10 Awesome Beers of the World

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

10 Awesome Beers of the World

10 Awesome Beers of the World

There’s no question that the beers of the world come in a plethora of styles and flavors, from the humble lager to the most complex quad and that quite a bit of those beers are really good. With the advent of microbrewing and the rebirth of craft beer it is becoming harder and harder to sort all the excellent beers out there and make a truly smashing beer top 10. Yet while all these beer styles are as different as the countries they come from they are nonetheless united by a defining trait: excellence. It is, after all, hard to make a truly awesome beer; some brewmasters claim it is even harder than making a fine wine so recognition must be given to these wonderful brews. Here is our list of 10 truly awesome beers of the world.

10. Pilsner Urquell

Pilsner Urquell is neither a microbrew nor a carefully crafted trappiste. It is an industrially made beer, nowhere near as widespread as Heineken or Budweiser but still a pretty common sight. So why is it on this list? Simple, not only is it the crispest, most drinkable pilsner out there, it is the beer that actually named the style! Yes, the ‘Pilsner’ in Pilsner Urquell comes from the name of the Czech town of Plzen, where the style was first developed.

9. Delirium Tremens

The pink elephant on the bottle of Delirium Tremens have made this Belgian delicacy into one of the most recognized ‘small’ beers in the world. Beer buffs all over the globe shower this crisp, dry 8.5% ABV Belgian Ale with praise but don’t really dare to drink more than one or two. The legend goes that after three or four bottles of Delirium Tremens the little pink elephant starts to come to life…

8. Trappistes Rochefort 8

The Rochefort brewery is one of the few remaining true trappiste breweries out there and the oldest trappiste brewery in Belgium. True to their reputation, the Cistercian monks brew one mean batch of  dubbel, a truly world class, dark and creamy treat chalking up a whopping 9.2 % ABV.

7. Rogue Ales Hazelnut Brown Nectar

The Oregonian Rogue Ales Brewery has created nectar worthy of the gods. A brown ale that is so creamy and smooth it puts its competition to shame and still interesting and complex enough to warrant another pint, the Hazelnut Brown Nectar is a beer that would make a brown ale fan out of the most hardened Corona chugger.

6. Fuller’s 1845

Nothing says tasty English Ale like Fuller’s 1845, a powerful, hard-hitting London-brewed Strong Ale that proves that not all good beers have to come from microbreweries. This impeccable ale can serve as treat at the end of a hard day or session beer when you’re out with your mates in the pub.

5. Olvisholt Vatnajökull

Iceland is known for its Viking heritage so you just know that they know how to brew good beer. But this microbrewed gem is more than a good beer, it is a awesome travel through time. Flavored with Icelandic Wild Thyme and brewed with  thousand year old water from the melted ice in Jökullsarlon, the glacier lagoon, this beer is truly one of a kind.

4. Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier Naturtrüb

There are other good Weizens out there but Paulaner gets our vote because it manages to stay a delicious common denominator for almost all beer lovers despite being a rather common, mass produced beer. Whether you like downing bud lights or claim to have the sophisticate palate of a true connoisseur, Paulaner is a beer that you’ll enjoy.

3. Fraoch Heather Ale

This Heather Ale is brewed after one of the oldest beer recipes still known to man. Brewed since 2000 BC in Scotland, this type of Gaelic herbed ale is a testament to the staying power of beer in general and good beer in particular.  Delicious and ancient this beer is more than awesome – it is awe-inspiring.

2. Sink the Bismarck!

Don’t try downing this one or you might end up in the emergency room. Brew Dog’s Sink the Bismarck! clocks in at a whopping 41% ABV, stronger than most Whiskeys. The punky Scottish brewers came up with the the beer as revenge against a rival German brewery who had dethroned their old champion, Tactical Nuclear Penguin (36% ABV) with a 40% beer of their own. The patriotic scots couldn’t stand the insult so they borrowed the name of an old war movie and concocted a truly lethal torpedo of a beer.

1. Westvleteren 12

If you think queuing up for the iPhone 5 is crazy you should see what people go through to get their hands on a case of Westvleteren 12. This heavenly quad, voted over and over again as the best beer in the world might be the only brew with a waiting list. The monks do not sell to anyone that shows up outside their gate, do not deliver and, in fact, you have to pre-book your shopping trip by several months. And all for a maximum of two crates or 24 bottles of unlabeled beer. Yes, it is THAT GOOD.
When an interviewer complained to the abbot of the Sint-Sixtus Abbey about the scarcity of their beers and asked why the friars don’t expand production the lead monk just smiled and said that, if it were up to him they would decrease if not stop selling it completely. “Brewing”, the abbot explained, “Is just the way for us to maintain our ascetic lifestyle. We do not need more money therefore we do not need to sell more.”
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