There’s lots to like with DRAFT Magazine’s Top 25 Beer of 2008, which is perhaps the best "Best Of" list that I’ve seen in a while. It has the usual suspects—The Abyss from Deschutes (yay), Dark Lord by Three Floyds, The Angel’s Share by Lost Abbey—but it balances the list out by including things such as Witbiers, fruit beers, and Pelican Pub’s Kiwanda Cream Ale.
Any idea how good a cream ale has to be to make a top 25 list? As excellent as this one. This brewery may have one of the most beautiful views in America, with a backyard that butts up against the Pacific Ocean, and that beauty soaks into the beer.
Tasting Notes: Kiwanda begins with a slightly sweet, delicately bready malt character. It moves into a firm floral hop presence with mild bitterness and delicate malt character. This is easily one of the best light-bodied beers in the country and is bright, flavorful, and wonderfully easy to drink.
I don’t remember the last time I saw a 5.1% alcohol beer on a "Best Of" list—much less a Cream Ale. That’s awesome.