Of 152 Beers Sampled in 2017…Craft, Red Ales Made The Top Of My Favorite List

Here is something totally off topic, to kick off the New Year. When dealing with climate alarmists, sometimes something relaxing is needed at the end of the day.

Beer’s healing power

Last April on my birthday I got a book called “Das Heilkraft des Bieres” (The Healing Power of Beer). I was fascinated by the fact that beer in moderation (1 or 2 per day) has the same or even more health benefits as red wine does.

Die Heilkraft des Bieres, Kopp Verlag.

Beer fires up the digestive system, and it delivers a number of nutrients and anti-oxidants which protect your body against a number of diseases. A number of studies were cited to show this. Also it showed that people who drank moderately and regularly performed better cognitively.

Beer’s health benefits have been underestimated and the sudsy beverage has been unfairly associated with the “beer belly”.

24 fun facts about beer

I was also fascinated by the huge variety of beers available out there which I neglected to explore all these years. For years I made the mistake of sticking to the same brand of pilsner, and using it as the benchmark to evaluate others.

152 beers from 18 countries

So as an experiment I endeavored to taste one different beer almost every day. Since then I’ve sampled over 150 different ones.Below you’ll find the full (alphabetical) list.

Eight months later, I don’t have a beer belly nor have I gained weight. I found out I have taken a real liking to red and pale ales, and that I no longer find the standard, run-of-the-mill pilsner beers that interesting any more. I’ve discovered that they are rather boring by comparison, but go down easily and hence are pushed by the beer industry to generate volume.

Stoutest of the stouts

Also Guinness, considered by many as the stout beer, is actually quite mild compared to the Baltic Stout by Inselbrauerei (No. 75 on list). Now that is stout!

The best beers generally are produced by private-run craft breweries, and unfiltered. Positively surprising to me were the beers from the Mashsee brewery of Hanover.

Other points observed are that Russian beers are rather plain and the Chinese, Korean and Japanese beers seemed to be beers for very beginners – pretty delicate stuff.


I found Corona to be unnatural and not very tasty, and so it’s not a surprise many people like to take it with a wedge of lime. The Mexican brew comes in a clear bottle and its ingredients include additives, stabilizers and preservatives. Hard to believe I used to drink the stuff when I lived in Arizona.

Most of the beers listed below are pleasurable to drink, but a couple I found god-awful, such as Moosehead Light (Canada) and Baltika KYπEP of Russia. I had to discard the stuff. Also Raschhofer Witbier brewed in part with oatmeal did not go down so well – not my taste at all.

Maybe readers have their own recommendations.

Today I’m going to sample Insel Herb brewed by Inselbrauerei on the Baltic Sea island of Rugen. Let me know your favorite, if you have one.

Happy New Year everyone!

152 beers sampled in 2017

1. Affligem Triple                                                       (Belgium)
2. Ahornberger Landbier                                         (Germany)
3. Ahornberger Landbier Premium                       (Germany)
4. Ahornberger Landbier Märzen                          (Germany)
5. Allgäuer Bayrisch Hell                                         (Germany)
6. Andechser Doppelbock                                        (Germany)
7. Artland Pilsner                                                       (Germany)
8. Artland NOX*                                                         (Germany)
9. Asahi Super Dry                                                     (Japan)
10. Astra Urtyp                                                            (Germany)
11. Augsburger Original Naturtrübes Kellerbier  (Germany)
12. Aventinus Weizenstarkbier                                (Germany)
13. Bad Santa Christmas Beer                                  (Austria)
14. Baisinger Helles Teufel Bock                             (Germany)
15. Baldur Nordic Märzen                                        (Germany)
16. Baltika KYπEP                                                      (Russia)
17. Baltika 2 Lager                                                     (Russia)
18. Bannas Bier                                                          (Germany)
19. Barre Pilsner                                                        (Germany)
20. Bayerisch Hell                                                     (Germany)
21. Bayreuther Hell                                                   (Germany)
22. Beck’s Amber Lager                                           (Germany)
23. Beck’s Blue Alcoholfree                                     (Germany)
24. Beck’s Pale Ale *                                                 (Germany)
25. Beck’s Red Ale *                                                  (Germany)
26. Berliner Berg California Wheat                       (USA)
27. Bernstein Pale Ale                                              (Germany)
28. Bolten Helles                                                       (Germany)
29. Bosch Pilsner Extra Hops                                 (Germany)
30. Braufaktum The Brale                                       (Germany)
31. Breznak Original Böhmisch Pilsner                (Czech Republic)
32. Brooklyn East IPA *                                           (USA)
33. Budvar B:Original Imported Lager                (Czech Republic)
34. Budvar B:Dark                                                    (Czech Republic)
35. Camba Dry Hop Brown Ale*                            (Germany)
36. Cass Fresh                                                           (Korea)
37. Cave Creek Chili Beer                                        (USA)
38. Corona Extra                                                      (Mexico)
39. Derail Pale Ale*                                                  (England)
40. Desperados Tequila Beer                                 (Mexico)
41. Diebels Altbier                                                    (Germany)
42. Dortmunder Union Export                              (Germany)
43. Duckstein Rotblondes                                       (Germany)
44. Efes Pilsener                                                       (Germany)
45. Einbecker Ur-Bock Hell                                   (Germany)
46. Einsiedler Landbier                                          (Germany)
47. Elefant Bayerisch Hell                                      (Germany)
48. Erdinger Dunkel                                               (Germany)
49. Erdinger Weissbier                                           (Germany)
50. Erdinger Alkoholfreies                                     (Germany)
51. Estrella Damm                                                    (Catalonia)
52. Feieromd                                                             (Germany)
53. Firestone Union Jack IPA*                             (USA)
54. Flensburger Dunkel                                          (Germany)
55. Flensburger Malz                                              (Germany)
56. Flensburger Winterbock                                 (Germany)
57. Frankenheim Alt                                               (Germany)
58. Franziskaner Weissbier                                   (Germany)
59. Füchschen Silber Weizenbier                         (Germany)
60. Gatz Altbier                                                       (Germany)
61. Grolsch Premium Lager                                   (Netherlands)
62. Guinness Extra Stout                                       (Ireland)
63. Hachenburger                                                   (Germany)
64. Hacke Beck Pilsner                                          (Germany)
65. Hasseröder Pils                                                 (Germany)
66. Hengelager Helles                                            (Self-made)
67. Herrenbräu Zwickl                                           (Germany)
68. Herrenhäußer Premium Pilsner                   (Germany)
69. Hirsch Hefeweisse                                            (Germany)
70. Hoepfner Pilsner                                               (Germany)
71. Hohenthanner Blau Weisse                             (Germany)
72. Hopfenburger Pilsner                                       (Germany)
73. Hopfenstopfer Incredible Pale Ale                 (Germany)
74. Inselbrauerei Baltic Dubbel                             (Germany)
75. Inselbrauerei Baltic Stout *                             (Germany)
76. Inselbrauerei Baltic Ale                                    (Germany)
77. Jenning’s Cumberland Deep Golden Ale      (England)
78. Jever Pilsner *                                                    (Germany)
79. Kapuziner Weißbier                                          (Germany)
80. Kauzen Winter Weisse Dunkler Weizen-Bock  (Germany)
81. Kilkenny Red Ale *                                             (Ireland)
82. Kirin Ichiban Premium                                     (Japan)
83. Kitzmann Kellerbier                                          (Germany)
84. Kloster Scheyern Export Dunkel                    (Germany)
85. König Ludwig Dunkel                                       (Germany)
86. Köstritzer Schwarzbier                                     (Germany)
87. Köstritzer Kellerbier                                         (Germany)
88. Krombacher Pilsner                                          (Germany)
87. Krombacher Dunkel                                          (Germany)
88. Kronsberg Pilsner                                              (Germany)
89. Landfürst Altbier                                               (Germany)
90. Lausitzer Porter Schwarzes                             (Germany)
91. Leffe Brune                                                          (Germany)
92. Leikheim Landbier                                            (Germany)
93. Leikheim Weißbier                                            (Germany)
94. Longboard Island Lager*                                 (USA)
95. Louis Barre Imperial Bouquet Lager            (Germany)
96. Maisel Pale Ale                                                  (Germany)
97. Marston’s Pedigree Amber Ale                       (England)
98. Mashsee Captain Blaubeer Porter                 (Germany)
99. Mashsee Hafen Sänger Baltic Porter            (Germany)
100. Mashsee India Pale Lager *                          (Germany)
101. Mashsee Trainingslager                                 (Germany)
102. Maxtepckoe                                                      (Ukraine)
103. Meissner Schwerter Pilsner                          (Germany)
104. Meissner Schwerter Augustus Porter          (Germany)
105. Mönchhof Märzen                                           (Germany)
106. Mönchhof Kellerbier                                       (Germany)
107. Moosehead Light                                             (Canada)
108. Oettinger Dunkles Hefeweizen                     (Germany)
109. Ostfriesenbräu Landbier Dunkel                 (Germany)
110. Paulaner Münchener Hell                              (Germany)
111. Paulaner Salvator                                              (Germany)
112. Perlenzauber German Pale Ale *                  (Germany)
113. Pilsner Urquell                                                  (Czech Republic)
114. Pinkus Jubilate                                                 (Germany)
115. Pioneer Glutenfrei Pilsner                              (Germany)
116. Pyraser Pilsener                                                (Germany)
117. Raschhofer Lebenskunstler Witbier             (Germany)
118. Ratsherrn Ratsbier                                           (Germany)
119. Riegele Robustus 6                                           (Germany)
120. Salzburger Stiegl Goldbräu                            (Austria)
121. Samuel Adams Boston Lager                          (USA)
122. San Miguel Lager                                              (Mexico)
123. Sapporo Premium                                             (Japan)
124. Schachtesskoye                                                 (Russia)
125. Schlossbrauerei Sündenbock Doppelbock  (Germany)
126. Schloßbräu Rheder Original Pils                   (Germany)
127. Schlösser Alt                                                       (Germany)
128. Schlüssel Original Alt                                       (Germany)
129. Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen                               (Germany)
130. Staropramen Premium                                    (Czech Republic)
131. Stauder Premium Pilsner                                 (Germany)
132. Störtebeker Atlantic Ale *                                (Germany)
133. Störtebeker Bernstein Weizen                         (Germany)
134. Störtebeker Roggen-Weizen                            (Germany)
135. Störtebeker Schwarzbier                                   (Germany)
136. Störtebeker Starkbier                                         (Germany)
137. T.H. König Zwickl Kellerbier                            (Germany)
138. Tsingtao                                                                (China)
139. Tuborg Pilsner                                                    (Denmark)
140. Tyskie Gronie                                                      (Poland)
141. Uerige Altbier                                                      (Germany)
142. Veltins Pilsner                                                     (Germany)
143. Von Freude Just Pils*                                       (Germany)
144. Warsteiner Herb                                                (Germany)
145. Warsteiner Pilsner                                            (Germany)
146. Westerwald Bräu                                               (Germany)
147. Wicküler Pilsner                                                (Germany)
148. Zatecky Gus                                                        (Czech Republic)
149. Zhigulevskyoe                                                    (Russia)
150. Zötler Vollmond Bier                                        (Germany)
151. Zwick’l Kellerbier                                               (Germany)
152. Zwönitz Feieromd Rotblondes Bier               (Germany)

* Beers I liked very much.

45 responses to “Of 152 Beers Sampled in 2017…Craft, Red Ales Made The Top Of My Favorite List”

  1. dennisambler

    “152 beers sampled in 2017”

    My congratulations and admiration!

  2. cementafriend

    Can not see any Australian beers. They were always the best. I always thought the further one goes away (west or east) from Australia the worse the beer with those in USA and Mexico being the worst. Fosters was once exported to Europe but then was spoilt by being made in Scotland. When I spent sometime in Europe Stella Artois and some of the Belgium dark beers were the best of the lot there.
    There are now hundreds of beers in Australia made by micro-breweries. Some pubs with a micro-brewery have upto 50 types on tap. One made with chilli addition has a hot kick. As with wine making Australian technology has been adopted in Europe to improve quality there. However, I understand, Australian wine, beer and whiskey are beating all others in competitions all around the world including France.
    Do you know that French companies (eg Moet and Chandon) own vineyards in Tasmania and import pinot noir wine to blend with their own and called it “champagne” selling for more than EU100 in bottles.

  3. Mothcatcher

    Clearly you sampled very few English beers, Pierre – a serious omission. Next year, perhaps?

  4. RAH

    One of the things I miss about Bavaria the most was being able to go from one town to the next and sample the local beer. To this day I can’t even look at our mass produced swill here in the US. So glad in the intervening years that micro-brews in the US have proliferated.

  5. SebastianH

    Also Guinness, considered by many as the stout beer, is actually quite mild compared to the Baltic Stout by Inselbrauerei (No. 75 on list). Now that is stout!

    Finally, something we can agree on 😉

    1. ClimateOtter

      Oatmeal stout.

  6. tom0mason

    While in Germany my favorite was Wicküler Pilsner.
    However for a more British style of beer Wicküler Alt was also a fine drink. I still have a large Wicküler Bierstiefel in storage, always fun to try and drink from.

  7. Senex

    With all of the great beers in Canada (especially the Quebec microbreweries like Unibroue), the only Canadian beer you tried was Moosehead Light, AKA Moose Piss.. tsk tsk tsk

  8. R. Shearer

    On a recent trip to Europe, I found Leffe Royale Whitbread Golding and Flea Costanza Blonde Ale to be to my liking.


  9. Steve

    My 91 yr old auntie who drinks 3 long necks a day and has been brewing her own for 40yrs definitely makes the best beer around and it costs just 15 cents a bottle!

  10. Colorado Wellington

    I like the proliferation of small breweries and the choices they offer even though many of their weird brews are not to my liking. On the other hand, even as a fan of solid lagers I find it enjoyable to sit down in a garage-based nano-brewery like J Wells in one of Boulder’s industrial parks and sample their English ales. Great atmosphere, passionate staff, local patrons all around, a place “where everybody knows your name” if you are a regular.

    Thanks for the beer tour, Pierre!

    P.S. True about Corona. What a nasty brew. The only good thing going for it may be that it’s safer to drink than mule deer piss.

  11. Robert Folkerts

    Beer taste, music taste, and many other tastes are entirely personal and largely subjective, aren’t they?

  12. Gary Hagland

    Isn’t San Miguel lager brewed in the Philippines vice Mexico? BTW, prefer San Miguel Pale Pilsen. That’s the one with the painted bottle. Seems to taste better when in the PI than anywhere else.

  13. RAH

    BTW Budvar Budweiser would be at the very top of my list. Best beer I ever drank IMO.

  14. Noel Skippen

    Try a few Aussie Pale Ales. Forget the rubbish commercial lagers, but James Squire, Matilda bay and Gage Roads all brew excellent craft beers.
    Also Monteith from NZ.

  15. Felix Dzierżyński

    Well, I found only one brand from Poland. Here you’ve got a list of them:
    Tyskie (mentioned)
    and many others

  16. Cary

    I agree about Corona, it is marketed very well. For a Mexican beer I really enjoy Modelo Especial. Modelo Negra is also very enjoyable. When in Germany always look for Schofferhofer hefeweizen. I do not like Schofferhofer’s grapefruit beer.

    1. Neldine Ludwigson

      Love Negra Modelo 😀

  17. The Indomitable Snowman, Ph.D.

    Okay, okay – by popular demand 🙂 I have to throw a few in.

    One of the more delightful beers is Castle Lager in South Africa – light and crisp, and the South Africans (like Americans) like their beer served really, really cold.

    Because it was long a German territory, Namibia uses the German beer purity laws – Windhoek Lager is quite good.

    For dark beers, the best one in the world is Ursus Brun (brown) in Romania. WAY better than Guinness.

    As per some of the comments above, when my European friends complain about American beer, it quickly becomes clear that they’ve been doing it wrong. What you have to do whenever you’re ANYWHERE in the U.S. is just ask what they have in local microbrews. That’s the good stuff, everywhere and anywhere.

  18. Richard111

    Have enjoyed many different beers over the years. Sadly had a present this Christmas of Dead Pony Club pale ale by BrewDog in Scotland. Tasted one and gave the rest to the Postman in his Xmas box.

  19. Marko

    A recommendation from Finland. Porter brewed by Sinebrychoff. Cirka 7,0 % if my memory serves me right. Black and tasty, if that kind of beer is your thing.

    1. yonason (from my cell phone)

      Porter beer history moment…

      NOTE – Not all porterweed is created equal. There are some varieties that will yield in inferior product, so care must be taken to procure the appropriate one.

  20. RAH

    A little story about beer marketing and the quasi Mexican holiday called Cinco De Mayo. The original Cinco Dy Mayo in Mexico was a regional holiday observed only the state of Puebla celebrating the anniversary (May 5th) of a battle in which Mexican forces defeated a larger and better equipped French Army advancing on Mexico City. It was a temporary victory as the French did end up taking the city.

    American beer companies, the first I believe being Miller Brewing, decided to make it into something more by sponsoring festivals in Texas and other states bordering Mexico and marketing as a day of celebration of Mexican heritage. It was a very successful marketing ploy that was soon joined by more local beers like Lone Star and Mexican beer companies and has continued to grow with Cinco De Mayo festivals popping up everywhere in the US.

    For me a far more interesting and historically significant small unit battle from that period was the Battle of Cameron which the Foreign Legion celebrates to this day and which, quite by accident, I had the honor of attending the celebration of as they paraded with the wooden hand of Captain Danjou. Now there is an event to drink beer, or wine, or what ever happened to be available, and sing soldier songs and swap soldier stories.

  21. Katana

    Old Rasputan, Russian Imperial Stout, North Coast Brewery CA USA

    Hubertus Dunkel, Lucerne, Switzerland

    Black Beer Brazil

    Obsidian Stout, Deshutz Brewery OR, USA

    All dark and delicious!

  22. Douglas Proctor

    I admire your dedication!

    Strangely, Moosehead was the favourite beer in Arizona a few years ago. Heinekin was THE beer on the French St. Pierre/Michelyn Islands. Mexicans consider Corona only worthy of export.

    Consensus by pocketbook is as reliable as consensus by peer-review: everyone defaults to the crowd when uninformed or uncertain.

  23. yonason (from my cell phone)

    I do envy those with local access to those wonderful beverages.

    In college I occasionally made my own, back when this stuff was $1.35 a can.
    I once brought a bottle to one of my chem profs. He went and got 2 beakers from the glassware supply shelf in the lab, and we split it.

    Even my crude home-brew was better than any commercial available.

  24. Leslie Johnson

    Not surprising at only 1 Canadian beer on the list, but I was surprised it was Moosehead. Most Canadians would argue that it is named after the wrong end of the moose.

  25. The Other Brad

    Beer is good for the soul. I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world and sample many fine beers and some not so fine. Congratulations on 152 in 2017, now on to 10,000.

  26. Gunter

    Not even 1 Belgian beer on the list …
    Come over here … We have over a thousand different beers.
    We have several Trappist beers 🙂


  27. Michael Jones

    I suggest visitors to England avoid any of the big brand beers that they’ve heard of. Our brewing industry specialises in producing uniquely disgusting versions of what are otherwise perfectly drinkable beers – for example the UK versions of Kronenbourg, Heineken, St Miguel, Stella Artois, Carlsberg or any of the Australian ones are definitely not recommended.

    So far, attempts to make American Budweiser even worse have failed but I’m sure they are still trying.

  28. Bernd Felsche

    Last time I had some, Leffe Brune was Belgian.

    Its home brewery was for some time in the town of Overijse but they got bought up by AB-inBev.

  29. Jan Vermeer

    Leffe Bruin is one my favorites, and yes it is Belgian.

    “Leffe Brown is an authentic abbey beer. Both its deep, dark brown colour and its full, slightly sweet flavour can be ascribed to the use of darkly roasted malt, making every sip just as exceptional as the last.”


  30. Bernd Felsche

    Although a couple of other Leffe beers are available here in (Western) Australia costing nearly AUD$6 per 330ml bottle, Leffe Bruin is a long (3000 km) walk away. 🙁

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