Review of DRAFT’s Top 25 Beers of 2010

DRAFT Magazine

Couldn't this be 'The Most Intersting Beers of 2010'?

DRAFT, an American magazine that celebrates the world of beer and beer culture, recently published the ‘Top 25 Beers of 2010’. Obviously, this is quite an ambitious task, so kudos to the writers for putting together a delicious list of quality beers.

However, I’d like to point out that these are not the beers I would have necessarily picked. And they are most certainly not the beers you might have picked, nor my friend Mark. The point being, that putting together a list of Top 25 beers is almost useless because everyone’s preferences and pallets are different.

It’s like trying to decide who is a better musical artist Bob Dylan or Aretha Franklin. They created two completely different genres, sang different songs and developed during different eras. Picking the better of the two is impossible because while I might think Bob Dylan is king because of his virtuous lyrics, someone else thinks Aretha’s divine voice and ability to really wail it are unparalleled (I have to agree).

For me a ‘Top 25’ list doesn’t really grab me because my Top 25 list is going to be different than everyone I know. Ranking artists of different genres is very similar to ranking beers of different styles. Think of a Chocolate Stout as Bob Dylan and an India Pale Ale as Areatha Franklin. These great things just don’t compare well in a who’s best (However, I do recommend mixing all four – great beer and listening to classic artists makes for a fantastic evening).

A stout and an IPA cannot be on the same Top 25 list for the same reasons. Especially because DRAFT doesn’t know what you like – so this list won’t have much pertinence. But, what I would have much preferred to read, was a list of the ‘Top 25 Most Interesting Beers Released in 2010’. This way I could figure out which beers were most popular for the year, which ones I wanted to try and where some of the interesting beers were being brewed.

While DRAFT did choose great beers, the year 2010 didn’t carry much weight in this list as Duvel from Duvel Moortgat in Belgium, a Belgian Strong Ale, was originally brewed in the late 19th century. It is a delicious beer that I enjoy very much, but obviously not a new release in 2010 (make sure you give it some time to warm up!).

The reason I would like to see a list of the most interesting releases of 2010 is because I find it very difficult to keep up on the latest and greatest from all the amazing breweries in this country. Even as I diligently scan blogs, message boards and newsletters, I still miss some of the most interesting beers released in 2010. I would appreciate DRAFT magaizine to write a report on these beers: The Special Releases of 2010 That Will Knock Your Socks Off, or something like that. Hopefully next year they will pull the resources together to elaborate on such a topic.

Or maybe I’ll just have to do some research and come up with such a blog post before this year ends….don’t count on 25 though!

Ultimately, DRAFT did put together a nice list of beers and I’d like to point out three that resonated with me and made me want to try them:

1. Angel’s Share Grand Cru from Lost Abbey in San Diego, CA. A barley wine with dark fruits.

2. Pursuit of Hoppiness from Grand Teton Brewing Company in Montana. A hoppy American red ale.

3. Batch 9,000 Ale from Bell’s Brewery in Michigan. Bell’s is famous for the Two-Hearted Ale and this one sounds so good.


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