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Belt’s Beer Garden: Top 5 Beers (2.0)

Counting down the top 5 beers from a number of categories

neon3

More than three years ago two other contributors and myself broke down our favorite brews and breweries with a top-5 list. Well...with so many new breweries and beers emerging in the past 37 months and with tastes ever evolving, I decided now would be a good time to reevaluate my old list.

And, although Norm and Carter no longer write for the site, I found a more than willing substitute - my friend Taylor who has already assisted me in four BrewFC fights and has an expansive beer resume herself.

Now let’s take a look at the categories we’ll be evaluating:

Saisons/Farmhouse ales, Amber/Red ales, Lagers, Pilsners, Witbiers, Hefeweizens, Porters, Stouts, Fruit beers, Blonde ales, Sour/Wild ales, Pale ales, New England/Milkshake IPAs, IPA/DIPAs, and then we’ll end with our top 5 overall beers and top 5 breweries.

So, without further ado, the Top 5 Beer List...

Up first, Farmhouse/Saisons

Saison

BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
Farmhouse/Saison
1 Dogfish Head/Stone/Victory – Saison du BUFF Side Project – Provnce: Lapsang
2 Hill Farmstead – Flora Plum (Batch #3) Tangled Roots – Ginger Saison
3 Moody Tongue – Steeped Emperor’s Lemon Saison Side Project – Biere du Pays (Blend #6)
4 Epic – Sour Apple Saison Hill Farmstead – Flora Plum (Batch #3)
5 Pipeworks – Fully Hopperational Battlestation Off Color – Apex Predator

Next up, Amber/Red ales

Ambers

BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
Amber/Red Ale
1 Pipeworks – Blood of the Unicorn Pipeworks – Blood of the Unicorn
2 Noon Whistle – Hipsters vs Lumberjacks Tangled Roots – Kip Kupfer
3 Maine Beer Co – Red Wheelbarrow Two Brothers – Revelry
4 Half Acre – Ginger Twin Revolution – Red Skull
5 Cloudwater – Amber Enigma Solemn Oath - ultrahighfrequency

Next we rank all the lagers we’ve had:

Lagers

BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
Lagers
1 Black Acre – Natural Liberty Kirin Brewery – Ichiban
2 3 Floyds – Jinx Proof New Glarus – Yokel
3 Sierra Nevada – Beer Camp Across the World Ginger Lager (2017) Baderbaräu – Naked Selfie
4 War Pigs – Salmon Pants New Glarus – Totally Naked
5 Motor Row – New Phenix Magic Hat – Dream Machine

Up next, it’s time to rank the best pilsners:

Pilsners

BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
Pilsners
1 4 Hands – City Museum Pilsner 4 Hands – City Museum Pilsner
2 New Glarus - Mistral New Glarus - Mistral
3 Maplewood – Pulaski Pils Old Bakery – Yellow Beer
4 Fountain Square – Workingman’s Pils Solemn Oath – Scareball
5 Flat 12 – Hinchtown Hammer Down 5 Rabbit – Gringolandia Super Pils

After pilsners, we’ll head back to ales and try to keep our wits about us...

Witbiers

BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
Witbiers
1 Mikkeller – Wit Fit Lake Effect – Lake Effect Snow
2 Avery – Liliko’i Kepolo Clown Shoes – Clementine
3 Brick by Brick – Running Dune 4 Hands – Ripple White Ale
4 Noon Whistle – The Parker Avery – White Rascal
5 Barrell Trolley – Belgian White Bruery Terreux – Orchard Wit

Hefe-n help us, we’ve had a lot of hefeweizens to choose from

Hefeweizens

BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
Hefeweizen
1 Garage Brewing – Mango Hefeweizen New Glarus – Dancing Man
2 Forbidden Root – Strawberry Basil Hefeweizen Garage Brewing – Mango Hefeweizen
3 Wasatch – Apricot Hefeweizen Tangled Roots – Vermilion River Weiss
4 Harviestoun – The Mischief Wheat Beastie Hopvine – Urban Tumbleweed
5 Cademon – Tropical Kingpin Wasatch – Apricot Hefeweizen

From one of the lightest styles we transition to one of the darkest...porters.

Porters

BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
Porters
1 Denver Beer Co – Graham Cracker Porter Denver Beer Co – Graham Cracker Porter
2 Central Waters – Brewer’s Reserve Rum Barrel Coconut Potert Denver Beer Co – Cocoa Cream Graham Cracker Porter
3 Einstök - Icelandic Toasted Porter Two Brothers – Peppermint Bark Porter
4 Atwater – Vanilla Java Porter Spiteful – God Damn Pidgeon Porter
5 More Brewing – Falling Colors 3 Floyds – Alpha Klaus

We’ll try to keep this category short and stout :)

Stouts

BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
Stouts
1 Goose Island - Bourbon County Midnight Orange (2018) Mikerphone - Smells Like Bean Spirit series
2 Garage Brewing - Marshmallow Milk Stout Mikerphone – Just Sip the Sizzurp
3 Hubbard’s Cave – French Toast Stone – Xocoveza
4 Mikerphone - Smells Like Bean Spirit series Sierra Nevada – Beer Camp Across America Double Latte
5 Bearded Iris - V. Latte: Gitwe (obligatory) Goose Island – Bourbon County

Fruit beers are next up

Fruit Beers

BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
Fruit Beers
1 Pollyanna – Summerly New Glarus – Strawberry Rhubarb
2 Shiner – Prickly Pear Engrained – Shanberry
3 Legacy Brewing – That Guava Beer Lost Coast – Tangerine Wheat
4 More Brewing – Frooted series 21st Amendment – Hell or High Watermelon
5 Golden Road – Mango Cart Horny Goat – Watermelon Wheat

Who doesn’t love a good blonde?

Blonde Ales

BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
Blonde Ales
1 Legacy Brewing – Strawberry Blonde Obed and Isaac – Strawberry Blonde
2 Maplewood – Creepy Ginger Lucette Brewing – The Farmer’s Daughter
3 The Bruery – Fourthmeal Glenwood Canyon – Colorado Blonde Ale
4 Acoustic Ales – San Diego Strawberry Blonde Sun King – Hop Up Offa That Brett
5 Obed and Isaac – Strawberry Blonde Half Acre – With With

Pucker up, it’s the best sour/wild ales we’ve had

Sour/Wild Ales

BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
Sour/Wild Ales
1 Omnipollo – Bianca Side Project – Fuzzy (Blend #3)
2 Almanac – Tropical Platypus Central State – Lazer Raptor
3 Penrose – That Hoppy Brett Beer Two Brothers – In the Flesh (Prickly Pear)
4 Maplewood – Dem Guava Boys Maplewood – Dem Guava Boys
5 Russian River - Supplication Une Annee – No Regrets Mosaic

Now we get into the hoppy categories...first up, pale ales.

Pale Ales

BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
Pale Ales
1 Brew By Numbers - 42|02 DDH Pale Ale Number Two New Glarus – Moon Man
2 Maine Beer Co – Mo Half Acre – Galactic Double Daisy Cutter
3 Maplewood – The Charlatan Maplewood – The Charlatan
4 Maine Beer Co – Pepper Toppling Goliath – Pseudo Sue
5 Marz – The Machine Southern Tier – 3 Citrus Peel Out

From there we head to one of the newest styles to emerge (and one of our favorites)...New England/Milkshake IPAs.

NE/Milkshake IPAs

BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
New England/Milkshake IPAs
1 Maplewood – Son of Juice/Juice Pants series Marz – Crushed Velvet
2 Bearded Iris – Chasing Rainbows series Maplewood – Son of Juice
3 Amplified Ale Works – Faraway Towns Heretic – Juicier Than Thou
4 Southern Grist – DDH Mixed Greens series Oddside Ales – Dirty Dank Juice
5 WeldWerks – Juicy Bits WeldWerks – Juicy Bits

Finally, the most popular beer styles in the world...IPAs (including double/triple)

IPA/DIPA

BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
IPA/DIPA
1 Maine Beer Co – Lunch Mikerphone – Mikerphone Check 1, 2
2 New England – Fuzzy Baby Ducks Lawson’s – Sips of Sunshine
3 Denver Beer Co – Incredible Pedal New England – Fuzzy Baby Ducks
4 Treehouse - Hurricane The Alchemist – Heady Topper
5 Maine Beer Co - Dinner Denver Beer Co – Incredible Pedal

It’s now time for the five best beers we’ve ever had (so far)....

Best Beers

BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
Top 5 Overall Beers
1 Maine Beer Co – Lunch Side Project – Fuzzy (Blend #3)
2 Maplewood – Son of Juice Mikerphone – Mikerphone Check 1, 2
3 Brew By Numbers - 42|02 DDH Pale Ale Number Two Lawson’s – Sips of Sunshine
4 New England – Fuzzy Baby Ducks New England – Fuzzy Baby Ducks
5 Bearded Iris – Chasing Rainbows #4 The Alchemist – Heady Topper

And last but not least...we come to the final category. The best overall breweries:

Best Breweries

BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
BEER STYLE Dave Taylor
Top 5 Breweries
1 Maine Beer Company Mikerphone
2 Maplewood Side Project
3 Bearded Iris Denver Beer Company
4 Mikerphone Marz Brewing
5 Treehouse New Glarus

What do you think? Did we get it right? Have we missed out on some awesome beers/breweries? If so, let me know...I always love finding new beer!