No two beverages are created equal. Thus knowing which beers to try and which beers you shouldn’t waste your money will spare you from those disappointing moments when your first sip brings a frown instead of a smile. So we have made up a list of recommended and not so much recommended beers for you to try.
For more beer recommendations check our new article, The Copper State & Beer of Gold (Episode Arizona)
Beers to Drink
1. Allagash White Ale – Allagash Brewing Company
If you want to start exploring craft beer but are not sure when to start Allagash While Ale is a good beer. When the Maine-based Allagash first came out with their white ale it was one of the few Belgian style cloudy ales being brewed in the States. Now they serve as a perfect stepping stone for those who like beers like Blue Moon and Shock Top. But who wants to start exploring the wider world of white ales. Allagash White Ale has been ranked as one of the best American white ales in the country. The beer is a little cloudy and malty and it has a warm spice profile thanks to the addition of coriander.
2. Sugar Hill Golden Ale – Harlem Brewing Company
Sugar Hill Golden Ale is named after a neighborhood in New York made famous by musicians during the Harlem Renaissance. Beer is the flagship brew of the Harlem Brewing Company. When brewer and company owner Celeste Beatty first moved to Harlem she became involved in community gardening. And that was when she fell in love with growing hops. When she combined her newfound interest with an existing passion for cooking with beer and wine Harlem Brewing Company was born.
The first African-American-owned brewery in the country. With a background in cooking it makes sense that Beatty was able to craft a well-balanced rich golden ale. Sugar Hill has pronounced malt aromas and flavors, and a slight bitter spiciness and notes of citrus thanks to Willamette, Tettnang, and Cascade hops used in brewing. It’s medium-bodied and has an ABV of 5.4% which makes it a delightful session ale.
3. Finestkind IPA – Smuttynose
Smuttynose Finestkind IPA is a classic New England style IPA that primarily uses Simcoe, Santiams and Amarillo hop for a balance of citrus and bitter flavors that make this style of beer so distinct. Finestkind is unfiltered and hazy. The body of the beer is refreshing and light which helps to keep the intense hoppy bitterness from overwhelming the other tastes and aromas in the glass. It was British Extra Special Bitter Ale that started it all for the brand back in 1994 with its extra hoppy taste.
4. Old Chub – Oskar Blues
Old Chub is made in Colorado by Oskar blues. One of the first craft breweries to sell their ales exclusively in cans, which started off a trend so big that you can even buy wine in a can instead of a bottle. This beer is not for the faint of heart. It is brewed with malted barley and grains as well as birchwood smoked malt. Giving it a robust smokey sweetness. In fact, this ale is quite a bit sweeter than your might expect. Necessary to help balance out the bitterness and alcohol heat you get from a beer with 8% ABV.
5. White Rascal – Avery Brewing
This is an unfiltered Belgian-style wheat ale with a subtle but compelling blend of coriander and curacao. This crisp beer pairs well with a lot of foods. the company began in 1993. Proved it was ahead of the curve when it introduced the first packaged IPA in Colorado in 1996. And has continued churning out both classic and unconventional beers ever since.
6. Enjoy By IPA – Stone Brewing
The brewery has released several iterations of their Enjoy By IPA but what stands the same among all of them is that is best enjoyed when is as fresh as possible. According to the date on the bottle. These time-sensitive hop-forward beers carry robust floral citrus and pine flavors that haven’t been overwhelmed by the bitterness acidity and residual sweetness of the beer. The fresh hop flavor stands out quite well to higher alcohol content.
Beers Not To Drink
1. Point Fruit Beers – Ballast
One of the problems is that instead of sticking to their roots as an innovative IPA maker and shifting to more East Coast IPAs like a lot of their competitors. Ballast Point hopped on the fruit beer trend. Damaging their reputation among beer lovers in the process. Another big downside to buying from Ballast Point is that their product is just more expensive than their competitors. Even though the beer doesn’t always live up to its price tag.
Though it’s the number two most popular imported beer in the country it’s not worth fridge space. Because it is imported it has to travel long distances. Unfortunately, its signature green glass bottle doesn’t protect the liquid inside from damaging sunlight.
3. Coors Light
It has only 2.4 out of 5 from more than 5000 reviews on Beer Advocate and an even worse 0 out of 5 ratings from over 2000 reviews on Rate Beer. Coors Light may have been the second best-selling beer in the country in 2018. But that doesn’t mean you have to buy it.
4. Bud Light
Bud Light is the most popular beer in America. It’s a fine beach beer. Its popularity is dropping probably because it’s one of the more boring beers out there. These days consumers are moving away from mass-produced American beers and toward imports, craft beers, wine, and spirits. Bud Light is made with a bland blend of barley and rice that results in a watery flavorless brew.
5. Flavored Beers – Shock Top
It’s a relatively benign, mass-produced wheat beer masquerading as a specialty product. However decent the original Shock Top might be the same cant be said of their flavored offerings. Were not at all against fruit beers but they need to be done right. The Raspberry Wheat beer is made with a wild raspberry flavor that just doesn’t taste a lot like a fresh raspberry.
6. Michelob Ultra
Michelob Ultra falls under the umbrella of American-style lagers. It’s a watery pale brew that focuses on its low calorie and carb content over its flavor. Michelob Ultra is a beer so light it has actually ceased to taste like beer.