Once upon a time I was able to keep up with all of the new craft beers being released. Those days are long gone now – partly because I no longer earn my living talking about beer online and partly because there are just too many new beers coming out to make that a feasible goal.
I am a very big fan of trying new things, so I don’t mind. In fact, I very much appreciate having the option to order something I’ve never had before almost every time I go out.
At the same time, having so many options, in so many places, so regularly, has made me realize which of my old standbys really have staying power. The list of beers that I keep coming back to time after time, year after year, is relatively short but each beer on it has passed the tests of time and fierce competition with flying colors. While it’s weird to think of the idea of “classic craft beers” – I suspect that it may someday be a thing. In the meantime, I will share my list of abiding favorites. Here they are:
5. Victory Prima Pils
Out of the five beers on this list, Prima Pils is the one I seek out least often – but whenever it’s there, I’m always glad to see it. A classic thirst-quencher easy-drinker, it was my first favorite pilsner and that will never change.
4. Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale
You’d think that a beer originally released in 1997 might have lost its edginess by now but that’s certainly not the case. There’s fruit, pine, bitterness, bite – and best of all, balance. It’s the beer that taught me what a sipping beer is and it’ll always have a place in my heart – as well as my fridge.
3. Unibroue La Fin Du Monde
This beer makes you wonder if the Canadians couldn’t teach the Belgians a thing or two about brewing. The first time I had it was in Montreal, upon the recommendation of a friend (thanks again, Deron) and I haven’t stopped loving it since. I try to pay it forward by recommending it to anyone just getting into beer and I still buy it regularly for myself. I consider the fact that it is now available at Wegmans a blessing, as it is my all-time favorite blend of yeasty, fruity, spicy, and boozy.
2. Founders Porter
A classic example of the style, this beer is everything you could want in a porter and it’s not at all pretentious about it. Dark, velvety, and dominated by the chocolate and caramel malt flavors, this is the beer that made me fall in love with porters and I will always be grateful.
1. Great Lakes Christmas Ale
This post was actually inspired by Great Lakes Christmas Ale, which was released today. At this point, it’s a holiday season tradition for me – and one of my favorites at that. It’s spiced, it’s sweet, and it’s oh so nice. Maybe the fact that I can’t have it all year round makes me appreciate it even more when I can? Either way, I can’t wait to get my hands on some ASAP.
This post was submitted by the lovely Elizabeth Chatterton. Make sure you follow her other fascinating articles on her blog, Words of Chatter.