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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Favorite Beers

5 years ago, I hated beer.  Today, I LOVE BEER!  What happened that changed my mind?  Let me tell you…

Before I met my hubby, I had never heard the term “craft beer” – beer was, in my naïve view, the yellow boring watered-down cheap hangover-inducing swill that people brought to parties in college.  Beer was skunky, flavorless and gross.  I wanted nothing to do with it.

But then, the clouds parted and the beer gods smiled down upon me.  The hubby introduced me to *angels singing* CRAFT BEER!  Beer with flavor, depth, character, mouth feel… beer that was made with barley and hops, not rice and corn syrup.  A whole new world was opened to me.

Several years and several beers later, I have developed a decent palate for beer tasting and have several favorites.  By no means am I an expert, but indulge me for a few moments and read on.

North Coast PranQster
Ah, PranQster, you devilish trickster, you marvelous con artist.  You make my taste buds giggle and my spirits laugh out loud.  PranQster is a Belgian style golden ale with a flowery nose, a fruity and ever-so-slightly sour flavor typical of Belgian style ales, and very smooth mouth feel.  This 7.6% ABV session beer is my everyday after dinner beer and I can’t imagine my life without it.  Using a wide mouthed goblet (my New Belgium goblet was best until I broke it, now I use my Chimay goblet), pour most of the beer, swirl to release the yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle, and then pour the rest.  Pair this beer with anything you eat – it’s that good.  Perfection.

Dogfish Head Midas Touch
King Midas was the man.  His recipe, dating back to the 8th century BC and recovered by a molecular archaeologist, is craft beer perfection.  With flavors of white Muscat grapes and smooth saffron and a delicious sweet honey aftertaste, the only reason this beer falls at #2 on my list because it retails for about $13 for four 12 ounce bottles.  But this kingly nectar is worth every penny when you’re feeling the need to spoil your taste buds.  For best flavor, pour this heavenly 9% ABV golden ale into a wide mouth goblet (I prefer it in my Duvel Tulip goblet).  Allow it to sit for a few minutes to shake off the chill and let the flavors warm.  This beer makes me wanna dance!

Affligem Noel
How could I have forgotten about my favorite winter ale??  Affligem Noel is the ultimate Winter Warmer and is truly a treat for me in the cold winter months.  It is a complex, malty 9% ABV treat that warms the body from head to toe.  The cork and wire 750ml bottle makes it perfect for sharing (or hoarding for yourself!).  Despite its depth and complexity, Noel is an easy drinking dark copper colored ale with hints of sweet dark fruit and brown sugar.  Some winter ales are too spiced up for me, but Noel has mellow hints of spice that are complimented by a smooth warm alcohol taste.  I suggest using a Tulip glass to savor the holiday spirit of Affligem Noel while wearing fuzzy slippers and a warm robe fresh from the dryer.

Tripel Karmeliet
This crystal clear Belgian golden ale pours like pure gold.  Like most beers of this style, flavors of cloves and Belgian yeast are forefront, with hints of banana and honey, and a dry and lightly hoppy citrusy finish.  This easy-drinking beer surprisingly weighs in at 8.4% ABV.  Use a Tulip glass, you won’t regret it.

Anderson Valley Brother David’s Triple Abbey Style Ale
Brother David’s Triple is a citrusy, mildly spicy version of a Belgian style golden ale, though a little darker in color than most golden ales.  It has a hint of clove and the classic Belgian sourness and a nice, dry finish.  At 10% ABV, this is a beer that I reserve for weekends and special occasions.  I apparently like beers that are best served in a wide mouthed goblet.  Good thing I own several!

As a self-proclaimed beer semi-connoisseur, I reserve the right to add to, reorder and/or change this list at any time.  I need to revisit some old favorites to see where they rank in this list!



1 comment:

  1. I am a wine-drinker and have felt the same as you regarding the "swill" beers, but now I feel like a beer-tasting is in order!


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