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    Beer!



    I'm a bit of a beer geek, and was curious how many of you are as well. I tend to like big, bold, Belgian-style brews, but enjoy a lot of other styles as well. Anything blow you away recently?


    A few of my all-timers:


    * St. Bernardus Abt. 12 (Belgian Quad, pretty much perfect).

    * Allagash Curieux (barrel aged tripel, a great example of the power of barrel aging, as the non-aged version is pretty average).

    * Firestone Walker 14 Anniv. Ale (probably my all time favorite beer. Incredible).

    * Dogfish Head 90 Min. IPA (I'm not a huge IPA guy, but this one is perfectly balanced, keeps the obnoxious hop levels in check. I know hopheads would disagree).

    * Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (the perfect sipper for the winter time. VERY bourbony, in a good way).


    #2


    Big Belgian fan too.

    My all time favorite is Kasteel Donker. Just about the smoothest thing on earth with an 11% ABV. I prefer it over a Rochefort 10.

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      #3


      I just started to take beer seriously in the last couple years. I live in the pacific northwest and my family is in Colorado, so between those two regions I have an overwhelming variety of local brews to choose from. My favorite year-round, good-for-any-situation beer is Mac and Jacks amber ale, available only on tap in the PNW. I haven't yet found that "perfect" beer yet, but right now I'm just enjoying trying everything I can and learning along the way. My most recent obsession is saisons. Besides being great to drink, I think they make great gifts for all varieties of beer drinkers.

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        #4


        I've been getting more into ale recently, just because it tends to have a lot more variation on flavour.


        I do like the typical Kronenburg and Erdinger big name ones...spelling might be a bit off on them. Trying to find liqor stores that stock different makes is rather hard, fairly typical selection at most places.

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          #5


          I would consider myself a beer geek as well, but a strange one since I'm not really thrilled with bourbon barrel aged beers or those huge malty type beers (e.g., Belgian quads, Barleywines, Strong ales) with the exception of stouts.


          I'm not saying I don't like them, I just tend to prefer hoppy beers and beers with some funk like Saisons and Wilds/Sours. Couple of favs:


          - Short's Huma-Lupa-Licious

          - Heady Topper

          - Boulevard Tank 7

          - Victory Helios

          - New Belgium La Folie

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            #6


            @Johdus - I'll give that one a try. Definitely try St. Bernardus Abt. 12 if you haven't.

            @TommyTheCat - those are indeed two excellent beer markets. I love Avery's Collaboration Not Litigation, highly recommend it. Deschutes is an excellent NW brewery...have you been there? And, I like Saisons, especially Saison Dupont.

            @shad0w4life - Whole Foods has the best selection in my area.

            @The Dork - while we may be on different ends of the spectrum, I can appreciate the funky stuff. There is a Gueuze that Lost Abbey makes called Duck Duck Gooze that is incredible. Russian River Supplication is a delicious sour. I'll check out some of the stuff you listed. Re: stouts, if you can find them, I love AleSmith Speedway Stout and Allagash Black.

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              #7


              @Lewis Hallow


              Those are some amazing beers, big flavors for sure. Racer 5 is another great IPA if you like 90 minute. Check out Russian River and Alesmith, both have amazingly complex beers with robust flavors. I especially like Alesmith's Grand Cru for its profile at a cheaper price point. Lost Abbey makes very interesting beers but they are known for a lack of carbonation which ends up making them a little syrupy. If you can find it newly delivered or on draft, order it.


              @TommyTheCat


              I typically find that those that like Farmhouse Ales tend to like IPAs, or at least venture their eventually. Saisons are great drinking beers and the fall is an amazing time to branch out. The spices used during this season are some of the best in my opinion. Lots of pumpkin, cinnamon, coriander, or licorice.


              @The Dork


              If you like sours I would recommend Duchesse De Bourgogne by Brouwerij Verhaeghe. Roddenbach also makes some delicious sours including their Grand Cru. Russian River is another brewery that makes some good sours.

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                #8


                @Josh B:


                I second heartily the Duchesse. My wife loves it, too - and it makes a great steaming liquid for mussels.

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                  #9


                  @Josh B, looks like we're on the same page! I was typing about Alesmith and RR as you were posting Good stuff. And, agreed on Lost Abbey. e.g., Serpent Stout on tap = amazing. In bottle, not so much.

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                    #10


                    I was incredibly fortunate, and got to visit Belgium this summer. Westvleteren really is incredible stuff. St Bernardus 12 is one of my favorites, and head to head it was like water in comparison. Huge flavors. Hard to find outside the monastery, but I found some in Amsterdam near Dam Square in a store called "The Beer King" (Die Biere Konig). A great new Belgian brewery, by the way, is called Der Doktaar van die cornaar (or something like that.) I haven't seen it in the States yet but it was the standout of the trip (except for WV).

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                      #11


                      Also, for those who enjoy flavorful and sort of funky beer, Flemish sours like Duchesse de Bourgogne are incredible. If you like that sort of thing, look for Brasserie Franches Montaignes (BFM). A young, pretty crazy brewmaster who makes explosive flavors.

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                        #12


                        I'm a beer guy. I'm pretty serious about it; it was my last immersive hobby before I stumbled onto this one (clothing/style).


                        I am not, and never will be, a hophead. Beers that are solely vehicles for piney/citric/floral/grassy (i.e., hoppy) flavor don't make sense to me; they're completely unbalanced. There are a handful of IPAs I've enjoyed (notably DFH 60 minute and a couple from Bell's), but hops-first beers generally don't interest me.


                        I'm a relative expert on German wheat beers (hefeweizens, weizenbocks, and so forth), and I also enjoy a number of traditional British styles (English stouts, porters, and barleywines primary among them). There are a bunch of other European beers on my "favorites" list, mostly malty and/or yeasty ones.

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                          #13


                          I'm not a beer expert by any stretch but I've found that I definitely prefer Belgian-style ales and nut brown ales. Some of my favorite standbys are New Belgium's Abbey and Trippel, Big Sky's Moose Drool, and Madison River's Salmon Fly Honey Rye (both local microbrews). If I'm in a new bar or restaurant and nothing on the beer menu looks familiar, I will generally go with an inoffensive "micro" brew like Fat Tire.


                          I'm not into beers that are either excessively hoppy or malty ("motor oil" as my dark-beer-loving ex roommate affectionately called them). I like a nice, balanced, slightly bready-tasting beer.

                          Ben

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                            #14


                            The Twin Cities beer scene is pretty great right now, so most of my favorites are local beers. Surly, Indeed, Summit, Harriet, Fulton, and Lucid are some of my favorites. Plus most of their taprooms are bikable.

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                              #15


                              BB...I've also had the pleasure of imbibing the legendary Westvleteren. Amazing stuff, and I luckily have a friend bringing me a bottle as we speak! However, I would disagree that St. Bernardus is like water in comparison...I actually find them to be reasonably close in the bottle. Haven't had Westy on tap, though, so that may be the difference maker.

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