewing (Boulder, CO)
This is without getting into some really esoteric ones, like Russian River Brewery. I also have not yet had the chance to try anything from Three Floyds Brewery in Indiana, but really want to. There are also plenty of others that I like just as much as these.
Individual beers: again, way too many to list. But here's a few:
Obviously most of the macrobrewed crap (Budweiser, Coors, Miller, Molson, Labatt, and all their lite variants and bad subsidiaries like Natural Light, Keystone, etc.). The worst microbrewery across the board for me is Southern Tier (Lakewood, NY). All of their beers are disgustingly over-sweetened and I haven't had a single one yet I really enjoyed. In particular, their Pumking Imperial Pumpkin Ale is maybe the single worst supposedly high-quality beer I've had.
ABSOLTELY CANNOT BE DRANK OUT OF THE BOTTLE. Pour it into a wide pint glass if possible. The smell makes or breaks it. Draft is definately >>> Bottle. If you drink it right out of the bottle you don't get ANY of the aroma and about 1/2 the taste.
Dogfish Head Raisin D'Etre
Surprisingly awesome dark beer, without being a dark beer. Great with almost any food or on it's own.
Bluepoint Brewery's "Spring Fling"
One of the best stand-alone beers I've ever had... and I've had quite a few over the years. It's just outstanding, but seasonal... and may only be found in the north east, I'm not sure. WELL WORTH IT. Brought it to a beach picnic when it first opened and was dismayed I only brought a 12 pack. I ended up hoarding it and chasing off people who tried to poach.
Bluepoint Brewery's "Blueberry Ale"
This is not that foo-foo trendy drink bullsh*t that gets served in college bars where they put blueberries IN the beer. This is infused into the beer with just the right hint of blueberries without it becoming a fruit beer. Still retains all the expected characteristics of a great brew, with the subtle hint of blueberries without a lingering aftertaste either. Draft is slightly better than the bottle with this one. The only places I knew that had this on draft was J. Timmothy's in Bristol, CT and any of the Wood n' Tap chain resteraunts in New England.
Flying Dog's "Tire Bite"
Was surprisingly better than I would expect. Great for drinking at a cookout... went well with the outdoor ambiance.
Flying Dog's "Raging *****"
I had this one day and was somewhat impressed with how well it went as an after-meal beer. Great taste without going over the top.
Worst for me are any of the watered down, macrobrews produced like Budweiser, Coors, etc. Those "pilsner" beers don't even taste like a real pilsner beer, and are more like lightly flavered carbonated beverages with alcohol than what a Pilsner is supposed to taset like. Even the Shock Top unfiltered beer tasted watered down.
Has anyone here tried Heady Topper? It's a beer made in Vermont and it's one of the hoppiest beers I've ever tasted. It's rated as one of the best beers in the world, but no one has (seemingly) ever heard of it!
I second Bell's Two Hearted Ale, best beer I've ever had. I'd like to throw (512) IPA in also. Very good brew. I love my IPAs and those are two hoppy beers that don't let down. It's a shame that (512) isn't big enough to bottle yet, I would love to have that at home. It's only on tap in a few Texas locations.
I was out with a co-worker of mine over the weekend. He's originally from Denver, so I was like "Are you going to have a local brew?". He looks at the list, and the only CO beer was Coors. He turns to me and says "Hell no, I'll save my money and just get water."
As for mine,
Best: Landshark, Moosehead, Schell's
Worst: Sam Adams. Dear lord, that ****'s overrated!
Flavored: It was a wood flavored wine from South Africa. Actually quite good.
Worst? Any light beer or beer that is way too low % to be called beer. (Coors etc)
This is actually not always true, unless the only reason you drink beer is to get drunk (which would usually suggest drinking bad beer). One of the highest-rated (and hardest to get) beers in the world on Beer Advocate is Southampton Berliner Weisse, brewed in extremely limited quantities by Southampton Publick House in Southampton, NY at only 2% ABV. It has a 97/100 rating and the comments are almost uniformly glowing:
"This is a light bodied brew with a prickly level of high carbonation. It gets fizzy at times inside the mouth that helps to make the lactic quality of this offering really pop. This brew is balanced well and a perfect example of the style. So easy drinking, you could easily devastate a bottle of this yourself in no time. 2% abv? Amazing, this brew displays so much depth of character in both flavor and aroma it is unreal. This was essentially my only "white whale," it was my single most sought after brew. When I finally acquired it care of tprokop7 (Thanks again Todd!) I could not figure out an appropriate time to open it. Tonight was the night, shared with my wife in celebration of my first born child. Everything about this beer is perfect - look, smell, taste, feel and time/place. It is deserving of the only perfect 5 rating I have ever given."
I don't know what my favorite would be. I like many styles especially stouts, porters, dark ales (red, brown, scotch, etc), barley wine, Belgians, wheat, etc. I'm not huge on IPAs, there are very few IPAs that I enjoy. I know some people love em. Lighter ales are fine, summery stuff. I love me some Bluepoint Blueberry (listed earlier in the thread). However, when cold weather comes around, I want my beer dark as night. Love that stuff. Honestly, I'd try and probably like any type of beer.
Worst? Bud, Heineken, Coors, Miller, etc. All mainstream mass produced garbage. Only time I ever drink them is if there's nothing else available. Sometimes going to a party and all they have is Bud Light, sucks.
Last edited by WhipNash27: 01-25-2012 at 12:45 PM.