Over the past year, I’ve gotten very interested in trying new beers.
Now, do I have any qualifications to talk about beer? Absolutely not. But I am a human with preferences, and out of the beers I’ve tried, I like some more than others.
Here is a list of six beers I would include in an ideal six-pack:
1. Cape May IPA (Cape May Brewing Company)
We’re starting this list off with my favorite India pale ale (IPA). In true IPA tradition, it’s very hoppy. I’d reach for this over a different IPA because I like the floral notes. It reminds me of a hibiscus or lavender kombucha. This beer also has some citrus flavors that compliment the hops and make it refreshing.
2. Peroni Nastro Azzurro (Peroni Brewery)
In my opinion, the beauty of Peroni is in its balance. There’s no single overbearing element. It’s not too heavy or too light. I wouldn’t call it sweet or sour. There’s an ever-so-slight bitterness that brings it all together. The flavor is incredibly fresh. It’s a classic Italian lager that’s just as delicious as Italian food.
3. Tan Limes (Cape May Brewing Company)
Cape May Brewing Company earns its second spot in my six-pack with Tan Limes. It’s a Mexican-style lager with added lime juice and sea salt. The zest of the lime and the sea salt really stand out, and I’m a huge fan. I want to drink this beer with hint-of-lime tortilla chips on the beach.
4. Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin (New Belgium Brewing)
This one surprised me. I was expecting this beer to be sweet, like most pumpkin spice-flavored things. In reality, it’s no sweeter than a standard beer. In fact, I’d describe the main flavor as spicy. Flavored with cinnamon and habanero chili peppers, it’s definitely got some heat, especially on the aftertaste. The spice isn’t enough to make your mouth burn, but it’s just enough to make this beer stand out.
5. Mango Smoovie (Dogfish Head Brewery)
This mango lassi-inspired ale is a pretty new release (it only just came out in March 2021). Dogfish Head is largely known for its IPAs, and this beer shows that it’s capable of much more. The flavor is very complicated. It’s not nearly as bitter as an IPA. It’s actually very sweet. It captures the tartness of a mango lassi without losing the overall taste of a beer. It’s also rich with spice. I love this beer, and I can’t believe it isn’t more popular. I think that it has the potential to appeal to a wide range of audiences; it’s a beer for people who don’t like the taste of beer, but also those who do.
6. Guinness Extra Stout (Guinness)
Surprised that an O’Donnell made it this far without mentioning an Irish beer? I wanted to finish strong. And let me tell you, this beer is strong. It’s a beer for people who like dark chocolate and espresso. The robust, bitter flavors are accentuated by malty sweetness. Complete with the perfect amount of carbonation, this is “the beer that got me into beer.”