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Favorite Beer in America?

What's your favorite American beer?

Personally, mine is the Portsmouth Brewery's blueberry ale, which is seasonal, and they don't bottle. They make it on-site, and they toss a couple of blueberries into each pint when it's served. It's only available in the summer, unfortunately, but it's great.

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  1. My favorite American Beer is Bell's Brewery Oberon Ale. It's only available April-September so I mkae the most of the season.

    3 Replies
    1. re: chigirl71

      Interesting. Bell's line came to Iowa about 3 months ago. Oberon has been here every since. Haven't tried it. Two Hearted Ale kicks ass. I just tonight was able to score some Expedition Stout. Wow! This is not a beer for the faint of heart.
      Was also able to recently sample the Hopslam. I would like to replace my blood with with it
      But if I had to name a favorite, Three Floyds Alpha King would be it.
      Next week that could change. The quest for the best is never ending.

      1. re: Bobfrmia

        Bell's Expedition is one of the greatest imperial stouts. Garrett Oliver (of Brooklyn Brewing) reviewed it several years ago, and he wrote this:

        "Expedition? Not if you want to come back."

      2. re: chigirl71

        Across the board I have been enjoying all the Bell's brand of beers and ales. I've been working my way through them with Oberon, Two Hearted, Oktoberfest and this week, Lager of the Lakes. Their Cherry Stout blew me away a few years ago. It might be time to go in and buy Expedition Stout.

      3. Starr Hill amber ale, from Charlottesville, Virginia.

        1. South Street's JP Ale in Charlottesville, Virginia.

          1. I'll throw my vote in for:

            AVBC (Anderson Valley Brewery Co.) in Boonville, California for their
            "Brother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale"...........not seasonal but only
            available in "serious" retail beer shoppes

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Ill cast another vote for Leinenkugles Honey Weiss.

                  I have a 12 pack in the fridge at home as we speak. Also their brewery tour up in Chippewa Falls is a fun experience, and the free samples at the end make it even better. Here in Illinois bars treat Leienkugles Honey Weiss like an import, when I go to Wisconsin it is one of the cheaper beers on tap.

                  Favorite Root Beer, is another Wisconsin classic, Sprecher.

                  1. re: swsidejim

                    Simply unavailable here in CA. When I go to Iowa or Scon Sin, I know that two cases will fit in each roller bag.

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      I am sorry to hear that Honey Weiss isnt available out there. Have you found a suitible substitute out there?

                      1. re: swsidejim

                        No... I usually drink Newcastle out here. I'm really not much of a beer snob... if my cohorts are drinking Miller Light, that's what I drink too.

                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                          My staples are Budweiser, and Miller High Life(I love the Miller High Life commercials where the delivery guys go into places,and pull the High Life off the shelves of the high brow restaurant,and market.),

                          sometimes alot of Honey Weiss beers fill me up too much.

                          I dont know if you have beem to claim jumper, but they have a honey blonde ale on tap that I thought was pretty good. Maybe worth a try when your are craving some Honey Weiss

                          1. re: swsidejim

                            I've actually never been to Claim Jumper -- we've never lived near one, and it's not a place I'd seek out. Now there's one right in Buena Park so we may eventually try it just for the experience.

                            Unfortunately my doctor has forbidden me red meat and beer for the duration. Bah.

                            1. re: Das Ubergeek

                              Claim Jumper is what it is, I had an above average steak, a few beers, and some tequila there, and it was ok. Not a destination spot, but not the worst either.

                              No red meat, and beer....?! , I wouldnt last a day..

                2. Bert Grant's Hefe Weizen
                  Yard's Brewery Philadelphia Pale Ale
                  Goose Island Honker's Ale

                  1. A few favorites of mine, since tastes change from day to day, are Ommegang (the original Abbey-style dubbel), Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale, and Ipswich IPA. Sometimes I want hops, sometimes easy-drinking maltiness, and other times just a hit of that Belgian funk.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: braineater

                      I opened this thread up to put in Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale. My favorite changes by the week, but my local has a keg of this right now. What a wonderful beer.

                      1. re: Scott V

                        I probably prefer Dogfish Head's variations on the IPA theme, but I like that Indian Brown Ale quite a bit.

                    2. Here are my favorites:
                      Harpoon Bluemoon (put a lemon in it!)
                      Ravell Porter from Magic Hat (has a nice vanilla bean note).
                      Longtrail Harvest Ale (way to easy to drink.. a smooth malty taste & it's a tiny bit sweet - caramel maybe?)

                      1. Allagash Tripel Reserve

                        1. Russian River Temptation

                          1. Stone IPA from San DIego. Best bottled IPA in the land.

                            1. Arrogant Bastard isnt bad - brewed in san diego. Guinness is definitely my favorite. :)

                              1. There are now around 1,000 breweries in the US (up a bit from the 100 or so "left" when I started drinking), making several thousand beers, so picking one might be difficult but I've dedicated my life to sampling (uh, my family and employer aren't reading this are they?).

                                Never cared for such lists, whether it's best album, movie or book- really, what's the point? When you find your "favorite", do you stop listening, watching, reading other music/movies/books?

                                My favorite beer is my next one.

                                My all time top 40? I'll have someone e-mail that in from my deathbed.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: JessKidden

                                  JessKidden...I've said it before, I'll say it again, you are my hero.

                                  Do you homebrew?

                                  1. re: JessKidden

                                    Wasn't it one of the editors of Barleycorn years ago who said, when asked what his favorite beer was: "The one in my hand."

                                    That's my philosophy.

                                    1. re: Loren3

                                      I believe Charlie Papazian said that, or maybe I'm thinking of, "Beer is my business, and I'm late for work."

                                  2. I'm with JessKidden- I probably couldn't even limit myself to one beer within any particular substyle. But if I really had to pick one overall favorite I'd have to say Alaskan Smoked Porter, just because it has been so perfect for so long (and probably a little bit of "absence makes the heart grow fonder" because it is a rare occasion that I get one.)

                                    1. I think favorite brewery is an easier topic and I have to say I really like the Flying Dog beers. Never been disappointed...If you ever see a 12-pack sampler, get one..

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: kinda4

                                        I agree. As a favorite brewery I really like Avery Brewery. Their Maharajah IPA is my favorite. Almost 10% ABV. Just absolutely full of hops and barley.

                                      2. It is impossible to say there is a best with so many fine brews available. In a top ten I would say almost anything made by Dogfish Head, Ommegang, Rogue, Stone, Grants, and quite a few more. I haven't been keeping up with beers the past year or so.

                                        And of course their are my own brews which I have put up against the best and won best of class with several times, back when I competed in home brew and brewed professionally many moons ago.

                                        1. i second dogfish head. there's two of theirs - the raison d'etre and midas touch - that i adore. the punkin ale is nice too.

                                          i also like one of the maine blueberry ales (i forget the name, just know it by sight) and the brooklyn brewery's weisse beer (nothing like the german weisses i like, but nice for a change of pace)

                                          my preferences are towards fruitier beers and certain white belgians, so that explains part of my american likes.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: bob gaj

                                            You might be thinking of Seadog Blueberry Ale... One of my all time favorites, and brewed in Maine. Also on the list: Shipyard Pumpkin Ale, Brooklyn Brown Ale... so good!

                                            1. re: ktfood

                                              yup, that's it! they also have a (raspberry?), i believe, which is pretty good as well.

                                              1. re: ktfood

                                                seadog's porter t'ain't bad neither.

                                            2. Washington Island's Wheat Ale!

                                                1. re: mamaciita

                                                  Love Yuengling Lager...wish we could get it in L.A.....drink it every time i'm in Pitt

                                                  1. re: nyfoodjoe

                                                    How would you exactly describe the flavor of aYuengling Lager?

                                                    1. re: Chinon00

                                                      Yueng is a lager with nothing else going on. For people looking for a unique microbrew it might not do it, but to me, when I want a beer I just want it to taste like a beer, and Yueng tastes just right to me. It has a lot more lager flavor than some of the big American brands, but no other random flavors and in my opinion, less bad aftertaste than a lot of beers.

                                                      That's the best I can do on a description :) Yueng was my house beer until I moved down South... now I'm drinking Abita 'cause that's what they drink here (not bad, but not Yueng).

                                                      1. re: Adrienne

                                                        Agree...those looking for a funky new flavor of a microbrew...don't try this...it just tastes like real beer should...very straightforward...incredible stuff

                                                        1. re: nyfoodjoe

                                                          I think that the citizens of Britain, Belgium, and France would dispute the idea that light lager is what "real beer" tastes like. Brown ales, IPAs, stouts, Flemish sour, lambics, and trappist ales have a history going back hundreds of years. These aren't just some wacky newfangled notions that got in the heads of those crazy microbrewers.

                                                          Beer has been made for thousands of years. Summing up all that history in a bottle of pretty standard light American lager is astounding to me.

                                                          1. re: Josh

                                                            I thought I pretty clearly specified that it's what a *lager* should taste like, and I certainly did not make any disparaging remarks about other beers. But thanks for the feedback.

                                                            1. re: Adrienne

                                                              You wrote "to me, when I want a beer I just want it to taste like a beer".

                                                              Did I misread something?

                                                    2. re: nyfoodjoe

                                                      YUENGLING RULES! Every time I'm on the east coast I can't stop drinking it. I think of the flavor as something like an easier Sam Adams kind of thing. There' s hops and barley in there, but it's still really easy...

                                                      Yuengling needs to come to the west coast.

                                                      Needs to and stay reasonably priced.

                                                      1. re: therealbigtasty

                                                        I finally had Yuengling while at my friends' wedding in NJ earlier this month, and I just can't see what all the hype's about. I'd honestly just assume drink some PBR, if I'm going to drink something so flavorless and uninspired.

                                                        1. re: braineater

                                                          Braineater, stick to PBR then. Yuengling is one of the better beers on the East Coast. They also have a brewery down in Tampa now. That's is why you can get it on tap in Florida bars. As far as beer goes, great smooth taste with with little after taste and no silly marketing campaign. Plus its fairly inexpensive which adds to its charm. If in Philly area, you order it by simply saying "Let me get a lager".

                                                          1. re: juice

                                                            Braineater: Yuengling = "flavorless and uninspired"

                                                            Juice: Yuengling = "smooth taste with with little after taste"

                                                            Sounds to me like you guys agree on Yuengling, just not on what you look for in a beer. <g>

                                                            For the record, there is no one "Yuengling"- they have long marketed a standard "American Light Lager", called "Yuengling Premium Beer". In the early days of the craft beer boom- late 1980's IIRC (and after they started having success with their "Black and Tan"), they introduced "Yuengling Traditional Lager" (obviously inspired somewhat by Boston Lager's success, tho' the claim is it's one of their old recipe).

                                                            Yuengling's success is quite amazing (30-35 years ago, they weren't even in the top 30 of US breweries- indeed, there were probably 5 or 6 PA. breweries alone that outsold them) and, now, with the MillerCoors deal, they're in line to be the #3 brewery in the country (often neck and neck in sales with Boston- and Pabst, the non-brewery, currently sells more beer but doesn't brew any).

                                                            Still, I never really cared for the "Lager" (in NJ now, it's pretty much the most common US draft after BMC) and it seems my favorite, Lord Chesterfield Ale, has been dumbed down and continues be neglected (they dropped the returnable bottles and kegs, from what I've heard). Ditto for the Porter, I think. Also dumbed down was Black and Tan which, originally, was half ale and half porter (at least, that was the way it was sold at bars in the area)- a much more interesting mix. In some ways, I guess it's good that I don't care for any of their current line-up, since I won't buy them for political reasons these days.

                                                            1. re: JessKidden

                                                              Sounds like Yuengling is in an ideal position to be the next Rolling Rock. A boring, bland lager marketed as "roots-y" and "authentic".

                                                              1. re: Josh

                                                                I must disagree. I got my beer mixed up with my cousin's two weeks ago. He'd ordered a Yuengling lager and I mistakenly grabbed it and took a sip. I had ordered a Hop Devil so I immediately knew that it wasn't an IPA but I liked it anyway. I asked him what is this and he told me. I couldn't believe it.

                                                                1. re: Chinon00

                                                                  Huh, really. I remember having one of their beers (I thought the lager) in DC and not being thrilled with it. Maybe it was old?

                                                                2. re: Josh

                                                                  Yuengling has struck me as a below average brew since I was a freshman incollege 14 years ago. The PA boys swore by it, but it never did it for me. This definitely seems like one of those Rolling Rock/Stella sort of things. The guerilla/rootsy marketing wins over a good deal of people.

                                                                  1. re: MVNYC

                                                                    Honestly, I just had it again last week. It was maltier, muskier and heavier than Stella or Rolling Rock. To be clear it is not going to make you forget about Victory, Stone or Weyerbacher by ANY means but I was pleased with what I was drinking. Will I order it again. Honestly, maybe. And if I had to categorize it as "good" or "bad" I'd put it in the good category.

                                                                    1. re: Chinon00

                                                                      I trust your opinion, especially after your rereview of Sam Lager. So i will give it another try but I really remember it as being more hype than anything else.

                                                                      1. re: Chinon00

                                                                        Most of Yeungling's beers seem to tread a middle ground between the yellow beers of the Mega brewers and the well-hopped and/or malty beers or the smaller brewers. Their not as dense with flavor as many beers, but they do have flavor.

                                                        1. Rogue John's Lockerstock
                                                          Stone Arrogant Bastard
                                                          Fat tire (not because it's good beer- it's not even a good amber- but because of the memories linked to it)

                                                          1. Dogfishhead Shelter Pale Ale
                                                            Clipper City Balto Marz-Hon

                                                            1. Four Peaks Brewery Kiltlifter Ale, brewed in Tempe. I never get tired of it.

                                                              1. my favorite beers are usually ones i have tried once or twice and can't seem to get regularly. ie, georgia sweetwaters. flying fish belgian dubble. bell's oberon.

                                                                this may be a good thing, may be not.

                                                                here's a story:

                                                                when i called / emailed the bell's distributor (JJs of ft myers) in sebring FL if anyone provided bell's beer, after about a week or so of my attempts to contact them, they directed me to a convenient location ( i was only there for the race ) (major phone tag).

                                                                alas, when i arrived in sebring at the retailer (ABC) the retailer provided case upon case of bell's AMBER.

                                                                which i'd never tried. ( i wanted oberon )

                                                                i was expecting a **selection** of bells beer, actually.

                                                                ABC proceeded to attempt to make me purchase ALL of the cases of bell's amber. which i hadn't specifically ordered.

                                                                i was very, very hesitant - but figured - what they hey? it's bell's, and it won't go to waste.....

                                                                **at the last minute** the cashier piped up "is your name fred"
                                                                (or some such)
                                                                "and did you order the cases of oberon?"

                                                                i said, no - i'm not fred - but i most definitely wanted oberon.

                                                                anyways -- i was saved from having to purchase *all* of the cases of amber, and was just forced to buy one.

                                                                luckily, as it turns out -- i didn't dig the amber at all - metallic as all get out.

                                                                lesson learned.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: hitachino

                                                                  Flying Fish Farmhouse Ale (available in mid spring through summer)
                                                                  DogFish Head Chicory Stout

                                                                  1. re: JCap

                                                                    another vote for the Dogfish Head Chicory Stout, an amazing beer with a really complex blend of flavors.

                                                                2. Grain Belt Premium Lager, my sentimental favorite. And it's tasty. Saved from bankruptcy by the August Schell Brewing company of MN. Pretty much impossible to find outside of the upper Midwest.

                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                  1. re: ronoc

                                                                    And, the last time I went to Minnesota a couple of years ago, the price had shot up to 75 cents a bottle.

                                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                      You are saying that sarcastically right? It's a cheap beer. Great price to taste ratio.

                                                                      1. re: ronoc

                                                                        Well, when I was in college it was 50 cents a bottle... that represents a 50% increase in price. I like it and drink it willingly (it's a lot like Miller High Life, on which I cut my beer teeth), but I wouldn't fly to Minnesota to get it.

                                                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                          I want to try Grain Belt Premium!

                                                                          Anyone ever had Pig's Eye? It's from up in Minnesota, I think. I was getting it from a small liquor store here in LA, then the connection dried up. It's a cheap beer that has a bit of flavor.

                                                                    2. re: ronoc

                                                                      Does anyone know of any store in the Mid Atlantic region--PA, MD, VA, DC--that sells Grain Belt?? A website I could order it off of? My boyfriend just moved down to DC from North Dakota and is a bit homesick. I ordered some Pilsner glasses off their website but if I could get a pack of his all time favorite beer, I think that might pick him up out of his blues.

                                                                      1. re: PerkyPixieJMU

                                                                        Most of the internet beer retailers concentrate on craft beer and/or imports or aren't located in Grain Belt's traditional distribution area. Here's one (in Iowa) that does carry it. http://www.johnsgrocery.com/Departmen...

                                                                        Note that the shipping costs for beer are high (understandable for a heavy product that's relatively cheap otherwise) and some retailers don't ship to certain states based on past problems, shippers used, legality, etc.

                                                                        Other internet beer retailers can be found at http://onlinebeerstores.homestead.com...

                                                                      1. I'd say Rogue Dead Guy Ale, or pretty much anything made by Victory, I love their Golden Monkey.

                                                                        I'm shocked that Victory hasn't been mentioned!

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: air

                                                                          I gotta write an update, since I recently went to a tasting and tried few things that weren't available in Texas! Doppelbocks are my favorite, so I specifically must mention Avery Thirteen.

                                                                          Absolutely loved it and I wish it were available here! I'd love to try out what other brews Avery has to offer.

                                                                          1. re: air

                                                                            Avery makes some of the best beers in the US.

                                                                        2. Magic Hat #9. A wonderful apricot-ish beer that i can only get when i'm back east.

                                                                          On the west coast, it's got to be Mac and Jacks African Amber. The only thing that bothers me is that you can only get it on tap. No retail. :( I guess that's what makes it so special to me.

                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                          1. re: stolenchange

                                                                            I just had Magic Hat #9 for the first time. Very nice! Wish I could get it on the west coast.

                                                                            1. re: Josh

                                                                              I want to open an east coast import shop just so i can get my fix of Magic Hat #9, Dunkin Donuts and Drake's Cakes.

                                                                              Instead, i just visit my folks once a year and drink as much as i can. :)

                                                                              1. re: stolenchange

                                                                                Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA is pretty awesome as well.

                                                                                1. re: stolenchange

                                                                                  I guess we take for granted some good ones hear on the east coast, given magic hat is my all time favorite.

                                                                                  However, it kills me not to be able to have an endless flurry of Fat Tire and Goose Island.

                                                                                  1. re: yankeefan

                                                                                    Not having access to regional beers (and foods) is part of what makes it fun to travel. When you travel and shop, all the malls look exactly like home, but there are still regional beers/foods to look forward to!

                                                                                    1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                                      You know, that's one of the aspects of the craft beer movement that bothers me- the lack of a "local brewery" culture and the desire to have every brewer distribute nationally. Despite the prevalence of a lot more "cellar-able" beers these days, most beers are still better fresh.

                                                                                      I walk around a liquor store in NJ and see beers from New Mexico, Hawaii, the Virgin Islands (altho' contracted from Maine) and numerous ones from Calif. and think "Do we really *need* all these beers here?", since at the same time I see "local" brands like Brooklyn, Flying Fish, RIver Horse and Victory often sitting around until the "Best by" date is reached and beyond. Seems to me that some of these brewers might not survive without a solid local market as a base, since shipping beer across the country might leave them lacking when they're not the "latest thing" anymore.

                                                                                      Not that I don't have the occasional Anchor (which has been in NJ for decades, after all) if the date looks good, and didn't buy a lot of 3 Floyds when it was here (ditto Green Flash and Red Seal) but I've been burned several times with some really old beer - a case of a well-known Calif. beer, that even the brewer said was too old to be sold, but he couldn't even get the distributor in NJ to respond to his request to replace my case and had to send me a check as a refund. And, as nice as that was, I never buy his stuff anymore, since it's not dated on the bottle or sixpack but only a complicated code on the case which, in most stores, one doesn't see in NJ.

                                                                                      1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                        I'm on the opposite side of the fence on this issue. It kills me when I can't get stuff like Bell's, New Glarus, Brooklyn, Weyerbacher, Elysian, etc. We have good beer in San Diego, but sometimes I want something different. If I can get exotic Belgian brews, then I'd think something 1000 miles closer should be easy enough to do. Though I *do* only want it if stored and shipped properly.

                                                                                        1. re: Josh

                                                                                          I don't think that necessary the opposite side of the fence- I can see and understand some brewers and some beers becoming national, either by tradition (Anchor, Sierra Nevada) or specialty (Belgian styles, seasonals) but it seems EVERY brewery wants EVERY one of their beers all over. (A huge exaggeration, of course- my out is "it seems" <g>).

                                                                                          Sure, you'd probably like to see Brooklyn's Chocolate Stout but do you really *need* the Pennant Ale or Pumpkin? I wouldn't mind some Bell's or New Glarus' beers but I don't think I'd want or buy all of them, nor would all of them move. (And, thus, the "stored...properly" condition is violated.)

                                                                                          But I'm speaking more of beers/brands with no "word of beer geek's mouth" or demand- like the example I used of that Tractor Brewery out of New Mexico which showed up in NJ a few month back- not very well respected on the beer sites- why bring it in?

                                                                                          OTOH, some distant brewers DID ship their beers to NJ for a while (3 Floyds and Sprecher are two that come to mind) but their beers were somewhat overwhelmed by the market (Hey, I bought as much as I could...) and they disappeared just as quick. Occassionally, I see the lone 4/6 pack and think, "Hey, it's back!" only to realize that's it's probably 5 years old and still laying around from those initial shipments. When a brewery enters a new market with 3 or 4 beers- that's a lot of shelf space for a retailer to find and it's too easy to drop a local beer that doesn't move for a recent entry into to the state that the "tickers" might buy and then move on to something else. Seems that's a "fadish" approach to beer retailing and not beneficial to the small brewers in the long run.

                                                                                          (Plus, I'm thinking of going to Mass. & Maine in a few weeks, and I look around the stores here in NJ and all of a sudden I see Gritty McDuff's, Bar Harbor, Ipswich and a few other "local" beers and think "Well, this isn't going to be fun if every beer I see on vacation I say 'Ahh, I can get that at home...' " <g>)

                                                                            2. Too many to name.....a few by style.....
                                                                              Macrobrew: Old Style, a cheap summertime lager
                                                                              Belgian's: Oberon's Hennepin
                                                                              IPA's: Victory's Hop Wallop or Bell's Two Hearted
                                                                              English Ales: Fuller's London Pride
                                                                              German Ales: Riessdorf's Kolsch and Spaten's Oktoberfest,

                                                                              A cool site for beers, by beer geeks is Beer Advocate www.beeradvocate.com

                                                                              1. Has anyone had the re-released Celis line? I used to drink all of their beers and toured the brewery about 10 years ago, but learned that they had shut down at some point. I learned a while back that they had been purchased and just last weekend saw a POP display with a re-rollout for the whole line. I'm curious whether the recipes are the same of if tinkering has occurred.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: worldcupfever

                                                                                  1) dogfish head 90 min IPA
                                                                                  2) Victory hop devil IPA
                                                                                  3) Otter Creek Copper Ale
                                                                                  4) Stone IPA
                                                                                  5) Ommegang Rare Vos

                                                                                2. Maybe on the commercial side but I enjoy Fat Tire, JW Dundee's Honey Brown and some of Sam Adam's.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: cookiejesus

                                                                                    I really enjoy Sam Adams' too. I like getting some of their sampler 12-packs. The light boston lager is pretty good too, especially for light beer.

                                                                                  2. Smuttynose IPA- New Hampshire
                                                                                    Anchor Steam Liberty Ale

                                                                                    1. My tastes range far and wide, but the one I keep coming back to is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: LordOfTheGrill

                                                                                        I'm with LordOfTheGrill - Sierra Nevada Pale is always consistent, affordable and available. I love a lot of different beer styles and I'm not afraid to try any beer, but if we're talking about favorites, then it's SNPA.

                                                                                        1. dogfish head has put out a whole bunch of new limited beers (in larger bottles and more expensive prices). check out their website (dogfish.com) for more info, i picked up a few of them last week...

                                                                                          1. Anchor's Small Beer. Yum.

                                                                                            1. I dig that Grain Belt made this thread. Definitely a sentimental favorite.

                                                                                              If I had to name a single favorite, one comes to mind lately: Surly Furious. Can't say enough good things about this beer.

                                                                                              Sticking to the Midwest, I'm also a big fan of Bell's (Two-Hearted Ale and their Stouts, in particular) and Summit Brewing.

                                                                                              Somebody mentioned Pig's Eye - no longer brewed.

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: gromit

                                                                                                PIg's Eye is gone??? Damn.

                                                                                                I really liked that one for a cheap beer.

                                                                                                1. re: therealbigtasty

                                                                                                  While the brewery, Minnesota BC (in St. Paul, the former Schmidt>Heileman facility) closed, I thought a few employees bought the brand and have it contract brewed (at City- tho' I thought Point and Pittsburgh were both also involved at some point). At least that's what the website still shows:

                                                                                                  http://www.pigseyebeer.com/

                                                                                                  1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                    Jeez, I just looked at the site...Pitbull High Gravity Malt Liquor??? Wow.

                                                                                                    Ten and a quarter percent...

                                                                                                    Ugh! I'll stick to the Pilsner, if I can ever find it again.

                                                                                                    BT

                                                                                                    1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                      Yeah, I could definitely be wrong... but I haven't seen it in forever.

                                                                                                      -g

                                                                                                2. Bar Harbor Real Ale by Atlantic Brewery in Bar Harbor, Maine.
                                                                                                  Excellent Pale Ale stye beer.
                                                                                                  Atlantic Breweries Blueberry Ale is also by far the dominant Blueberry Ale.
                                                                                                  Mix it with their Cole Porter, and you get a Black and Blue, if you are in to that type of thing.

                                                                                                  1. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is probably my favorite all american beer. I also love any well made I.P.A. My favorite is probably a tie between Stone Ruination and Bear Republic Racer Five I.P.A.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: kristyn

                                                                                                      All the Sierra Nevada fans, I urge you to try Four Peaks Brewery's Raj IPA, if you can find it. Very hoppy. Very good.

                                                                                                    2. All hail, Rogue Brewery! I love their Morimoto soba ale, and also Dead Guy, hazelnut brown, chocolate stout, and I had a juniper ale (seasonal, a year ago or so) that was so interesting, yet drinkable. My favorite brewery in the U.S., esp since can reuse their big bottles when I'm bottling my own.

                                                                                                      I drank a lot of Pyramid beer in college. Those are sentimental beers for me, especially the apricot ale and hefeweizen, esp with a lemon. Red Hook ale, too.

                                                                                                      I've been away from Minneapolis for five months and when I get off the plane at the end of this month I want a Grain Belt and a burger basket from the Triple Rock. Holy homesickness, Batman.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: slowfoodgrrl

                                                                                                        Good Lord! Pyramid Apricot Ale & Hef are my current favorite beers distributed to the whole country.They really make it right.

                                                                                                        Man, I'd kill for an Apricot Ale right now. The only downside of traveling in Asia for 6 months is nothing but LIGHT GOLDEN ASS LAGER ALL THE TIME!

                                                                                                        1. re: slowfoodgrrl

                                                                                                          I love that I'm not the only Grain Belt fan out there. My dad's fancy golf club in Minneapolis has only Grain Belt on tap, served in a frozen pint glass.

                                                                                                        2. I have to say I love Hobgoblin, but my everyday beers are a good ole Half and Half (Guiness and Harp mixed) and Newcastle.

                                                                                                          1. As others have said, there are so many to choose from, it is hard to pick a favorite, but one of my perenial favorites is the Blackened Voodoo Lager from Dixie Brewing Co.

                                                                                                            One brewer that surprised me is the brewer for Trader Joes. The Winter beer (was is Winterfest or Winterbock? Can't remember) was quite tastey. I also like their hefeweisen - has the fruity taste like the hefeweisens in Germany. Great beer for the summer time.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: jenni

                                                                                                              Another vote for Dixie's blackened Voodoo. Also, Abita Turbo Dog. I miss Louisiana.

                                                                                                              1. re: jenni

                                                                                                                That particular TJ's winter beer -- it is a doppelbock -- is made by Gordon Biersch. I think it's much better than any of the regular GB beers.

                                                                                                              2. Blue Point Cherry Stout:
                                                                                                                Roasted Coffee, Bitter Chocolate, Faint(est) Sour Cherry, Hazelnut and Tar in the finish. What absolutely beautiful beer. This is what I live for.

                                                                                                                1. Man,

                                                                                                                  Favorite American beer is a damn wide question but I'm going to go with:

                                                                                                                  Dogfish Head 90 minute
                                                                                                                  Bell's Double Cream Stout
                                                                                                                  Stone Arrogant Bastard
                                                                                                                  New Belgium La Folie
                                                                                                                  Anchor Porter
                                                                                                                  Goose Island 312 Wheat Beer.

                                                                                                                  Yuengling's the best out the American Lager group... Unless Anchor Steam is handy.

                                                                                                                  1. Anderson Valley's Boont Amber is good. Try it. -- However, I guarantee that the best American beer that you'll ever have - hands down - will be one that you make yourself.

                                                                                                                    1. yes to all of the qualifications above about the limits of such lists. but still...i don't have to think long:
                                                                                                                      russian river pliny the younger triple ipa.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: professor chow

                                                                                                                        Rodenbach Grand Cru
                                                                                                                        Cantillon Fou Foune
                                                                                                                        Iris
                                                                                                                        Brooklyn Vintage Chocolate Stout
                                                                                                                        Cantillon Gueze
                                                                                                                        Allagash Curieux
                                                                                                                        Dogfish Head Chateau Jihau

                                                                                                                      2. Sweetwater out of Georgia. Their Atlanta brewery has free tours/pints on Fridays with a live band and turns into a huge street party. Really good beer. Anyone else?

                                                                                                                        www.refinedrogue.com

                                                                                                                        1. Duclaw's Bad moon Porter and Serum
                                                                                                                          Stone Arrogant Bastard (hell, just reading the bottle is worth the price <G>)
                                                                                                                          Brewer's Art Ressurection
                                                                                                                          Southern Teir IPA (basically, thier entire line is great)
                                                                                                                          Great Lakes Brewing Company Blackout Stout
                                                                                                                          Clipper City all the Heavy Seas line

                                                                                                                          1. Great thread. It all depends on where you live, what you are exposed to and what your tastes are. I follow the Reinheitsgebot, or German Purity Law of 1516: beer can only contain four ingredients - water, barley, hops and yeast. By this definition, popular beverages such as Budweiser, Corona and hefeweizen are not beers, as they contain rice, corn and wheat, respectively.

                                                                                                                            I have been fortunate to have spent my life in California, Oregon and Washington, and so have enjoyed great microbrews for over 25 years. Although it is always difficult to pick only one or two favorites, some of my faves include Pike Kilt Lifter for a malty, Scottish ale (Pike Place Brewing Co., Seattle WA); Inversion IPA for a strong, hoppy beer (Deschutes Brewery, Bend OR); and Red Tail Ale for a good all-around amber ale (Mendocino Brewing Co., Hopland, CA). Some fun picks are Dead Guy Ale from the Rogue Brewery in Newport OR and Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co. in San Diego. I also really enjoy the amber ale at the Seabright Brewery in Santa Cruz, CA, but that is partially because I spent most of my adult life in Santa Cruz and that was one of my favorite hang outs.

                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: LeftCoastRider

                                                                                                                              The reinheitsgebot is OK, but the world would be a lot less interesting without the herbs and fruits employed in Belgian beer styles.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                Exactly. We also wouldnt have things like hitachino ginger, dogfish head punkin, and the wheat beers of Bavaria.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                  That is true; same thing with gruit-based beers. I just prefer the taste of traditional beers and ales.

                                                                                                                              2. Goose Island Oatmeal
                                                                                                                                Fat Tire
                                                                                                                                Magic Hat 9
                                                                                                                                Anchor Steam
                                                                                                                                Rogue Dead Guy

                                                                                                                                1. my favorite is Riverhorse Trippel Belgian Ale. 10% alcohol but very smooth and no bitter aftertaste. The Riverhorse Brewery in Lambertville, NJ is where I purchase mine. Nothing better than getting it directly from the source.

                                                                                                                                  1. with serious input help from my husband the beer lover in the house
                                                                                                                                    it's sentimental as much as anything since we can't get it here in VA but the Great Lakes beers out of Cleveland are great. Favorites are Dortmunder Gold (lager) and the Commodore Perry IPA.
                                                                                                                                    Others include:
                                                                                                                                    tupper's hop pocket
                                                                                                                                    Double Simcoe IPA from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
                                                                                                                                    victory hop devil
                                                                                                                                    stone arrogant bastard
                                                                                                                                    sierra nevada

                                                                                                                                    1. My favorite beer would have to be Alesmith Speedway stout. It is an amazing full flavored imperial stout. It has a toasty brown head. Tastes of strong coffee and chocolate, caramel flavors. I highly recommend it!

                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                      1. Best American mass produced/most widely distributed beer has got to be Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.....haven't had the chance to head west on a micro safari so I can only think locally.......to my hop addicted palate Victory Hop Wallop (seasonal), Victory Prima Pils, Stoudts Pilsner...and very locally Hoppy Hour from the Mash House in Fayetteville, NC are all standouts.
                                                                                                                                        Widely available classic is Anchor Steam.

                                                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: debbieg2210

                                                                                                                                          Great choices.

                                                                                                                                          Anchor Steam have to agree.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: yankeefan

                                                                                                                                            Ditto. I know that within the past couple weeks I've had a Stoudt's and Sierra Nevada. But the one American beer I would not wish to live without is Anchor Steam. I cna find other pale ales, IPAs, Pilsners, etc., I cannot find many other examples of a California Common beer (a.k.a. steam beer).

                                                                                                                                          2. re: debbieg2210

                                                                                                                                            when/where is the hop wallop available - sounds like one my hubby would love since he loves their other hoppy beers

                                                                                                                                            1. re: AMFM

                                                                                                                                              Victory Brewing's website has a list of distributors......Richmond is a stones throw from the Brewery in Downington Pa.
                                                                                                                                              Looks like they have a new hoppy seasonal offering in Victory Harvest Pils......
                                                                                                                                              The Hop Wallop becomes available Nov 1st.
                                                                                                                                              If ever making a road trip to this area also include Stoudts in Adamstown .....well worth the trip.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: debbieg2210

                                                                                                                                                thanks! i can definitely find victory here - guess it should have occured to me they'd have a website.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: debbieg2210

                                                                                                                                                  The Harvest Pils is terrific. as are most victory brews.

                                                                                                                                                  The ones I crave are Goose Island and New Belgium brews here in Jersey- you always crave what you dont have. I guess I do take for granted my access to Dogfish, Brooklyn, Victory, etc..

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: yankeefan

                                                                                                                                                    If you have a moment could you describe the differences between Victory Prima Pils and this Harvest Pils? Both are described as "German style Pilseners".

                                                                                                                                                    Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                                                                      My apologies, I misspoke. The Harvest is Harvest Ale, I had the other Pils on my mind and wrote incorrectly.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: yankeefan

                                                                                                                                                        According to the website it is a Pils. They use "wet hopping?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                            I actually visited the Victory brewpub this past weekend after having lunch at Slyfox brewpub just up Route 113 (ain’t life grand?). Anyway Victory serves both a Harvest Pils and a Harvest Ale (not available while I was there). I tried the Harvest Pils and really enjoyed it. Think of a rounder, fuller Prima Pils with a different expression of hops. All of their beers at the brewpub are fresh but this one tasted particularly fresh. I guess it was the wet hopping.

                                                                                                                                                            Note: The Black Raspberry Reserve at Slyfox earlier was surprisingly pleasant. It was almost like drinking a glass of Beaujolais.

                                                                                                                                            2. Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon has the best line of beers. I like the Mirror Pond and the seasonal Jubilale. Ommegang out of Cooperstown, NY is great, too.

                                                                                                                                              1. Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat or Honey Weiss, Longtrail Harvest Ale,
                                                                                                                                                Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Harpoon Raspberry UFO...love 'em all.

                                                                                                                                                1. Can't choose just one, but have to say top three are:
                                                                                                                                                  1. Great Lakes Holy Moses White (can't get in the Northeast, sadly)
                                                                                                                                                  2. Racer 5 IPA--awesome!
                                                                                                                                                  3. Dogfish festina peche in the summer.

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: newhavener07

                                                                                                                                                    Lost Coast either down town brown or the rasberry brown for those that like fruit in their beer.

                                                                                                                                                  2. It's not for all tastes, but for my money, New Glarus Belgian Cherry Red is a taste I can't get enough of. The problem is, it doesn't travel outside of Wisconsin.

                                                                                                                                                    Here in Maryland, it's Wild Goose Nut Brown.

                                                                                                                                                    1. The best beer in all the land is only weeks away... Anchor Christmas.

                                                                                                                                                      16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: yankeefan

                                                                                                                                                        But Anchor changes the recipe for that every year, don't they? I've loved some editions of it; others I did not need more than one sample of. I remember that, in the early-to-mid 90s, the brew changed radically from one year to the next, though it was always dark and spiced. One batch had spruce in it; it worked brilliantly.

                                                                                                                                                        I give Anchor credit for keeping the spices in their winter ale varied and balanced. I can't say that about Harpoon's Winter Warmer; they seem to dump a ton of cinnamon and sugar in that ale -- and the thing doesn't have the malt base to withstand such excessive additives.

                                                                                                                                                        But the winter ale I really look forward to the most is probably Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, an IPA.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Kenji

                                                                                                                                                          I was just in SF and went on the Anchor tour. Apparently the next Christmas beer is similar to the previous, at least according to our tour guide. I had their porter on cask at Toronado, and that was a real treat.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                            Agreed as well on the porter, noone does it quite as well as Anchor does. Id love to hit their brew tour.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: yankeefan

                                                                                                                                                              Anchor's Porter is, unusually for a U.S. micro porter in the 5 - 6% ABV range, made with a lager yeast. Whatever floats their boat; it's a fine black brew.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Kenji

                                                                                                                                                                Are you sure? When I was there on the tour, the guide said that their only lager yeast beer was the steam beer. They have a separate room for their ale production, where all their other beers get made.

                                                                                                                                                                I kept alternating between the porter and the Old Foghorn at the "sampling" portion of the tour. Such great brews.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                  If Anchor Porter isn't a lager today, it once (probably for most of its existence) was. Though I know from a note in an old Pocket Beer Guide of Jackson's that they've gone back & forth on this w/ the porter a few times.

                                                                                                                                                                  Have you tried Anchor's bock? That, curiously, is actually an ale.

                                                                                                                                                                  Old Foghorn is a fine brew. I had my first taste of it in a long time last year; and it seemed to me unchanged except for a slight increase in its alcohol content.

                                                                                                                                                                  Raleigh's in Berkeley used to regularly offer Old Foghorn at $2.75 a pint! Those were the days...

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Kenji

                                                                                                                                                                    No, they didn't have the bock when I was there. She did mention that it was an ale (which I also found curious).

                                                                                                                                                                    I did have the Small Beer. I wasn't really that impressed with it. I've had other small beers I like, but that one just didn't do that much for me.

                                                                                                                                                                    As good as the porter was on draft, having it on cask was something of a revelation.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Kenji

                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, the way I remember it is that Anchor Porter started off as a lager (it was only the second beer bottled from Maytag's Anchor brewery, probably the mid-70's)- which, in those pre-micro days, wasn't unusual for US porters- the few left were all lagers- (Stegmaier, Yuengling, Narragansett). I'd guess that once they started brewing Liberty and Old Foghorn and using ale yeast a few years later, they eventually converted the Porter to the "more authentic" ale yeast.

                                                                                                                                                                      Since then, of course, both "Baltic Porter" and "Pennsylvania Porter" are seen as valid styles (by some, at least)- tho' the current version of Anchor Porter, despite the yeast, probably wouldn't fit in well with either, too low in alcohol for the former, all malt and too hoppy for the latter .)

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                      That is one of the better tours out there. I too kept alterating between the porter ad Old Foghorn.

                                                                                                                                                                      I have not had Old foghorn in some time, do they still some in those small bottles? I always liked that. A lot of times i like a nice Barley wine or strong ale but dont want to drink a whole bomber of it. I wish more breweries would do this.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah the Old Foghorn is sold in 12oz bottles. A bomber of it would be hard to take.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                                          By small bottle, I'm guessing that MVNYC is talking about the 7 oz. bottle that Old Foghorn used to come in. The last batch of OF that I've seen (2006) came in the standard 12 oz. Anchor bottle, so one assumes the old "nip" bottle is dead. I, too, liked those bottles (the only other micro that used them that I recall was Rogue, for their barleywine and imperial stout- tho' there's were shouldered bottles). Many UK strong beers (Courage Imperial Russian Stout and Whitbread Gold Label in particular) once came in the 7-8 ounce size. For that matter, they were very common for standard US "light lagers" as well, at one time.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah I was referring to those 7oz bottles. The size was perfect for a strong beer. Also if you decided to have two, you could do that too. It gave you options.

                                                                                                                                                                            I also liked Rogue's versions as well. They also had a smoke ale which was a lot smokier than their current version in the small bottles.

                                                                                                                                                                            Some Barleywines I love, like Stone's Old Guardian only come in bombers which is annoying. I am not always looking to get "bombed" when drinking a beer. I suppose it is similar to opening and drinkig a bottle of wine by oneself.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                                                                                              Back a few years ago (when my company was still open and before most of my beer drinking co-workers were transferred all over the country), I picked up a magnum bottle of Hair of the Dog- Fred. Now, when I go through my beer cellar and come across it, I wonder "When am I *ever* gonna drink this?".

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah I also don't like the widespread use of bombers for barleywines. I need to wait until I have company over to open some of the beers I keep on hand. While in SF recently, I picked up some Russian River beers I'd never heard of, and bourbon barrel-aged old ale and barleywine from Drake's. These came in little 7oz. bottles. I can see the appeal.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Kenji

                                                                                                                                                                  The Celebration Ale from SN was very good this year, I have to agree. Im not sure if it changes but this is the first time I have had it and thought it was tremendous.

                                                                                                                                                                  You are correct in that Anchor Xmas changes each year but they do such a good job with it that it just spikes the anticipation every year which adds to it. They have done well not, IMO, overdoing the spices and each year I buy a few cases to store up and enjoy throughout the year.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: yankeefan

                                                                                                                                                                    The SN Celebration varies very subtlely from one year to the next. I don't think there are any formal changes to the essential recipe. But one year's will be slightly different from the next. There are some editions of it -- '04 was a recent one -- that really stand out. I haven't encountered this year's Celebration Ale yet.

                                                                                                                                                              2. My kids and their friends all seem to have a thing for Yuengling. You can't even buy it in Georgia so people make runs to surrounding states for it.
                                                                                                                                                                When I was a child I recall it was a big treat when friends would bring Coors (the old unpasteurized stuff, not the current day Coors) over from CO as you couldn't get it any other way in Texas then.

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Goomba

                                                                                                                                                                  Its always what you cant have that you want. I have all the yuengling in the world and everyone wants it. However, Im dying for some Fat Tire and Goose Island out here in Jersey, and everyone else Im sure takes those for granted.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Holyoke Dam Ale by Paper City Brewery, oh what a wonderful brew.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Legend Brown Ale (Richmond local beer)
                                                                                                                                                                    Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
                                                                                                                                                                    Anchor Steam Beer

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Have to add a new one to this list:

                                                                                                                                                                      Arrogant Bastard Ale.. had for 1st time- UNREAL

                                                                                                                                                                        1. LOL - don't need one, I'm Canadian. Our beer is um (trying to be polite here) different, lol.

                                                                                                                                                                          That being said my local faves are:

                                                                                                                                                                          Keith's - pale ale, Brewed in Nova Scotia, just like me (1st round draught pick, pardon the pun)
                                                                                                                                                                          Okanagan 1816 - great lager brewed in the Okanagan Valley
                                                                                                                                                                          Steamboat Springs - Ontario beer, brewed with spring water