Jon Abernathy has completed his “50 beers to drink before you die” series at The Brew Site. Why would I mention this given that I’ve already declared the new Ten Best list from Playboy irrelevant to my beer drinking life?
I guess I’ve figured out that looking at one person’s opinion is more interesting than a list done by consensus. The Playboy list was a committee effort. Bill Brand has more insight on the selection process since he was a voter.
Abernathy took his inspiration from a BBC feature “50 things to eat before you die” – unaware that (the venerable) British beer writer Roger Protz wrote a book titled 300 Beers to Try Before You Die a couple years ago. At the time my thought was that tracking down the 300 beers might be a fun project, although once you got to 299 it would be best to stop.
(“Wait, Mr. Angel, I’ve still got a date with the Duvel.”)
Back to Abernathy’s list. What I like most is the spirit in which beers were chosen.
For No. 49 he picks homebrew, writing “Yep, just ‘homebrew.’ Any homebrew. I’m not going to quibble about style, or presentation, or region, or any of that. (Well, I hope it will at least be good.) But I don’t think anybody can call their beer drinking experience complete without drinking some homebrewed beer.” And No. 50 is “You local brewery’s beer.”
There are also “on the scene” picks – meaning go there (say Belgium) and drink beer unique to the region (say lambic).
What I like least – other than the presence of the godawful Cave Creek Chili Beer – is that there are only 50. I take one look at his American West Coast picks and think, no North Coast, no Lost Abbey, no Bear Republic, no Elysian … (stopping to wipe the tears) no Lost Abbey, no AleSmith, no Russian River (finally overcome and unable to go on).
What I thus decided is that my favorite list might be the one with the most beers. Thus this one is five times better than Playboy’s, but Protz has assembled a list that is 30 times superior.