My Favorite Beers
About a week ago, I was asked what my favorite beers were and the conversation got pretty serious. Beer and wine are things I take seriously. Bad wine or bad beer bothers me. In fact, I find wine and beer so fascinating that whenever I travel to another country, this is one of the first things I look into. It fascinates me how it brings people together, everywhere in the world, when done with responsibility. I’ll soon be heading out to Tuscany for a week and one of my primary goals will be to taste the different wines there. But I’d like to talk about beer, because we all have our favorites, but I will present to you my top five.
1. Southampton Publick House IPA—I don’t want to sound like I’m playing favorites, but the Southampton Publick House IPA is my top choice in the world. It’s a perfect beer for me. A little dark, but not too dark, with a high alcohol level content, it is a real man’s beer. Although I love the taste of sweetness in the beer, I don’t like drinking a beer that doesn’t make me feel manly, and the Southampton Publick House IPA does just that. It’s also a great brew year-round. I really can’t do heavy beers in the summer, but I can do the Southampton IPA with no problem. It’s got a clean finish, and I appreciate the Colonial British influences, which adds that little extra deepness. I also have a likeness for the Double White at the Publick House, but I can’t say that it is in my top five. I could dedicate this entire article to the Southampton Publick House IPA. Its IPA is simply perfect.
2. Newcastle—My mother’s heritage is Irish and English, so maybe it’s the English in me that likes Newcastle so much. As a brand, I just like it. I’m attracted to the design of the bottle, but it is also a damn fine beer. It’s got a full, rich flavor, but it is not too filling like Samuel Adams. It provides the satisfaction that a Samuel Adams provides, but doesn’t make you feel like you just ate a bowl of pasta. If it is available at a bar, and it rarely is, that’s what I’ll get.
3. Blue Moon—This is a damn fine Belgian Wheat Ale that is usually served with an orange, but personally I like it without the orange. Blue Moon is fantastic, however the brand is a bit girly, which I don’t like. If Blue Moon was a bit more macho it would rival the IPA at the Publick House. It’s got that rich full body flavor that I look for in a beer, is super smooth and has a hint of sweetness. It’s sort of like drinking what I would imagine liquid silver and gold swirled together would taste like.
4. Peroni—I’m sorry folks, but it’s a Peroni over a Stella, so Peroni is now officially in my top five. In general, I love all things Italian and I am one of those people that wishes, somewhere in my genetics, that I was Italian. I consider my best friend’s family my family, and they are 100% Sicilian, so that counts! But let’s get to Peroni. It’s a solid, light amber-colored beer that has an extremely clean flavor, which I look for in a light amber-colored beer. It’s marketed exceptionally well in the U.S. but from what I’ve heard it is not considered very popular in Italy. I like it though, enough to make it my fourth most sought-after beer. It’s crisp and there is no tart or back-taste, which I find in a Budweiser. It’s sort of like a Coors Light, which is my favorite cheap beer, but minus that metallic taste.
5. Sierra Nevada—This was really tough, because I had to choose between so many beers, including Smithwick’s and Boddington’s, but I have to give it to Sierra Nevada. It’s got that rich, intense flavor that let’s you know you are drinking a damn fine beer, but it doesn’t have the weighty feeling you’d get from drinking a Guinness or a Sam Adams. I love both of these beers, but they just aren’t my favorites for the sole reason of that heavy feeling. With Sierra Nevada, though, you can feel the beer in your entire mouth; every part of your palate gets affected when you drink it.
So these are my top five. Now I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, where is Corona? Where is Red Stripe? Are you really from the Hamptons? Look man, I’m just not a Corona guy. I don’t get it—I don’t like it—it tastes to me like crappy-flavored lime juice. The only reason I ever drink it is because the brand is so powerful and it makes me think of summer in the sun. I’d take a Modelo Negro any day of the week if we are going to go Mexican, that’s a great beer and is quite up there in my rankings. Red Stripe is fine, but it’s not great, and I don’t want to think about Jamaica year-round. When I’m in Jamaica, or if it’s summer and it’s what people are drinking, I’ll drink it. But it’s not my favorite.
So there you have it, my favorite beers.