Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My Favorite Beers of 2005

Has anyone tried any commercial beers of note, this past year? Here are some of my favorites that I've enjoyed in 2005:

Local: This year's Nutcracker Ale by Boulevard Brewing, Kansas City. It's a bottle-conditioned ale that they produce for November and December only.

2005 Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada. Always a good bet. If you can find their Harvest Ale on tap somewhere, you've just got to try it, as well. It's brewed with "green" hops, fresh from the hop harvest.

Yeti Oak Aged Imperial Stout by Great Divide (in Colorado).

Duchesse De Bourgogne from Brouwerij Verhaeghe (a traditional Flemish red ale).

Most of the beers that I tried while in Seattle at Elysian Brewpub and Bigtime Brewery & Alehouse. These are two of my all-time favorite beer establishments in the Northwest US.

All of the fresh beer on tap at The Rogue in Portland, Oregon, Especially the Imperial India Pale Ale, Menage Frog Belgian Style Tripel, and the Morimoto Imperial Pilsner.
Also, some of the beers I enjoyed and the relaxing time I had at Tugboat Brewing in Portland.

My favorite lager of the year: Leavenworth Friesian Pilsener (similar to those brewed in the Friesland region of Northern Germany) by Jenn Gridley of Fish Brewing Co., Olympia Washington. I'm going to try to reproduce a version of this in "Sputnik", my new fermenter.

These were just a few of my faves. How about you?


Hunahpu said...

Really, I stick to my tried a true favorites: Spaten Optimator, Pilsner Urquell, Spaten Oktoberfest, etc. When I try new beers, it is usually microbrewed versions of German and Czech styles mentioned above.

The beer I have been mosted excited about recently is the Trader Joe's brand beer. They are actually quite good, cheap, and pretty true to style.

Mark I. said...

Duuuuuuuuude! Man, you got my mouth watering.

I can't say I'm a beer afficionado but I do LOVE my Sleamans Honey-Brown Lager.

Bolder said...

Besides the local Boulder microbrews like 'Hazed and Infused' which I don't consider commercial, but more small batch... I only discovered two beers this year: Leffe Blonde and Brune from a local pub. I never really like something like Stella Artois, but these were a pleasant surprise from the Belgian tower. Didn't care for Hoegarten though -- too peppery, or flowery or something.

The only commercial american beer I drink is Sam Adams, but I tried Foggy Bottom on a trip to D.C. and was pleasantly surprised. Back in Canada, I only drink Sleemans or Creemore Springs. But, those have been long time staples.

Brian said...

Unibroue's Edition 2004 was spectacular, if you like the fancy Belgian-style beers. Positively decadant. I have a bottle I'm saving for a special occasion.

One of the more interesting things I was introduced to this year was a "mole" combo of equal parts Rogue Chocolate Stout and Chipotle Ale.

Also, Arcadia IPA was a real treat from my beer fo the month club.