This Grand Adventure: Chelsa-Bea: My 5 Favorite Beers

August 2, 2013

My 5 Favorite Beers

Best Beers, Great Beers, Top 5 Favorite Beers, Delicious Beers, Beers I Should Try

Since it’s International Beer Day and all, I thought it would take this opportunity to share with you my 5 favorite beers.

Beer and food have always gone hand in hand for me. I appreciate a delicious brew just as much as I would a good meal. I’m sure being married to a man who makes the stuff as a hobby has a little to do with it, but to be honest, beer is one of those things that I’ve always enjoyed (since I could legally consume alcohol). I wouldn’t consider myself any type of expert on the libation but in the last few years, I’ve joined the microbrew bandwagon and tried to expand my beer palette.

And if you’d like to learn a few random facts about beer, since we’re on the subject and all, have a listen to one of my favorite programs Science Friday, and discover why bubbles in Guinness float down instead of up and why to get the best beer flavor it should be enjoyed out of the bottle and in a room temperature glass. Seriously, this article is great. Who doesn’t love science AND food?

1. Alaskan Amber by Alaskan Brewing Company –

I recently rediscovered Alaskan Amber while at the market here in Wisconsin. For some reason, we couldn’t find it in Iowa, so it was a pleasant surprise to have it here. This is a sweeter beer that not only has a great finish, but is pretty good year round. It is light enough you can drink it in the summer but dark enough you can drink it in the winter.

2. Buffalo Sweat Oatmeal Cream Stout by Tallgrass Beers –
The first time I had Buffalo Sweat, it was served to me as a Beer Float with Jack Daniel’s infused Vanilla Ice Cream. Seriously, incredible. While it’s great served as a dessert this beer is actually pretty incredible by itself. Dark, rich and sweeter than most oatmeal stouts, it’s a beer I keep going back to every time I find it.

3. Winter Solstice by Anderson Valley –
By far, Winter Solstice is my all time favorite beer. Its flavor is one of a kind. Without being too sweet it combines the perfect essence of vanilla and cinnamon in a bold amber body (this is me trying to get fancy with my descriptions). When I discovered it over six years ago at the local Boise Roosevelt Market, I knew it was special. Unfortunately, it’s very seasonal and only distributed on the west coast. So, if I make it back to Idaho during the holidays, which is sadly rare, I buy as much as I can.

4. Hazelnut Brown Nectar by Rogue –
This is my go-to beer. Although it’s not on the menu at a lot of bars or restaurants, when they have it, it’s the first one I order. I’m a huge hazelnut ale fan. This is an incredibly smooth-bodied beer with just the right amount of hazelnut for flavor without being overwhelming. One of many great beers produced by Rogue.

5. Blonde Fatale by Peacetree Brewing Company –
This is the quintessential Iowa beer. Although, I’m not really sure what that means, I know when I think of Iowa, I think of Blond Fatale. It’s one of the first Iowa Craft Brew’s I tried and it became one of my favorites almost immediately. It’s light and crisp and the perfect beer to enjoy on a patio with a group of great friends. And…the best part about this beer, it’s 8.5% alcohol.

Happy International Beer Day!

Please share your favorite beers so we can try them!


  1. Chels! I just had the Hazelnut Brown Nectar at the Rogue Brewery in Newport, Oregon last weekend. SO good! Next time you are home, you should see if you can find the Hazelnut Ale by Bertram's Brewery in Salmon. I've only found it in one place in Idaho Falls, but my brother-in-law was kind enough to bring a growler home from Salmon one night last Thanksgiving week :) I love hazelnut anything, and I really want to try the hazelnut rum by Rogue Distillery next time we're on the coast.

    I love dark beers, and my first dark beer love was Moose Drool by Big Sky Brewing Company. My most favorite dark beer, though, is the Snowdrift Vanilla Porter by Leinenkugel. It's (obviously) seasonal, so I'm quite looking forward to the winter months when it's back in stores.

    Also, another favorite is Blue Moon's Winter Abbey Ale (another seasonal one, dang it!). A little dark and a lotta smooth, it's most delicious served up in a cold pint glass rimmed with cinnamon sugar. Try it!

    You've given me some new beers to look for. I'll report back if I'm able to find any of those on your list I haven't already tried. (Alaskan Amber is a family fave and a fridge staple at my in-laws!)


    1. P.S. I also have great love for Deschutes Black Butte Porter. Yum!

    2. Kristy,
      Let me know what you find. I'm always looking for new and delicious beers. I love Deschutes Black Butte Porter. I'm a dark beer girl at heart.

      Thanks for the suggestions!