Best beer by country

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by draheim, Jul 15, 2013.

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  1. Rohkey

    Rohkey Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2013 Michigan

    When I went to Belgium/Holland earlier in the year, a lot of the beer stores carried Flying Dog for some reason. It's like there were only a handful of slots available for importing from the U.S., and they just randomly selected some breweries (like Flying Dog, and I think Rogue was another) to represent us.
  2. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,305) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Jack- just last night I returned from Italy and was fortunate to spend at least one evening at Open Baladin in Rome. We drank all draught beer, found it all to be immensely enjoyable, and even more affordable than expected. The big hits among our group were the Re Ale Anniversary 8 and, naturally, the Baladin Xyayu Barrel-Aged Barleywine- we kept going back for those- though everything we tried was elegant and well-made. Even a 5% Belgian-style Pale Ale, when not in a $20 bottle and taken on its own terms, was quite a spectacular find on its home turf.

    We did have to search this place out, though, so it does reinforce the position that the draught aspect of this movement is just beginning to take foothold. Hopefully it is in full bloom the next time I am there.

    I spent the bulk of the trip on the Amalfi coast, though, but was also pleasantly surprised at what I had available to me at the hotel. The bock family was well-represented, even if by major brewers. I had a lot of Peroni Grand Reserve (Maibock), Peroni Rosso (Trad Bock) and Menabrea 7.5 (Doppelbock)- all of which were well-made and surprisingly fresh. Beer was not a major part of my trip, though I was really happy with how easy it was to get the good stuff.
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  3. Snowdog

    Snowdog Initiate (15) Jul 28, 2010 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    It is because regardless of availability, Rochefort kicks it's ass any day of the week.
  4. Snowdog

    Snowdog Initiate (15) Jul 28, 2010 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Still waiting on the word on your favorites from Germany.
  5. Snowdog

    Snowdog Initiate (15) Jul 28, 2010 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    SCOTLAND Skull Splitter
    ENGLAND J.W. Lees Harvest
    AUSTRIA Samichlaus
    GERMANY Schneider Weisse Aventinus
    BELGIUM De Dolle Still Nacht
    CANADA Unibroue 10
    FINLAND Sinebrychoff Porter
    USA Hair of the Dog Fred
  6. BurgeoningBrewhead

    BurgeoningBrewhead Initiate (0) Jul 18, 2012 Pennsylvania

    So sick of hearing about Pliny and Heady...they're impossible to find. I'm getting some major sour grapes going here.
  7. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

  8. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    Having been there last Tues., Wed., and Thurs., I can attest to that. Many new ones not present my last visit in 2010. and some very nice ales. I'm now in Brussels for four days visiting my Belgian friend, Marc. He lives four blocks from le Bier Circus, where we had a long session at the back bar last night. Will be visiting some more old favorites today.

    Life is good.
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  9. pixieskid

    pixieskid Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    I agree with your statement until the "european beer tradition is much too* sophisticated for the American palate". You backed up your other statements with examples, lets have one for that...

    Secondly, of course the head brewer at Weihenstephaner is going to think that US beer can't be labeled beer because of the adjuncts; they're the oldest brewery in the world and hold their purity law dear to their hearts, they're going to be biased.
  10. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    The brewery may be ancient, but their precious Reinheitsgebot is fairly recent, about 1907 according to info. from Marquis. Hardly old enough to be considered a "revered" historical brewing tradition.
  11. marquis

    marquis Crusader (758) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    Not entirely. Weihenstephaner is in Bavaria which has been under the Reinheitsgebot from the beginning-it was the rest of Germany which had this thrust upon them thus causing the loss of lots of traditional beer styles. Including beer brewed with large proportions of rice which Busch transplanted to the US.
    Germans now regard the Reinheitsgebot as a sacred cow and confuse matters further by calling it a "Purity Law" , talk about making a virtue out of a neccessity :slight_smile:
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  12. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,346) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    The current beer law is from 1993, if one believes the Internet. Here is Ron Pattinson's take on it. The law is at the bottom of the page.

    The original said nothing of yeast, as there were no microscopes in 1516. It also says barley,but try and make a beer from 100% raw barley, it won't convert to sugar, so no beer results.
  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,448) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    My understanding of the motivation of adopting the original Reinheitsgebot was not to ensure ‘purity’ of beer but to ensure that wheat and rye was ‘reserved’ for the bakers (to make bread).

    Ironically they have been making wheat beers in Bavaria since the 14th century because of grandfathering clauses and Dukes obtaining the ‘rights’ to make wheat beers.

    Politics is politics even when it comes to German brewing of beers in the middle ages.

  14. TdLJg

    TdLJg Initiate (0) Oct 6, 2011 Connecticut

    So you've not had it either? Just kidding man. Did a blind taste test last year and Westy 12 came in far ahead of the rest but R10 was a solid #2 across the board. Gonna run the same test with some age on them this fall.
    cavedave likes this.
  15. WhatANicePub

    WhatANicePub Initiate (183) Jul 1, 2009 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    That’s because brewing and malting were not considered separate things back then. They were separate stages of the brewing process. Even today the vocational course that apprentices take in Germany is called "Brewer and Maltster".
  16. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,431) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Goddamn labor unions
  17. ghostly

    ghostly Initiate (0) Mar 7, 2011 New York

    In the US, I'll say Pliny the Elder. Traveling to Santa Rosa from NY to get it was a great little quest. From Germany, Zum Uerige Sticke Alt. From Belgium, Rochefort 8 was my first big eye-opener, years ago. From France, I love Gavroche. On a trip through England, two cask ales were my favorites: Adnam's Broadside and Thornbridge Jaipur, though the pub and cask scene itself is really what's best over there. And then a few more... Mexico: Bohemia; Canada: Trois Pistoles; Sri Lanka: Lion Stout; Netherlands: La Trappe Dubbel; Italy: Super Baladin; Ireland: O'Hara's stout.
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  18. VladTepes

    VladTepes Initiate (156) Oct 18, 2012 Finland

    Have you been in Finland or how you even know what Sinebrychoff Porter is?
  19. ShanghaiBeerSnob

    ShanghaiBeerSnob Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2012 British Columbia (Canada)

    Let's see, these are just my preferences, not based on popularity... I'll start with,
    Canada: Canny Man - Radical Road Brewing
    China: White Ant - The Brew (only available on tap in Shanghai unfortunately)
    Belgium: Rochefort 8
    USA: 120 Minute - Dogfishhead
    Australia: It's a tie, Sunset Ale - Two Birds/Perverse Sexual Amalgam - Moon Dog
    UK: Tokyo - Brew Dog ... Yes, it's a bit thick, but the cranberry comes through nicely and it's 18.2%
    Germany: Salvatore - Paulaner ... I haven't had many from Germany for some reason so I have to go with what I know...

    I'd have to say my all time favorite of any country would be the PSA by Moon Dog, absolutely the MOST unique beer I've ever had, hands down, super funky, super sour and so full of different flavors, it's complete harmonious dissonance and something everyone who is adventurous should try at some point.
  20. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,448) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    Sinebrychoff Porter is imported to the US. I have even had it on draft a couple of times. A very tasty Baltic Porter but it is rather expensive (as compared to US craft Baltic Porters and Baltic Porters from Poland). For me, Sinebrychoff Porter is a special treat to enjoy every once in a while.

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  21. Snowdog

    Snowdog Initiate (15) Jul 28, 2010 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    As mentioned by Jack above, it is imported and I have had quite a few bottles of it. One of my favorite porters.
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  22. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,305) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I don't know what you pay in PA, but it's well worth the $7 or so to me- definitely one of my all-time favorite beers. I get one every two months or so.
  23. elfcounsul

    elfcounsul Initiate (153) Nov 6, 2008 Kentucky

    Can you still find Alsop Pilsner in Kenya?
  24. joaopmgoncalves

    joaopmgoncalves Meyvn (1,324) Dec 17, 2012 Portugal
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Belgium: Trappistes Rochefort 10
    Netherlands: La Trappe Quadrupel
    Germany: Weihenstephaner Hefe
    Portugal: Sovina Bock

    (Won't say anything about US or English beers, I haven't tasted enough beers say anything at all.)
  25. elfcounsul

    elfcounsul Initiate (153) Nov 6, 2008 Kentucky

  26. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,448) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member


    You buy it more frequently than I do. Foe me, Okocim is the 'sweet spot' Baltic Porter: tasty and relatively inexpensive.


  27. ipc2000

    ipc2000 Disciple (310) Dec 9, 2012 New York

    Belgium: Pannepot Reserva 2008. Rochefort 10 and Bernardus Abt 12, in that order, I think. Then there's my mostly unduplicated love of Fantome Hiver.
    Canada: La Fin du Monde
    England/UK: SS Oatmeal Stout (admittedly LOW sample size here)
    Germany: I'm a big Aventinus fan. But nothing about Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier is pedestrian to me. Great stuff.
    US: Green Flash West Coast IPA. This is the beer that turned me onto craft beer the way I'm onto it now.
    DK: Nelson Sauvin Brut
  28. kojevergas

    kojevergas Poo-Bah (7,592) Aug 15, 2010 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I have to concede I'm no expert on Kenyan beer availability. You sound like you know far more about it than I do, but maybe there's someone about who can answer your question. Is it a tasty brew?
  29. BradtheGreat7

    BradtheGreat7 Defender (621) Jul 22, 2011 Ohio

    U.S. Pliny the Elder(best I've had and yes I've had heady)/ Dreadnaught(my favorite)
    Scotland Ola Dubh 18(best I've had) Ola Dubh 16(favorite)
    Belgium Westvleteren 12(best I've had)/ Rochefort 10 or Het Anker Keizer Blauw(favorite)
    Germany Vitus(best)/ G. Schneider Tap 7(favorite)
    Scandinavia Evil Twin imperial Biscotti break(best)/ mikkeller beer geek breakfast(favorite)
    Canada Peche mortel imperial(best)/ trois pistoles(favorite)
    England Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout(best)/ Samuel Smith nut brown(favorite)
    Netherlands Hel & Verdoemenis(best)/ La Trappe Quad(favorite)

    Really when talking craft beer these are the only countries I drink brews from.
  30. Flibber

    Flibber Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2013 United Kingdom (England)

    Oh god, it's impossible for me to really answer this. I know full well most of the best American, Czech and German beers just aren't available to me (not to mention stuff from other countries). Situation might be a little better with Belgian stuff, but still probably not enough to judge from. I'm not even confident about judging British beer, but I'll say that Timothy Taylor's Landlord is very good and if I had to drink only one beer it might be that one.
  31. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (782) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    YEMEN: Cold Beer
  32. sgwagner

    sgwagner Initiate (0) Feb 22, 2012 Wisconsin

    I'd be curious to see what the original poster of that would think also, as there are so many, most of which are only available locally in the towns in which they're brewed. For me, the best of the best from Germany is Augustiner Edel Hell (avatar may be a dead giveaway for those who are familiar with it).

    Also, if anybody has ever been fortunate enough to visit the Früh Kölsch brewery in Cologne, a 5 or 10 liter wooden cask brought right to your table is about as close to beer heaven as it gets. (at least for me!) :wink:
  33. DavoleBomb

    DavoleBomb Poo-Bah (2,463) Mar 29, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    USA - GI BCS
    Germany - Gasthaus-Brauerei Braustelle - Freigeist Ottekolong
    Belgium - Fantome Saison
    Canada - La Fin Du Monde
    England - Samuel Smith RIS

    Not sure if any other places matter, but I'm gonna give a bonus country just because I love the beer so much...

    Norway - Haandbryggeriet - Odin's Tipple
  34. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (782) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Just so you know, lots of us yokels get about the world quite a bit. I've loved German, English, Belgian, Austrian, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch (The Netherlands), many French, Slovenian and Croatian (when still Yugoslavia), Latvian, Estonian, and Lithuanian beers all on their home turf. The world of beer is amazing and I've had many of the best. Many American beer lovers are jingoistic buffoons, but to paint us all with your smug swath of disdain does your cause no good. I assume that there are stupid jackasses in Germany as well. Anyway, just know that top quality US beer is available here everywhere. When was your last venture to these shores and to some of our best breweries? Methinks you might be surprised.
  35. srbcurti

    srbcurti Initiate (0) May 9, 2010 Brazil

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