Best In Beer: Brewers Pick Five Favorites of 2020

Game recognizes game. Here we’ve asked five respected brewers for a favorite beer they drank this year while off the clock.

Craft Beer & Brewing Staff Nov 10, 2020 - 4 min read

Best In Beer: Brewers Pick Five Favorites of 2020 Primary Image

Russian River Pliny For President

“One of the many great beers I’ve had this year has to be Pliny for President. I’ve always been a huge fan of Pliny the Elder and Russian River, and this double-dry-hopped version was amazing. Super in-your-face hop aromatics with a lovely resiny finish. Notable mention: Allagash White is still a crusher!”
—Matt Tarpey, cofounder/head brewer, The Veil Brewing, Richmond, Virginia

Perennial Artisan Ales Maman

“Perrenial Maman is by far my favorite stout, and drinking it this year was an experience I haven’t forgotten. ... Aspects of baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate fudge hit the palate, followed by mild bourbon booziness. Everything I love is right there—a burst of oak barrel, tight and warming bourbon, deep fudge, and slightly sweet toffee hiding in the middle. The viscosity and complexity of the beer are unmatched, and any time I can get a pour of any iteration of this beer, I do so.”
—Marcus Baskerville, cofounder/head brewer, Weathered Souls Brewing, San Antonio, Texas

Green Bench Kulture Khronicles Vol. II Keller Pils

“Anyone who knows me well knows I tend to shy away from keller lager—I find a lot of it to be rough and generally unfinished tasting. Not this beer though—Khris absolutely nailed it. It’s unfiltered but still bright, dry, and snappy with hops in the right spot. There’s a fine quality of bitterness that makes you want to take another sip, and it’s not too grassy or harsh to distract from the subtle malt character. It definitely makes me sad to think that I haven’t had the opportunity to drink a couple (or six) on draft from the source.”
— Ashleigh Carter, head brewer and co-owner, Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Denver, Colorado

Odd Breed Wild Ales Past & Future

“Past & Future has an intricate design rooted in complex intention by founder/brewer Matt Manthe. He begins with a simple base, consciously brewed for lasting effect, and after a rest in French oak puncheons on a mixed culture nearly a decade in the making, he creates a beer that weaves leather and hay, bright stone fruit, and delicate oak tannin with a perfectly refreshing and developed citrus acidity that makes you want another sip even before you’ve finished the first. Upon completion, you’re left realizing that the dominant character of the beer is not the Brettanomyces, the acidity, the oak, or the fruit character; it is instead the balance, the certainty, and the precise integration therein.”
— Khris Johnson, founding brewer and co-owner, Green Bench Brewing, St. Petersburg, Florida

Faction Brewing Penske File Pale Ale

“About a year ago I took home a four-pack of Penske. To this day, I still can’t quite figure out how Rodger Davis fits so much flavor and aroma into the slim 5.8 percent package of this West Coast pale ale. I mean, this thing is saturated. One sip of Penske File and the lupulin pleasure center of your noggin goes haywire. It’s a specific type of experience you’ll never get from a hazy beer—maybe that’s why Faction does it so well.”
—Tim Sciascia, cofounder and director of brewing and blending, Cellarmaker Brewing, San Francisco, California