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Friday, October 16, 2009

Ten Best Beers?

[Importante! Whoops, boneheaded error. As Stan notes, the section I describe is called "Top Ten Designer Beers, which McFarland describes thus: "Greater than the sum of their parts, these key global beers are design classics, amalgamating delicious beer, iconic bottle design, distinctive packaging, unmistakable labels, and devilish good looks." So that explains the Grolsch!]

I was reading through Ben McFarland's World's Best Beers--which I promise to review next week. One bit I missed earlier is his list of the world's ten best beers. I understand what a seductive opportunity listing your fave beers is: with an internationally-released survey of the world's beers, McFarland had the chance to influence thousands. Personally, I wouldn't have done it. Give me fifty--maybe. You'll see when I reproduce thelist the dangers: McFarland selected some unworthy beers and omitted many classics. But credit him with this--he's given us something to discuss.

1. Deus Brut des Flanders
2. Grolsch
3. Adnams Explorer
4. Kwak
5. Liefmans Kriek
6. St. Peter's Honey Porter
7. Orval
8. Delerium Tremens
9. Rogue Old Crustacean
10. Boston Brewing Utopias

Your thoughts?


  1. 1/10... Orval being the only that would make my list.

  2. You made me look. I'm reading the book now and was curious how I missed a "best in the world" list. I saw the countries one - surprised I've had all 5 of his Italian choices, don't think his German list reflects what people in Germany drink.

    Anyway, the list you note is top "designer beers" and focuses on packaging (thus Grolshc).

  3. I can't stand Grolsch, but to each his own, right?

  4. Agi... "designer" beers... an IPA is like a fruit of the loom t-shirt at a fashion show.

    Orval is great and I for one think Delirium Nocturnum is better than the Tremens...

    I can replace many of those brews with fine barrel aged sours, and other various styles. Even Stone could squeeze a brew or two in there. I for one think Rogues Old Crusty IS on of the better Barley Wine Brews...

  5. Hello there.
    Ben McFarland here. I don't normally comment on blogs but this what brought to my attention and I just wanted to clarify what Stan has kindly pointed out too. Namely that the top ten list is NOT what I regard as the best beers in the world but rather the top ten DESIGNER beers.

    By that, we mean the ones with the best-looking or most iconic bottle/packaging. I wouldn't suggest Grolsch is one of the top ten beers in the world but the swing-top bottle is a classic design icon in the beer world.

    Hope that clears things up.



  6. Ben--

    An embarrassing gaffe indeed--that's why I posted the correction. Somehow I just missed that page and when I did see it, didn't read carefully enough.