DME's Updated Favorite 40 Beers

About six months ago, I created a list of some of my favorite brews. Since then, I have tasted a few new brews that I have come to love, and changed the original ordering slightly. In making a few new changes earlier today, I simply decided to create a new list, which you will find below. Please keep in mind that I only rank what I have drank and that I hate Borbon/Whiskey flavors. You'll probably notice a recurring theme with my two favorite beer styles: IPAs and Russian Imperial Stouts. Remember, I am not a real beer connoisseur, even if I periodically hold myself out as one...
  1. Kentucky Breakfast Stout. Thick, heavy, complex. A brilliant mix of Vanilla, Oak, Tobacco, Chocolate and Coffee hides the alcohol well, and creating nothing but smooth flavor and only a taste of bitterness. This beer is very hard to find, and only comes out once a year. Equally tasty is the regular Breakfast Stout, which tends to be easier to find, though it is also a once-a-year brew.
  2. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. The Old Rasputin XII, a one-time brew, is infinitely better, but infinitely more expensive (and hard to find).
  3. Wild Little Sumpin'. This stuff is ridiculously drinkable for an 8.5% ABV beer. It's a limited brew, but I am stocked up. After I run out, I'll have to regulate myself to the regular Little Sumpin'.
  4. Three Floyds Dreadnaught IPA. A malty hop bomb of the highest order. A must drink for imperial IPA lovers everywhere, though it's hardly cheap...
  5. Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. Like Dreadnaught, this beer is a bit pricey ($10-15 dollars a bomber), but well worth the cost. This Russian imperial stout has a smooth/subtle coffee flavor to complement the dark chocolate/roasted malts flavor and the finish is to die for.
  6. Southern Tier Unearthly Imperial IPA. An aggressive hop bomb that always hits the right spot. Not for those who hate bitter flavors.
  7. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. The guy who brews this stuff wrote my favorite beer book of all-time, the only beer book I have ever read, The Brewmaster's Table.
  8. Three Floyds Alpha King Pale Ale. Simply delicious, this brilliant year-round pale ale is perfectly bitter and always ripe for drinking.
  9. Goose Island Imperial IPA. One of my favorite beers by one of my favorite breweries.
  10. Surly Furious. I drove to Minneapolis just to have a pint of this delicious APA. Furious is simply that good a beer, and likely the best APA I will ever have the pleasure of drinking.
  11. Great Lakes Glockenspiel Weizenbock. This full of alcohol, wheat flavor and some bitterness, but is smooth to the taste. Incredibly drinkable.
  12. Three Floyds Gumballhead. My favorite American wheat ale. Refreshing, with a perfectly bitter bite.
  13. Unibroue La Fin Du Monde. Can only be described as banana bread beer. It always hits the spot.
  14. Port Brewing Co.'s Santa's Little Helper. This drink is ridiculously delicious and drinkably boozy, with a huge malty nose. This beer captures the perfect blend of dark fruit and chocolate flavors with a roasted malts balance. The after taste is to die for.
  15. Stone Double Bastard Ale. As if Arrogant Bastard was not good enough, Stone decided to one-up themselves with an even stronger, thicker, more complex, and more boozy (11.3% ABV) strong ale. Not for the faint of heart or the light/casual beer drinker.
  16. Sam Adams Dopple Bock. I can't particularly explain why, but this beer is brilliant. It is even better slightly warm.
  17. Founders' Double Trouble. My undying affinity for IPAs probably has me biased on how high I regard this beer, but Double Trouble is probably my favorite beer on tap in Madison, Wisconsin.
  18. Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary. I just had this beer for the first time earlier this week, but it impressed me enough that I was sipping on it exclusively for the evening. This is a darn good dark-chocolate-fused-with-coffee-flavored beer.
  19. Founders' Devil Dancer Imperial IPA. This beer is as bitter and alcoholic as they get. Not for the casual beer drinker.
  20. Three Floyds Blackheart. My first foray into the English-style IPA, but it certainly won't be my last.
  21. Goose Island IPA. A staple and a classic. My six-pack of choice when I can't decide.
  22. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. A perfect blend of citrus aroma and hoppy flavor. It is my "oh you have this at your bar?" staple when all else fails and the second best beer on tap is Guinness or Fat Tire, which is like 50% of the time.
  23. Half-Acre Daisy Cutter. In the style of Sierra Nevada's citrusy bitterness, this locally brewed APA is a great beer from an up-and-coming brewery that you can increasingly find on-tap.
  24. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier. The undisputed king of all traditionally-flavored Wheat beers.
  25. Founders' Dirty Bastard. A smokey, caramel-sweet beer whose flavor lingers forever. Yum!
  26. Storm King. An entirely too drinkable Russian Imperial Stout that will have you wondering where all the beer went the next morning.
  27. Three Floyds Robert The Bruce. Normally, I hate scotch ales. But this is the exception to the rule.
  28. Victory HopDevil. Impressive...most impressive.
  29. Stone Smoked Porter. Surprisingly light finish for the style of beer, but nonetheless jam-packed with roasted flavors and subdued aromas that entice you to keep sipping.
  30. Sierra Nevada Kellerweis Hefeweizen. A sweet beer with a crisp, refreshing banana and bread flavor.
  31. Victory Moonglow. Weizenbocks are an entirely underrated style of beer that mixes boozy with drinkability, and Moonglow is easily one of the best in its class.
  32. Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA. Infinitely better than both the 60 minute and 120 minute IPAs in my strange opinion.
  33. Southern Tier Choklat. Like a booze-laden Hershey's chocolate bar that melts in your mouth, Choklat has a slight dark chocolate bitterness to it that perfectly complements the beer's roasted sweetness.
  34. Lagunitas Hop Stoopid. This beer is a stupidly good, hopped up double IPA with plenty of bitterness from taste to finish.
  35. Founders' Centennial IPA. Can Founders do any wrong? A simple, but classic IPA.
  36. Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald. An undeniably tasty porter, though I do not understand most of this beer's hype.
  37. Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout. Only one word can describe this black-coffee-with-a-hint-of-chocolate flavored beer: "smooth."
  38. Victory Old Horizontal. A surprisingly delicious mix of intense fruit flavors and malty-sweetness. Best described as a warm, aromatic beer that challenges the palette.
  39. Goose Island Matilda. I can't put my finger on this beer, but I love it.
  40. Bell's Expedition Stout. A well-hyped beer that does not stack up to its reputation, but is nonetheless delicious with a good hamburger or steak. Certainly worth a try if seeking something new, or the above mentioned Russian Imperial Stouts are nowhere to be found.
Never Forget:
  • Unibroue Éphémère (Apple). I am probably the only person on this planet that truly enjoys this beer as much as I do. It will always hold a special affinity with me for weening me off of Miller Lite and my college-beer days, and acting as a gateway into craft beer.
  • Goose Island 312. Ol' Reliable. This is what you drink at a bar, when you have no clue what anything else in bottle at a bar tastes like or when a bar only otherwise has Miller/Bud/Coors on tap.
Next on my list of beers to hunt down are Pliny The Elder and Stone's Russian Imperial Stout.


Adam H. said...

I've had 95% of these and they're all good. I have to disagree with #24, however. I prefer Ayinger Hefeweizen, personally.

David "MVP" Eckstein said...

I totally forgot about Ayinger, who makes an even better dopplebock