Life

We Asked Bartenders To Name Their Favorite Beers Of All-Time

In this era of home quarantine, most of us are trying not to venture out into the wider world unless it’s absolutely necessary. #StayHome has become an international mantra during these trying times. Luckily, we don’t have to leave the comfort and safety of our own homes to get food and drinks. We can order food for delivery, groceries from services like Instacart, and beer and liquor from Drizly and other outlets. (Tip your couriers!)

Grabbing a sixer of beer at the start of the workweek was commonplace pre-coronavirus, but these days no one wants to go to store quite that often. Ordering online is too easy to deny — especially if you know what you want. For that task, we reached out to the pros. Here are what our favorite bartenders said when we asked them to name their favorite beers of all-time.

Cigar City Jai Alai

Valentino Longo, bartender at Le Sirenuse in Miami

For my all-time favorite beer, I’m going to stay in the “Sunshine State”. I love Florida made Jai-alai IPA from Cigar City, for its citrus and refreshing aroma. Perfect for Miami weather.

Black Abbey The Rose

Mary Cooksey, bar manager at Oak Bar in Nashville

I personally love The Black Abbey Brewery’s “The Rose” Belgian Blonde Ale. I can drink it with anything, at any time of the day, and it’s right here in Nashville. This beer is light and silky, finishes incredibly clean with a minimally bitter finish. It’s a little spicy, a little yeasty, and a hint of fruity.

Gearing up for summer, I love that I could drink several of these and not feel that dreaded heaviness after overindulging. It’s truly enjoyable for any beer drinker, regardless of their palate preferences, and I love that approachable quality.

Hoegaarden

Cody Dillon, general manager at Florblanca in Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

My all-time favorite beer is an Ice cold Hoegaarden. I have always been a fan of Belgium beers, and the Hoegaarden white has a refreshing flavor with a hint of citrus.

Hitachino Nest White Ale

Courtney Everett, bartender at O-Ku Sushi in Atlanta

Hitachino Nest White Ale is so delicious and flavorful, but still has a light and refreshing mouthfeel — everything I want in a beer. If I see it on a menu, I’m inclined to order it over anything else.

Chimay Blue

Kevin Moran, general manager at Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood in South Walton, Florida

Beer as a commodity beverage in place to offer simple refreshments would be best represented in the states by Yuengling. Though it is mass-produced, widely available, and affordable it offers an Amber style that represents the category well. Beer as a more complex beverage best suited to drinking with a meal is Trappist Ale from Belgium (Chimay). Made with wild yeast and 100% barley, they tend to be more complex and excellent with a classic Bavarian-style meal.

Petrus Aged Pale

Josh Streetman, bartender at Motor Supply Co. in Columbia, South Carolina

Beer for me is dependent upon mood. It can be either experimental or nostalgic. If I’m craving something special, I often go Belgian Sour. Petrus Aged Pale is the best sour beer I’ve ever tasted. When in the mood to chill and have something that goes down easy give me Terrapin Mosaic or A Duck Rabbit Milk Stout to represent us southerners.

Highland Cold Mountain Winter Ale

Natalie Migliarini, the mixologist behind Beautiful Booze on Instagram

Cold Mountain Winter Ale, Highland Brewing from Asheville, North Carolina. This is a limited release beer that comes out in November to kick off the holiday season. I wait all year long just to drink this spiced ale with notes of vanilla, hazelnut, dark fruits and cinnamon.

Pilsner Urquell

Miki Nikolic, beverage director at The Double Dealer in New Orleans

My go-to beer is Pilsner Urquell from the Czech Republic. It’s a light and refreshing beer, which is what I prefer most. It also reminds me of home, which is Eastern Europe.

Urban South Coop’d Up

Mazzarie Parker, bar manager of Maypop Restaurant in New Orleans

If I am going to enjoy a pint, I like to keep it local. My two favorites that always hit the spot is Urban South’s Coop’d Up Tart Farmhouse Ale. Coop’d Up is a delightfully sour beer that is perfect for day drinking (especially if you’ve had one too many the night before).

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Jake Larowe, bar manager at Birds and Bees in Los Angeles

First off, I would like to say that I love beer, and I drink a lot of it. I am friends with a few very talented brewers working in the brewing industry and dabble in home brewing as well. That being said, my favorite beer is Pabst Blue Ribbon. I didn’t always like the American pale lager style but after trying to make my own I realized that it is an incredibly difficult still of beer to get right. To be able to do it on a giant scale and consistently make a solid product is something to applaud. I personally love it because it’s simple.

Kona Wailua Wheat

Piero Procida, bartender at The London West Hollywood in Los Angeles

I don’t care what anyone says, Kona Brewing Company’s Wailua Wheat is the top of my list. Sure, I can sing the same tune as everyone else and love the same beers, but the hard-to-find story for me is what gave this beer value, and of course the flavor. For years Wailua was a struggle to get, unless you visited the island. I was introduced to this beer by a friend and since then I was always on a quest to find this beer at any local liquor stores on the mainland. On a rare occasion, I would get lucky if I found it and on top of that, it was a very seasonal beer. I suppose enough people love the beer because now it’s everywhere!

I strongly encourage you try this beer. It’s a Pale wheat Ale with passion fruit flavor and just incredible.

Fuller’s ESB

Alan Walter, spirit handler at Bar Loa in New Orleans

Fuller’s ESB is my all-time favorite beer. This beer has loads of character and is perfectly balanced for a modest price. It’s a classic pub-style beer and I’ll drink it any time I can.

Maine Lunch

Meg Barnes, general manager at The Tides Beach Club in Kennebunkport, Maine

My favorite beer is Maine Beer Co Lunch. It’s local made in Portland, Maine. It’s a favorite at most properties within the Kennebunkport Resort Collection. It’s an amazing beer that I’ll never get tired of.

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