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Critic’s List: Joe Stange’s Best in 2022

Our intrepid managing editor—currently based in Bangkok—shares his favorite beers of the year and ponders what may lie around the next corner.

Joe Stange Nov 28, 2022 - 7 min read

Critic’s List: Joe Stange’s Best in 2022 Primary Image

Top 10 Beers of the Year

Benedict Světlý Ležák 12° (Prague)
Good friends are the ones who, when they happen to be in Prague the week before they visit you, are thoughtful enough to pack a couple of liter-sized PET bottles of your favorite Czech beer. Distinctive floral-hop notes—chamomile and elderflower—meld with sweet herbs; the sip careens from a quick malt hug through a bracing, addictive back-slap of bitterness and dry finish. I’d drink it every day if I could.

Burgh’ers Sword & Sorcery (Pittsburgh)
First, they wowed us with their lager-brewing acumen at the Homebrew Con kickoff reception in June. Afterward, we went straight to their taproom to get stuck into bigger glasses of the stuff. As much as I enjoyed the German-style pilsner and helles, the winner for me was this bitterish, bready, dry-hopped cream ale that tasted like a necessary American throwback.

Senne Saison du Meyboom (Brussels)
Not to discount the joy of drinking fresh Taras Boulba in its hometown, but this bottle I packed home electrified new zones of sensory synapses: resilient foam; a minty-herbal-floral nose evoking white wine, chalky stone, and roses; and a resolute bitterness just rounded by the slightest cereal sweetness. As an interplay of hops and fermentation, it’s incredibly complex and totally quenching.

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