10 top 2010 beers. One man's list.

on 22/12/10 at 4:39 pm

Beer

What a year for craft beer.

I cannot remember another year in which so many good beers were released. There were so many in 2010 that, for the first time, in June I felt compelled to write a mid-year top-10 list of best beers.

But breweries did not slow down in the second half of the year. In fact, of the beers that made my earlier list of the best of 2010, only three of the beers at the mid-year mark remain on my final Best Beers of 2010 list, which I share here:

1. Stone Brewing Company, Lukcy Basartd, 8.5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), California

I was so wowed by this beer that after I took the first sip, I sent an e-mail to a friend and told him to go buy it right away. It’s just a standout in every single way. It’s a blend of Stone’s Arrogant Bastard, Double Bastard and Oaked Arrogant Bastard. You get a fair amount of oak notes in the beer, and the hops are ever present. If you’re a hophead, this is a must buy.

2. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, 30th Anniversary Ale — Grand Cru, 9.2 percent ABV, California

Another hoppy blend — this is a mix of Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, Celebration (the winter India pale ale) and barrel-aged Bigfoot (a barleywine). A lot of flavors going on — piney and citrusy flavor notes dominate. It’s an unmistakable a big beer — it’s almost twice the strength of an average mass-produced beer — but drinkable.

{Full list}

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