Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Favorite Beers

I hosted a six course beer dinner at Seven Springs Winery in Osage Beach last night. It was a good night full of great food and beer. Whenever I do events, there are a few questions that I'm always asked. How did you get into brewing? Do you drink beer all day? Where did you go to school? What's your favorite beer? The last one is a question I love answering because I drink a lot of beer from a ton of different breweries. I think it's very important to constantly try new beers and revisit old favorites. This list is far from complete and changes quite often, but if you were to ask me what my favorite beers were right now, this is what I'd tell you.

My favorite Boulevard beer is without a doubt Saison-Brett. I say this with zero hesitation every single time I'm asked what my favorite beer we brew is. Sadly, I can't drink it all the time so I also drink a lot of Pale Ale, Tank 7, and Pilsner. I still freak out when it's Bob's 47 season as well.

In no particular order, I really dig these beers from other breweries.

This is the original "extreme beer", the one that started it all. Pale Ale is the beer heard 'round the world of the American craft revolution. Every single one of us lucky enough to be a craft brewer owes immense thanks to Ken Grossman and Sierra Nevada for leading the way. 'nuff said.

La Folie - New Belgium Brewing Company
This beer freaked me out the first time I had it. I tried it at my first beer festival, the St. Louis Microfest, back in 2006 and it totally blew my mind. I had no idea that beer could taste like that. I look back and contribute the combination of my first festival and tasting a tiny tiny amount of this beer from the bottom of a bottle at the end of the day to making me want to be a brewer. Lofty stuff. When I met Lauren Salazar, sensory specialist and blender of New Belgium's sour goodies, I told myself I wasn't going to geek out and gush over La Folie. I did.

Prima Pils - Victory Brewing Company
We can't get this beer in Missouri yet, but I've heard tons of rumors about Victory coming here. I long for the day I can go buy a sixer of Prima whenever I want it. Instead, I stock up every time I see it. I came back with a case last time I was in Chicago and a friend at Boulevard always hooks me up with cases when she visits Illinois. I've been very lucky to have had a steady supply of fresh Prima for about a year now. This is my favorite beer to drink in the shower.

Bachelor ESB - Deschutes Brewery
We really believe in balance in our beers at Boulevard and Deschutes nails it with Bachelor. I find this beer amazingly drinkable and refreshing. My best friend lives in Eugene, Oregon and I pound this beer whenever I go out to visit. I have fond memories of standing waist deep in a lake drinking this beer. Larry Sidor, Brewmaster of Deschutes, was kind enough to hook me up with a case of it when I visited his brewery.

St. Lupulin - Odell Brewing Co.
I get very excited when it's time for this beer to come out. I fell in love with it the first time I drank it and continue to enjoy it. It's such a beautiful expression of hop flavor and aroma without a ton of hop bitterness. I love bitter beers, but really dig a beer that can showcase hops like this one does. It's probably my favorite summer beer.

Dominique - Goose Island Beer Company
This is another beer that totally blew my mind. After I had my first glass, I immediately emailed my buddy Paul Devries who works in sales for Goose Island to tell him how much I loved it. I wish I had saved the message so I could post it here. It would need a lot of editing and word replacement to be appropriate, but Dominique was so good he needed to know exactly how I felt about it. I've heard several times that it will never happen again and that makes me sad. I linked to Matilda, the base beer, since there's no information regarding Dominique on the Goose Island website.

I also dig the work of these breweries: New Glarus, Bell's, Nebraska Brewing, Cantillon, Russian River, Pretty Things, Free State, Surly, Orval, Firestone Walker, Upstream, and many others far too numerous to mention. Please don't hate me if I didn't mention your favorite brewery or if I mentioned a beer you wouldn't let your dog drink.


  1. Couldn't agree more on St. Lupulin, definitely my favorite summertime beer!

  2. I really enjoy Prima Pils, too. My brother-in-law brought me back a sixer the last time he was in Chicago. Have you had Victory's Golden Monkey? It's a really good Belgian Tripel.

  3. Also agree with you and Nate, St. Lupulin is awesome! New Glarus is a favorite of mine because my whole family is from
    Wisconsin. Love it when they bring me some back

  4. Surly Furious
    Boulevard Nutcracker
    SN Celebration
    Free State ThunderHead
    Free State Lupulus
    Blind Tiger Java Porter

  5. I am totally going to try drinking beer in the shower.