Thursday, May 10, 2012

The BEER blog: ruminations of a beer & math geek

Beer is good. Thursday, I reviewed my 3,000th different beer. In reality, there are probably a few more, but none that deserve the space in my limited memory to rate them accurately. That's why I rate em. To help remember. N Stuff. Those three thousand brews have come from 48 states (including DC) and 45 countries. From grocery stores, liquor stores, bars, breweries, trades, ebay, mail order(& homebrews that are not included in the total)...Dave's underwear drawer. You get the idea. On the site I use to track & score the beers I've had, - there are 81 styles of beer. I've at least sampled a beer or two from every style, some far more than others. My favorite styles by the numbers (ratings on a scale of 1-5, my average is a 3.5): 1. Imperial Porters (28) 4.15 average 2. Imperial Stouts (189) 4.13 (really my favorite if I had to pick, especially the barreled kind) 3. Flanders Red/Oud Bruin (25) 4.07 (combination of two similar them sours) 4. Belgian Quad (24) 4.06 5. Wild Ale (28) 4.01 (sours not brewed in the traditional flanders or lambic styles) 6. Barleywines (111) 3.96 (I combined American & English styles, too much overlap) 7. Imperial IPA (148) 3.93 (for the Hophead in me) 8. Old Ale (25) 3.90 (can be similar to Barlwywines, but merits it's own rank) 9. Strong Ale (101) 3.88 (kind of a catch-all catergory for big brews that don't fit another style) 10. Belgian Strong Ale (108) 3.87 (see strong ale, add Belgian)
I've tried more IPA/IIPAs than anything else (376), lots of stouts (321), pale ales (163), barleywines (111), spiced ales (108), belgian strongs (108), strong ales (101) and porters (96). By the numbers, my least favorite styles: reduced-alcohol (1.57), light lager (1.59), pale lager (2.03), strong lager (2.28) and lager (2.67). This would make it seem like I'm a regular lager hater, but I love Bocks & Doppelbocks. Most cheap (ie-pee pee) beers out there happen to be lagers, and that brings down the scores. The highest rated states are Indiana (12) 4.12, Illinois (17) 4.07, Ohio (16) 4.03, DE (34) 3.96, & Michigan (58) 3.89. Michigan is the only one that I'd really consider a top 5. The others have too small of a sample size and/or are dependent on one brewer (ie-Dogfish Head in DE). MY "real" top 5 states for beer: 1. California 3.61 This was a tough one, but soooo many awesome beers brewed here. 2. Oregon 3.64 Portland, San Diego, Denver (and Asheville, NC apparently)...the beer meccas of the US. 3. Colorado 3.6 4. MI 3.89 two of my favorites, Founders and Bells, call Michigan home. 5. WI 3.1 low average. but several awesome breweries - New Glarus, Tyranena, Ales Asylum... Lowest 3 are Wyoming at 2.18, Missouri at 2.48, and Texas at 2.78.
By volume: 1. California 911! 2. Oregon 210 3. Colorado 176 4. Nevada 167 5. Wisconsin 121 6. Massachussets 86 (mostly Sam Adams) 7. Washington 82 8. New York 76 9. Missouri 60 (mostly pee water) 10. Michigan 58 South Dakota, North Dakota, Arkansas: 0 (feel free to send me some). Favorite by country: 1. USA 3.52 lots o crap, sure, but TONS of awesome brews, brewers, and a neverending variety make this an easy call. 2. Denmark* 3.78 My favorite foreign brewer (Mikkeller) though they don't really have a brewery (gypsies). 3. Belgium 3.69 4. Norway 3.84 5. Scotland 3.73
By volume: 1.USA 2397 2. Belgium 134 3. Denmark 83 4. Germany 72 5. England 67 What are the best breweries in the land, you might ask? Well, let me tell you (though this gets a little hairy). Lots of really really good brewers will not make this list. It's a very short list, but those I deem to be the best of the best. Like I'd mentioned before, Mikkeller is my favorite non-Yankee brewer, but my top-10 are all Anerican.
1. Stone (49) 2. Deschutes (50) 3. Russian River (25) 4. New Glarus (36) 5. Alesmith (13) 6. Bells (19) 7. Founders (14) 8. The Bruery (37) 9. Cigar City (23) 10. Dogfish Head (34) And a just missed shout-out to Lost Abbey/Port, Great Divide, and Firestone Walker, among others. I've had beer, both good (think Sierra Nevada) and bad (Indian Wells) from many a brewer, but none more than these: 1. Boston Beer Co. 70 2. Mikkeller 68 3. Sierra Nevada 62 4. Great Basin (Reno) 51 5. Deschutes 50 6. Stone 49 7. Moylans/Marin 48 8. Rogue 47 t9. Silver Peak (Reno) 46 t9. Anh-Busch 46 (what can I say?) And finally, these...the top 1%, according to yours truly.
Ayinger Celebrator Bells Hopslam North Coast Rasputin 14 Deschutes The Abyss Russian River Pliny the Elder Stone Whiskey Barrel Double Bastard Dogfish Head Palo Santo Stone Red Wine 7-7-07 Vertical Epic Great Divide Espresso Yeti Sam Adams Chocolate Bock Cigar City Marshall Zhukovs Stone Imperual Russian Stout Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel Great Lakes Barrel Aged Blackout Deschutes Dissident (the original batch was amazing) Russian River Consecration Goose Island King Henry Schmidt/Maui/Stone Coconut Macadamia...Porter Alesmith Barrel Aged Speedway Stout Bells Expedition Stout Russian River Pliny the Elder New Glarus Belgian Red Firestone Walker 13 Alesmith Speedway Stout Great Divide Barreled/classic Yeti The Bruery Bourbon Smoking Wood Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout Goose Island Bramble Rye/Rare Bourbon County Russian River Supplication Cascade Sang Royale ****Everything you just read has likely already begun to change. 3001 is happening tonight. CHEERS!!!!


Turi Becker said...


Anonymous said...

Rogue is at 50 too. They have 3 brews under the Issaqah Brewery that's really Rogue as well.

Anonymous said...

nice idea.. thanks for sharing..