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Dec 7, 2006 02:58 PM

What are your top 5 craft or world wide brewerys?

Normaly I do not like these types of questions due to peoples different tastes and preferences. Also in the fremented beverage market there are so many different types of products, anywhere from a light summer pilsner that you would drink after cutting the grass to a rich dark chocolate stout would would sip by a warm fire with your loved one. Since this the season of giving, it might be helpful to people who want to gift those of us who enjoy the zymurgical science to have a list of quality brewers to chose from. That way they would at be least in the right church if not the right pew so to speak.

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  1. Hard to give a top five as there are so many great ones out there so i will try and name 5 breweries where i like more than just a few of their products and would make great gifts.

    Russian River--I like everythign they make that i have sampled-a bottle of damnation in my stocking would make me very happy.

    Unibroue-I enjoy everyone of their complex beers brewed in the Belgian styles.

    Rogue- they make alot of styles, all good. Their bombers would make nice gifts. Shakepear Stout and Soba ale are two gems

    Westvleteren- fantastic Belgian brewery, you cant go wrong with these as gifts either.

    Stone-Aggressively hopped west coast brewery. This is my local beer. Arrogant Bastard, Oaked AB, or Double Bastard are all good and out of the ordinary. Theri smoked porter and stout are also very nice.

    man there are so many others that im debating changing the above to. Some other favourites of mine- Brooklyn Brwery, Deschuttes, Haacker PSchorr, Ommegang, Port Brewing, Franziskaner, Weihenstephaner, Anderson Valley, Dogfishhead, Bear Republic,

    1. Plzensky Prazdroj (Czech Rep)

      Deschutes (Bend, OR)

      Capital Brewing (Middleton, WI)

      Guinness (Dublin, Ireland)

      Boddington's (Manchester, England)

      1. What an impossible question!

        I guess based on what my favorite beers are, this'd be mine:

        Avery - Based out of Colorado, and they make a number of excellent Belgian styles. Impossible to go wrong with any of their stuff.

        AleSmith - Another brewer that makes amazing beers, none of which disappoint. Speedway Stout, Wee Heavy, and Horny Devil are some of their flagship brews.

        Stone - Smoked Porter, Ruination, and IPA are particular favorites of mine, though you can't go wrong with any of them.

        Trappistes Rochefort - They only make three beers, all variations on the same recipe, but they are excellent examples of Belgian trappist ale.

        Anchor - Most know their Steam Beer, but Liberty Ale, their seasonal Winter ale, and their porter are all great quaffs as well.

        There are many others worth mentioning, but you only asked for 5.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Josh

          I know I only asked for 5 but since you offered I would like to hear of others that you would reccommed. Thanks Wiener Hound

          1. re: 1 wiener hound


            Russian River - Another California brewer, they make a lot of great, unique, Belgian-inspired ales. Temptation is fermented with brettanomyces and aged in Chardonnay barrels. Supplication is fermented with cherries, brett, pediococcus, and lactobacillus, and aged in Pinot Noir barrels. Both of those are completely unlike any other beer I've had. Their double-IPA, Pliny the Elder, is also incredible.

            Alpine Brewing - Small San Diego brewer who makes perfect beers in every category. Impossible to find outside of San Diego, and hard to find IN San Diego. Double IPA Pure Hoppiness is amazing, as is the orange-peel and orange blossom honey-flavored Mandarin Nectar. Willy is a light American wheat that sometimes is flavored with vanilla bean, apricot, or raspberry.

            Hitachino Nest - Japanese microbrewer producing some unique brews. Red Rice ale is made with a combination of barley and red rice (each fermented seperately). Japanese Classic Ale is an IPA aged in cedar casks. Their White Ale is a textbook example of Belgian witbier, and their Lacto Sweet Stout is delicious.

            French Bieres de Gardes - This is a style, with many producers. Some good ones I've had include Castelain, Thierrez, and Sans Coulottes. It's akin to Belgian saison, but different. I always thought French beer sucked until I sampled these. One of my favorite styles, though hard to find. (Thankfully, my favorite local pub has several on hand)

            Traditional Lambic - as above, many producers to choose from. Oud Beersel unfortunately is no longer producing, but Gueuze Girardin is a great substitute. Drei Fonteinen's kriek is incredible, as is Cantillion's Lou Pepe kriek.

        2. Fantome - 1 man, small operation, hand bottled (at least they were when I visited in 2002), incredibly creative brews.

          Brasserie DuPont - great beers all around.

          Pizza Port - Very talented brewers doing some amazing things.

          Russian River - Vinnie makes some things no other brewer would attempt, and almost always makes something great.

          Spetziale - One of a handful of breweriess that are still their own maltsters. And they smoke it themselves too.

          That's a few off the top of my head...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Kevin B

            Interesting about Fantome. Reminds me of Alpine here in San Diego, another 1-man operation turning out incredible brews, hand-bottled.

          2. I've never tasted Stone and some of the others I'd love to try. But among those I have tried, the following are just extremely talented:

            THREE FLOYDS

            DOGFISH HEAD

            NORTH COAST

            GREAT DIVIDE