Charlie Deal’s Top 10 Great Beers of the Year

[image via Off the Broiler]

I know Charlie best as a whippersnapper snapper.  In other words, he regularly outperforms younger athletes such as myself.  His real job though, is as Chef and Owner of both Jujube in Chapel Hill and Dos Perros in Durham.  I’ll let him take it from here.

I wouldn’t go so far as call this the 10 best beers I had.  Rather, some combo of “the best” and ones that were far tastier than I expected.

1. Stone Imperial Russian Stout- This was released at the same time this year as the much more heralded Founders KBS and Rasputin Oak Aged, and it was so much more enjoyable right away.  Those other two may come around but the Stone is rich, balanced, and completely delicious.

[image via Core Brewing]

2. Unibroue Quelque Chose- Really a dessert wine barely masquerading as a beer, but who freaking cares.   The stuff is flat-out glorious.  Mind you, you’ll want at least a few friends around to share the bottle, because I can’t see drinking more than 6 oz or so of it.  Cherry deliciousness.

[image via Bob Woodshed]

3. Bruery Saison Rue- It was the belle of the ball in a tasting of American Wild Ales.  It just had such clarity and finesse.  Ripe rye flavors with a bright finish and amazing texture.

[image via Core Brewing]

4. Stone Cali-Belgique- This one gets the nod over other Belgian-style IPAs simply because it was the first I tried.  It is such a delicious style that is really catching on.  Ripe fruit with high aromatics and an assertive, bitter bite.

[image via Drunken Polack]

5. Dogfish Head Festina Peche- Certainly makes the list under the, “surprisingly tasty” category.  I could not get over how charming, clean, and fresh this beer tasted.  Great acidity and immensely refreshing.

[image via Brewed for Thought]

6. Allagash Interlude- Borrowing a touch of ripe fruit and polish from time spent in oak barrels that previously saw Syrah and Merlot, this otherwise tangy wild ale is a stunning example of how profound beer can be.

[image via Captain’s Beer Blog]

7. Lagunitas Hop Stoopid- First off, Lagunitas beers are such an amazing value.  Price wise, it’s them and everyone else.  What I liked about this beer in particular is that, unlike so many other double IPAs, it’s not crazy malty.  I really find it odd.  Guys jack up the IBUs to dizzying levels, and then cram so much malt into a beer that you can barely tell.  Not this one.

[image via Hampton Roads]

8. The whole Mikkeller Single Hop Series- My favorite was the Nelson Sauvin, and I’m not even sure I like the idea of these things existing, but sitting down and trying all 10 was illustrative to say the least.

[image via Nath’s Beer Gallery]

9. 2008 Southampton Saison- My first aged saison and one that was so amazing I made sure to put some down.  Tons of fig and caramel and a beautiful copper color.

[image via Home Brew Talk]

10. Ommegang Rare Vos- Maybe it was tasting it there.  But I think it’s because it’s what Fat Tire would taste like if Fat Tire was actually good.  There’s that rich toast, but it washes clean and refreshing behind.

[image via Benne Keith]

I know this made you thirsty so I’ll likely bump into you at Sam’s after workThey’re doing a tasting with Stone Brewing Co. (who Charlie picked twice here) this Friday from 4:30-7pm.

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December 16, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Crowdsourcing. 2 comments.

Where to drink Fullsteam

Fullsteam Brewery is so hot they’ve got a GQ spread.

Durham’s newest craft brewery makes an excellent product. I had the pleasure of drinking five of their beers at a special Dos Perros event well before they were widely available. By now their brews are available triangle-wide and if you’re really lucky, you’ve got a ticket to their opening party tomorrow.

(UPDATE: by now, this list is woefully outdated, so click your city to be taken to the primary source of information)

Here’s a partial list of where it’s currently available:

DURHAM

  • Tyler’s Taproom
  • James Joyce
  • Dos Perros
  • The Pinhook
  • Rockfish Seafood Grill
  • City Beverage

RALEIGH

  • Busy Bee
  • Poole’s Diner
  • Flying Saucer
  • The Pit
  • Berkeley Cafe
  • Foundation
  • Piola

CARY

  • Lucky 32
  • Bella Mia

APEX

  • Tyler’s Taproom
  • Rocket Science IPA

CHAPEL HILL

  • Piola
  • Spanky’s

HILLSBOROUGH

  • The Wooden Nickel

[Tip via Eat at Joe’s]

[image via Fullsteam FB]

August 13, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Smarts. Leave a comment.