everyone knows how I feel about top 25 lists based on subjective reality. it’s pointless to numerate things sitting around a table because the discussion turns into a negotiation or a fight with “if that’s on this list then this needs to be as well. okay, if that’s on then this is off. oh yeah, it just wouldn’t belong now….” see how that goes? it’s like arguing with a 20 something about the top greatest bands of all time. from their point of view Zepplin, Stones, Eagles and the Beatles aren’t even close to the top while Blink182, Smash Mouth and No Doubt take their place.
the guys (or maybe guy. and apologies if you aren’t a guy) over at appellationbeer.com made a list to help us make lists of things. here’s the link to that. but it was the quote at the top that got me thinking, “that’s right, I’ve never made a top anything list.” and to make a list I just have to answer the question posed.
Stan, just to throw a hot potato back at you: if, under penalty of death, you were compelled to come up with a list of the world’s 25 best, what would it be? Actually, I don’t care what the list is as much as I wonder what criteria you would apply to come up with it.
so here is a list. I’m going to make it an unconventional list just because. my criteria? get all the beers on the list. and because I don’t like lists it has to be funny. maybe it’s also partially serious. discussion to follow.
#1 insert your favorite beer here. it’s not a list unless your beer is on it somewhere. so it might as well be here. Beer School rules apply, I like what I like, and you don’t have to like what I like. fill in this blank with what you like. oh, you’re stumped!? daunting isn’t it?
#2 Budweiser. yeah, yeah. call it swill, make fun of it, don’t drink it because you are above it. but have you tried a Bud lately? no, you haven’t. it’s really good beer. find one that was made yesterday. it will blow your mind.
#3 whatever I’m hung up on right now that’s brewed locally. there are local beers that come and go based on the season. the winter brings barely wine, spring has something less bold and more hoppy, summer is all about what goes with the lawnmower, fall is harvest and octoberfest, winter warmer. repeat. seasons change, so does the number three beer in the world.
#4 remember that beer we had at that festival we kept drinking all day… didn’t they make just one barrel of it? that was awesome!
#5 Mike McDole’s home brew. boy oh boy can that boy brew.
#6 you know on the Twitter when I say “get here!” I’m not kidding. whatever that was is gone. sucks that you didn’t get to try it.
#7 context beer. a beer that I had that was amazing because I had it at the same time something else was going on. I remember the good time so well that the beer that goes with the memory sticks out. thing is, it’s never been as good since.
#8 Geuze. doesn’t matter which one because they are all awesome. every one. find one. buy several. it’s really great isn’t it?
#9 New Glarus Fat Squirrel. you’ve heard of the Cherry and the Raspberry made with local fruit grown only in Door County. but have you had beer made from squirrel? check this out. they add squirrel like a hop addition at every part of the brew. seek this out. something this unbelievably good has to be on every list.
#10 something made by Vinnie.
#11 something made by Rodger.
#12 something made by Tomme.
#13 something made by ShaunO or Jesse or Zambo.
#14 something made by Matt.
#15 something made by Greg.
#16 something made by Dave or Ben.
#17 free beer has to be here somewhere. that’s right, free as in beer. it really doesn’t matter the rank as it’s free. sure somebody had to pay for it but it wasn’t you. you get to drink it with abandon. sometimes all you have to do to get free beer is ask. like Bob who said, “I believe there will be no charge for this Two Four of beer!” with such authority that he got all the free beer he wanted. I’ve had all the beers on this list as free beers. which makes them doubly good. I’ve also had the worst beer in the whole world for free. doesn’t matter either way as it’s free beer.
#18 Sierra Nevada Pale.
#19 Budweiser Chilada Lite because it’s never been on a top 25 list ever. be sure to get this into a snifter glass for the full visual effect.
#20 Anchor Liberty Ale. not just because it’s awesome but because everyone will bitch that a different IPA needs to go in this slot. the other bitch will be why isn’t this up there above Sierra? because I like Sierra better okay?!
#21 any six pack snuck into a movie theater. the sound the bottle (or can) makes as it rolls up to the front never gets old.
#22 a case of something you thought was the bomb in college. not because it’s a top 25 beer but so you can find out that it’s really bad. now wonder how you ever liked it the first place. or even how you stayed with beer to become the geek you are today. yeah, how did that happen?
#23 Black Albert from De Struise. only because it’s nearly impossible to get or was. maybe they make more of this now. maybe not. you never know with the De Struise guys. Back in Black from 21st Amendment is the US of A stand in for Black Albert.
#24 Gruit. it’s not bottled as near as I know. and you have to go to San Diego or San Francisco to get it. call first.
#25 we end like we started: insert your favorite beer here. who’s to say whether or not what you love should be higher on the list. but it’s my list. so tough luck about it ending-up up here. TWO of your favorite beers are on the list. what more do you want? now, go drink local beer. and enjoy it with live music. get pizza while you’re at it.
Dexter wrote in after I sent the list out and had this to say:
So it’s the 1) the people and 2) the place and 3) how the beer was presented and tasted That Day. And remembering How They All Came Together to make That Day a Special Day. Then training your mind to recognize the “Special Days” and cherishing them. You don’t rank Special Days….if you could they wouldn’t be Special, they would be discrete and ordinary. Beer is not God… it is not the Lord of Misrule of the Night. And it’s not a contest… one beer does not beat out another…it’s chemistry. The Beer is one of the catalyzing agents that bring all of the event’s elements together and help make it a Special day.
I think he nailed it.