Friday, 29 January 2021

A beery Cooperstown

The American beer writer Jeff Alworth is running a poll on Twitter asking people to nominate ten beers for an imaginary hall of fame.

As I see it, what we're talking about here is not just people's ten favourite beers, although many of them will also no doubt fall into that category, but rather those of historical importance in world brewing, beers that have helped to define a style or best represent it now. My selection below is of European beers, and limited to those I've actually drunk myself, mostly in the city, or even the pub, where they're brewed, and therefore heavily skewed towards the experience of being in a particular place - or, if you want to be a bit more pretentious, the concept of terroir - where they were first drunk and are still enjoyed. Nevertheless, I think I've included all the major styles, and a couple of minor ones too.

Draught Bass

Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

Pilsner Urquell 

Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild

Fuller's 1845

Robinson's Old Tom

Schlenkerla Märzen

Schneider Weisse

Uerige Alt

Westmalle Tripel


  1. Some good choices there Matt, and wise tying them in to “terroir.” I’ve enjoyed all of those beers, primarily on their home turf, the two major exceptions being the Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild and Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. I presume you’re referring to the version brewed for the Belgian market, rather than the Nigerian one.

  2. No, the Dublin-brewed Foreign Extra Stout. I like the Special Export Stout they also brew there for the Belgian market, but find the Nigerian-brewed FES a little too sweet (probably because of the sorghum they use in the mash before adding the Guinness extract imported from Ireland to flavour and colour it).

  3. I think one of the first 80's English Golden Ales would be a worthy addition to these (Exmooor Gold or Hop Back Summer Lightning perhaps ~ I'd go for Hop Back). Maybe a traditional IPA such a White Shield? Great choices, however.