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25 Beers You Need In Your Life

Most chefs have a comprehensive knowledge of wine to go with their food know-how. While I do know a fair bit, beer is more my thing. So I've compiled a list of some of the world's best to share with all of you. Hope it encourages you to go out try some of these, as they're all certainly worth it. Albums are just random awesomeness.
1Coroner
No More Color


Arrogant Bastard - Arrogant Bastard is of a beautifully polished cherry-wood colour that would look every bit as classy and handsome as a bar top as it does just sitting on one. I'm sure Stone (Bastard's brewery) has already looked into whether it's possible to legally trademark a smell - this audaciously hoppy aroma is distinguished by the sheer pomposity of its wickedly bitter pithiness and unrivaled piney attributes. It smells like someone set a forest (Tim Burton-inspired of course) on fire and grinned the singed and seething remains into the bottle. Imagine encountering a dark, sinister side to pink grapefruit, pine serum and toffee-coated wafers. In fact, Arrogant Bastard is kind of like a vigilante - not everyone will agree with the way it goes about things but few will dispute the overall good brought about. A challenging yet highly rewarding brew. 7.2% ABV
2Florence and the Machine
Lungs


Aventinus - Consistently recognized as one of the top beers in the world, Aventinus is a wheat doppelbock with flavors of bread, caramel, and fruit, and a slightly bitter finish. And the carbonation level makes it very drinkable. A classic. 8.2% ABV
3Kammerflimmer Kollektief
Absencen


La Fin du Monde - Unibroue in Quebec has to be one of the coolest breweries in the world. They make extraordinary beer with kick-ass packaging to match. This Belgian-style tripel has a wonderful aroma and a taste full of yeast notes, vanilla and a touch of clove. Perfect on its own or with a meal. 9.0% ABV
4Tourniquet
Psychosurgery


Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen - I can't pronounce it either, but don't let that keep you from drinking it. Simply ask for it at your finer beer store or bar as "that German Smoke Beer," and they'll most likely bring you this: a beer made with malt toasted over an open fire that gives it a pleasantly smoky flavor - like liquid BBQ. 5.4% ABV
5Aesahaettr
Aesahaettr


Allagash White - The Portland, Maine-based Allagash makes a lot of excellent, wheat-heavy Belgian beers, and this is their flagship: light and bubbly with a beguiling spice mix no one has been able to guess.) 5.2% ABV
6Boris
Pink


Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron - Drink this one for its story, as much as for its taste: Dogfish Head's Sam Calagione traveled to the wilds of Paraguay to find one of the hardest, heaviest woods on earth and used it in a tank built to age just this beer. The dark, extra-strong brown ale gets an added kick of vanilla from the wood's unique oils. 12.0% ABV
7Sadus
Illusions/Chemical Exposure


Fritz Briem 1809 Berliner Weisse - Fritz Briem's is Berlin's take on wheat beer: yeasty and super-carbonated but with a uniquely tart, bright finish, making it the perfect summer beer (with no need for a pansy-ass lemon slice). 5.0% ABV
8Dark Ages
Twilight of Europe


Hatachino Lacto Stout - Skip Hitachino's more common lemonade-y wheat beer and seek out this harder-to-find stout, made with milk sugar for extra creaminess and a slightly sour, Hershey-bar-like kick. 3.9% ABV
9Dinner auf Uranos
50 Sommer - 50 Winter


Lion Stout - If you only have one Sri Lankan stout before you kick, make it this one. Creamy and bittersweet, with a rich tan head and notes of fruit. Plus, it comes in cans - perfect for spicing up your next barbecue. 8.0% ABV
10Kashiwa Daisuke
Program Music I


Ommegang Hennepin - Earthy yeast plus lemon and clove in a supremely drinkable amber body. This is the best American saison there is. 7.7% ABV
11Artillery
By Inheritance


Picobrouwerij Alvinne Melchior - Melchior is a solid English-style barleywine - strong, sweet, and malty, with notes of rich, dark fruit - but the extra kick from an infusion of mustard seeds pushes it into mad-science territory. It's so crazy, it has to work. 11.0% ABV
12Macabre Omen
The Ancient Returns


Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout - The classic oatmeal stout: soft and creamy, with just a touch of roasted bitterness, like the soft poke of feathers in a down pillow. 5.0% ABV
13Jenn Grant
Orchestra for the Moon


Sixpoint Sweet Action - Sweet and very hoppy, with a little grass and citrus thrown in. It's mellowed a bit from the original recipe - their Double Sweet Action is closer to the roots, but harder to find. 5.2% ABV
14Rehab
Southern Discomfort


Smuttynose Barleywine - This is one of the best barleywines around, but a bit challenging to get into. It's heavy on the caramel, and thick as syrup, like a sherry. Drink it like one, too: This is a perfect dessert beer. 10.0% ABV
15Sacrilegium
Wicher


Stone Imperial Russian Stout - Heavy, thick, and midnight black. Imperial is an understatement - this is a meal in a bottle. If you can find it, try it barrel-aged for an extra level of bourbony, syrupy goodness. 10.5% ABV
16Exhorder
Slaughter In the Vatican


The Brewery Saison Rue - The awards and accolades just keep coming for these young brewers. The line-up is always adventurous, but perfectly restrained rather than overt. Saison Rue is a farmhouse-style beer with hints of rye and wild yeast strains that make for a deliciously complex drink. 8.5% ABV
17Sixtoo
Duration


Cantillon Iris - The Iris is the flower of Brussels, and this annual brew is barrel-aged for two years. While it is spontaneously fermented like other Cantillon lambics, it differs in that it contains only pale malts and a portion of fresh hops (versus wheat and dried hops). It is tart but complex. Substitute this for sparkling wine and your guests will be glad you did. 5.0% ABV
18Lustre
Night Spirit


De Struise Pannepot Grand Reserva - A vintage-released Belgian Quadruple Ale that is sent forth into the world at least two years after it was brewed. The combination of flavors is compelling and rich while the carbonation keeps the heft of the beer from crushing the palate - which makes for a surprisingly easy drinking considering the alcohol content. 10.0% ABV
19Kreator
Pleasure to Kill


Dieu du Ciel Route des Epices - This Montreal brewery is single-handedly raising the craft-brewing profile of Canada. This selection may not be their best known but it is probably their most intriguing, with its use of peppercorn. The flavoring is unmistakable, and pairs incredibly well with smoked meats. 5.0% ABV
20Northaunt
Horizons


Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA - If the West Coast Style IPA (arguably) became the USA's contribution to the beer world and is itself an exaggerated version of the English IPA, what is the next level? How about a version boasting 18% alcohol and 120 International Bitterness Units? (Note to non-beer nerds: That's crazy bitter.) Be careful with that 12-oz. bottle. 18.0% ABV
21Midnight Odyssey
Forest Mourners


Jolly Pumpkin La Roja Grand Reserve - Visitors to this Dexter, Michigan, brewery could be forgiven for mistaking it for a winery. Ron Jeffries barrel-ages every release. Most batches are then blended to provide consistency, but all have wonderful tart elements that the used barrels help to impart. La Roja is a delicious sour brown ale in a line-up of excellent brews. 8.0% ABV
22Saturnus
Martyre


Orval - Only one beer is made at this Trappist brewery, but that is more than enough. Orval is a worldwide classic Belgian Ale. Proprietary yeasts imparted during secondary fermentation give Orval its subtle and distinctive sourness. 6.9% ABV
23Wonderland Falling Yesterday
Enchanted Landscape Escape


Russian River Pliny the Elder - Perhaps the most well known and sought out double IPA on the planet. The reputation is well earned, as the brewers have found the magic spot between huge flavors and drinkability. This is a hop head's dream. 8.0% ABV
24Nekros Manteia
Deus Otiosus


Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout - This medium- to full-bodied brew first hits you with a huge toasty espresso taste and then with a bitter, hoppy finish. The Colorado-based Great Divide recommends drinking it for breakfast, but with its alcohol content, you might need to take a nap for lunch. 9.5% ABV
25Morbid Saint
Spectrum of Death


Trois Pistoles - Another offering from Unibroue, and perhaps my favorite beer ever, Trois Pistoles is a dark Belgian with some full-bodied flavor. It introduces itself with notes of dark fruit, raisins and plum that begin to meld with caramel malts and bittering hops. Alcohol emerges with a decidedly bourbon-based character. Middle moves into suggestions of candied fruit and prunes. Finishes bitter and coarse with a scratch of husky grain. Superb stuff. 9.0% ABV
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