50 beers to drink before you die: the full list

Now that my "50 beers to drink before you die" series is finally done, I’m posting the full list of all 50 beers I selected for a handy reference. Organized by theme and the order in which I presented.

American West Coast (Part 1)

  1. Anchor Steam
  2. Widmer Hefeweizen
  3. Shakespeare Stout
  4. Sierra Nevada Bigfoot
  5. Alaskan Smoked Porter

European Icons (Part 2)

  1. Celebrator Doppelbock
  2. Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen
  3. Lindemans Framboise Lambic
  4. Guinness Extra Stout
  5. Pilsner Urquell

Extreme Beers (Part 3)

  1. Samichlaus
  2. Cave Creek Chili Beer
  3. 90 Minute IPA
  4. Midas Touch Golden Elixir
  5. Samuel Adams Utopias

United Kingdom (Part 4)

  1. Young’s Bitter
  2. Fuller’s London Porter
  3. Theakston Old Peculier
  4. Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale
  5. Orkney SkullSplitter

Belgian (Part 5)

  1. Saison Dupont
  2. Jenlain Original French Ale
  3. St. Bernardus Witbier
  4. Rodenbach Grand Cru
  5. Trappistes Rochefort 8

American East Coast (Part 6)

  1. Sam Adams Boston Lager
  2. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
  3. Victory Prima Pils
  4. Black Radish Dark Lager
  5. Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

German (Part 7)

  1. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier
  2. Reissdorf Kölsch
  3. Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen
  4. Köstritzer Schwarzbier
  5. Aventinus

"On the scene" picks (Part 8)

  1. Düsseldorf, Germany: Altbier
  2. Belgium: Lambic
  3. Munich, Germany: Oktoberfest
  4. Burton upon Trent, England: Bitter (and others)
  5. Portland, Oregon: Varied

Around the World (Part 9)

  1. Sapporo (Japan)
  2. Sheaf Stout (Australia)
  3. Flying Horse Royal Lager (India)
  4. Singha (Thailand)
  5. Baltika Porter (Russia)

The Final Five (Part 10)

  1. Arrogant Bastard Ale
  2. Style: Sahti (Finnish)
  3. Style: Kvass (Russian)
  4. Homebrew
  5. Your local brewery’s beer

Naturally, this is an entirely subjective list—I picked the beers that I thought were representative of styles, region, and/or quality, or gave my reasons otherwise, knowing full well that other people’s lists may well be entirely different. This list isn’t endeavoring to be the be-all, end-all list of the worlds 50 best beers or anything—just something I’ve had fun with, and hopefully everybody else has, too.

There’s been some good suggestions in comments, and at least one other list that I’ve come across that was generated by this series… I’ll list those in a later post.


  1. When you started this adventure, I thought–"Fitty beers, good lord, show some restraint, man." But now that I see how you’ve broken it up, I find myself asking–"Fitty beers, good lord man, how do you expect to accomplish this feat with just fitty beers?!"

  2. So many beers, so little time. The list is subjective by nature and a beer aficionado would be able to ad many others. That said, think global but buy local. Support your local micros. They brew for you.

  3. Way to go. You completely left out the middle of the US. May you be run over by a truck carrying a load of Shiner, New Belgium, New Glarus, Goose Island, Bell’s and Great Lakes Brewing products. By the way, Portland is on the way out as being "on the scene".

  4. Rather well put together list for limiting yourself to "fitty" beers. Of course there are omissions, but how could there not be with so many great beers in the world! By the way Mystery Brewer, as being a grad of Colorado State and knowing New Belgium brewery quite well, I’d agree that Fat Tire or the Abbey Ale should be on the list. But the author did not leave off all Midwest breweries as the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter is produced by Great Lakes Brewery in Cleveland to his defense. (Cleveland is my hometown and Dortmunder Gold is my preference from Great Lakes)

  5. Mystery Brewer- You’re absolutely right, I *did* leave out the U.S. middle. Unfortunately, there was a lot to cover (see Jeff’s "just fitty beers?" comment) and I just couldn’t see a way to fit more American beers in there. I did sneak Great Lakes in there, though, as Dave D points out.

    Were I to pick those 5 "American Center" beers, I’d probably go with:
    * Celis White
    * Yeti Imperial Stout from Great Divide
    * Honker’s Ale from Goose Island
    * Fat Tire Amber Ale
    Hmmmm stuck on a fifth… maybe
    * Maharaja from Avery, or
    * Gonzo Imperial Stout from Flying Dog, or
    * Bell’s Expedition Stout…

    The problem, of course, is there’s *so many* choices. And of course, that’s the fun of it, too. 🙂

  6. Great list. I didn’t know about Sierra Nevada Big Foot, but am a big S.N. fan.

    Also, Sapporo now has a Sapporo Reserve that is even smoother and fuller flavored than regular Sapporo. But it’s all good!

  7. Whaddya mean, Mystery Brewer, that Portland’s on the way out? It’s just starting in Portland.

    I can walk to 7 brewpubs from my house, and bicycle to a dozen more. I don’t care where you’re at, if you’re not in Portland, you can’t do that.

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