Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Best beer by country

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

  1. Rohkey

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Posts:
    232
    Likes Received:
    186
    Location:
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Posts:
    9,835
    Likes Received:
    54,926
    Location:
    New Jersey
    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.
     
    hopfenunmaltz and JackHorzempa like this.
  3. Snowdog

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Posts:
    157
    Likes Received:
    188
    Location:
    Ohio

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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Posts:
    157
    Likes Received:
    188
    Location:
    Ohio

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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Posts:
    157
    Likes Received:
    188
    Location:
    Ohio
    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

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Posts:
    771
    Likes Received:
    1,662
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Posts:
    979
    Likes Received:
    1,030
    Location:
    New York
  8. Tut

    Tut

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Posts:
    979
    Likes Received:
    1,030
    Location:
    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.
     
    TongoRad and hopfenunmaltz like this.
  9. pixieskid

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Posts:
    939
    Likes Received:
    590
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Posts:
    979
    Likes Received:
    1,030
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Posts:
    4,445
    Likes Received:
    6,333
    Location:
    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 :)
     
    Tut likes this.
  12. hopfenunmaltz

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Posts:
    9,037
    Likes Received:
    6,965
    Location:
    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.

    http://www.europeanbeerguide.net/reinheit.htm

    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

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Posts:
    18,758
    Likes Received:
    22,342
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    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.

    Cheers!
     
  14. TdLJg

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    Posts:
    124
    Likes Received:
    179
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Posts:
    463
    Likes Received:
    456
    Location:
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Posts:
    7,425
    Likes Received:
    26,334
    Location:
    Washington
    Goddamn labor unions
     
  17. ghostly

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Posts:
    119
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    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.
     
    jmw likes this.
  18. VladTepes

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Posts:
    387
    Likes Received:
    84
    Location:
    Finland
    Have you been in Finland or how you even know what Sinebrychoff Porter is?
     
  19. ShanghaiBeerSnob

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Posts:
    18,758
    Likes Received:
    22,342
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    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.

    Cheer!
     
    TongoRad likes this.
  21. Snowdog

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Posts:
    157
    Likes Received:
    188
    Location:
    Ohio
    As mentioned by Jack above, it is imported and I have had quite a few bottles of it. One of my favorite porters.
     
    TongoRad likes this.
  22. TongoRad

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Posts:
    9,835
    Likes Received:
    54,926
    Location:
    New Jersey
    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

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Posts:
    29
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Can you still find Alsop Pilsner in Kenya?
     
  24. joaopmgoncalves

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Posts:
    143
    Likes Received:
    1,396
    Location:
    Portugal
    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

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Posts:
    29
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    Kentucky
  26. JackHorzempa

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Posts:
    18,758
    Likes Received:
    22,342
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Michael,

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

    Cheers!

    Jack
     
  27. ipc2000

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Posts:
    48
    Likes Received:
    113
    Location:
    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

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Posts:
    1,243
    Likes Received:
    2,864
    Location:
    Colorado

    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

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Posts:
    125
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    Posts:
    853
    Likes Received:
    1,220
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Posts:
    5,011
    Likes Received:
    9,722
    Location:
    North Carolina
    YEMEN: Cold Beer
     
  32. sgwagner

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Posts:
    58
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    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!) ;)
     
  33. DavoleBomb

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Posts:
    546
    Likes Received:
    427
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    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

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Posts:
    5,011
    Likes Received:
    9,722
    Location:
    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

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Posts:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Brazil
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe