In the pursuit of perfect homebrew, failure still makes beer.

Favorite Breweries?

A friend and I were querying each other last night whilst brewing more beer: What is my favorite brewery?

An important question indeed for any craft beer consumerist aficionado, I have a tough time answering that question. I’m of the school of thought that I can’t really have a favorite, or else I’d be stuck drinking only that brewery’s beer and never experience all that the beer world has to offer. Like food, wine, music, or species of Pokemon, everything should be assessed and appreciated for what it brings to the table and what the positives and negatives are.

This being said, I think it’s ok to have a solid brewery to come back to every once in a while, to sample several beer offerings they have available to you. In my case, that brewery is Southern Tier.

A Variety 12-Pack offering from the NY-based brewery

I have yet to try a beer from Southern Tier I haven’t liked. They have their solid year-round beers like 2xIPA (8.2% abv), Phil & Matt’s Extraordinary American Ale (5.7% abv), and 422 Pale Wheat (5.8% abv). Seasonally they offer such delicious concoctions as Hop Sun Summer Wheat Beer (American Wheat Ale; 5.1% abv) and Old Man Winter (Old Ale; 7.7% abv). But the features that put me over the top is their zest for experimentation and their fantastic imperial ale lines. Imperial Choklat Stout (11.0% abv) made with bittersweet Belgian chocolate tastes like cold, fresh liquid chocolate madness. Pumking Imperial Pumpkin Ale (8.6% abv) is always flying of the shelves in October. Creme Brulee Imperial Milk Stout (9.6% abv) with vanilla bean is a fantastic after-dinner treat (but not in large quantities, it’ll make you sick). These are just the beers I’ve had personally – the list goes on and on.

So, what is your favorite brewery? Does it produce a bottle of beer you can come back to after weeks and reminisce like old friends? Does it produce palatte-punishing IPAs and watch you cry while you make bitter faces? Is it organic and green-minded? Is it nano-scale or macro-scale? I want to hear from you folks in the comment section – I’m always looking for new brews to infuse.

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