This is the beer that I'm drinking as I write this and the one that inspired this post.
Year after year this beer is always delicious. I go through beer phases. Sometimes I can't get enough hops, sometimes all I want to chug is wheat beers. But it's always the right time for a Rare Vos. It's not too strong, it's not too anything. It's the Goldilocks beer. But it is distinctive too.
The perfect beer?
Cigar City Jai Alai
There are a lot of great IPAs. They all emphasize different aspects of hops. There's a very complicated balancing act in an IPA's creation. Hop resin bitterness has to be balanced by malt, and too much of either crowd out the hop oil's flavor.
Jai Alai focuses more on the hop's delicate flavors than, say, some West Coast IPAs like Sierra Nevada. But no question it's an IPA, it's just less skewed to the punch-you-in-the-face end of the spectrum.
This beer is the un-Jai Alai.
Just a shitload of hops, a high ABV, and an awesome, awesome taste.
It's amazing that a beer has this ridiculous amount of hops, and it's not overkill. Truly astounding. But after a pint I'm done with it for the night.
OK, maybe two pints.
Another classic. There's nothing else like it. Sometimes I go into a beer store and find a bottle that's a year or two old. This is a good thing. The Brux has had time to dry it out.
A place near my home includes Orval in their low-priced happy hour. $3 for an Orval is a beautiful thing. There's no reason for these monks to make another beer.
Another beer that could be had at stupidly low happy hour place. Old Rasputin will knock you on your ass, but you won't mind.
Big, bad-ass stouts abound, but Rasputin is my favorite.
*As I near the end of my Rare Vos I'm losing my interest in details.
Any Gouden Carolus beer could be on this list. They have a distinctively flavored yeast strain that's delicious in all their beers.
In the U.S. Flanders reds are mainly drunk by beer dorks. Normal people are turned off by the sweet and sour flavor and the fleshy smell. Flanders reds are unlike anything most people associate with beer.
But when you get past the initial shock Rodenbach is fucking delicious.
The Belgian IPA is one of my favorite beer categories. It's basically a tripel with more hops. Monk's Revenge is one of the first that I found widely available that was also great.
Other greats are Green Flash Le Freak, La Chouffe Houblon, and Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor.
My personal favorite of the big German hefe-weizens. Once the temperatures rise I never fail to crave these after a bicycle ride.
Franziskaner's great too, and there are others. But I'm not a fan of Tucher.
This list is subject to change at any moment. Later.