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Critic's List: Stan Hieronymus’s Best in 2019

Author of several popular books about brewing and a leading authority on hops, Stan Hieronymus shares the best from his past year of talking to (and drinking with) brewers around the world.

Stan Hieronymus Dec 31, 2019 - 6 min read

Critic's List: Stan Hieronymus’s Best in 2019 Primary Image

Top Three Breweries

Russian River (Santa Rosa, California) When we were in Oslo last year, we came across a brewery/bar that takes orders for bootlegged Russian River beers. Listening to the story, Vinnie Cilurzo said, “At least it means we are still relevant somewhere.” Indeed. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone, but across the family of beers—from Blind Pig to Temptation with stops between—Cilurzo keeps finding just the right spot on my palate.

Halfway Crooks (Atlanta, Georgia) Honestly, this choice is a proxy for The New. We live in Atlanta now. I might have picked Rockwell Beer Company if we still lived in St. Louis, or Toltec Brewing if we hadn’t moved from Albuquerque. Who doesn’t love trying new breweries and isn’t disappointed by how many of them sort of suck? But there’s this other group, where you try something new and don’t have to wonder whether the beer will ever get better because what’s in your glass already tastes like the 100th iteration of the recipe.

Private Landbrauerei Schönram (Petting, Germany) I love Augustiner Helles and like the one from this brewery better. I was blown away by the quality and breadth of beers on offer at Brauerei Riegele when I could have them at the source in Augsburg, but I also knew I’d rather be drinking in Petting. That’s why Schönram is listed here. That and Surtaler Schankbier, a 3.5 percent beer that still has flavor after you drink an imperial stout.

Top Five Beers

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