Wine Enthusiast has released their list of Top 25 Beers of 2009, a newcomer joining their annual Top Wine & Spirits lists, no doubt a testament to the well-deserved growing popularity of craft beer and microbreweries.
Top honors were given to Captain Lawrence Rosso e Marrone, a sour ale aged for two years in oak with the addition of Zinfandel and Merlot grapes that was given 95 out of a possible 100 points. (Despite the usual stigma associated with Brettanomyces in the wine world, it’s interesting to note their affinity for it in the beer realm.)
California beers were featured prominently, with The Lost Abbey raking in two brews on the prestigious list, the only brewery to do so. Tomme Arthur’s special releases — Cuvee de Tomme and Duck-Duck-Gooze — both scored an impressive 93 points. Stone Brewing Company Vertical Epic 09.09.09 came in at 92 points, as did their Special Winter Ale collaboration with Nøgne Ø and Jolly Pumpkin, although it was Nøgne Ø’s version that was awarded the spot.
Rounding out the California nods on the list of top beers are Orchard White from The Bruery and Russian River Beatification, each boasting 93 points, as well as Sierra Nevada Summerfest coming in with a score of 91.
Ratings and reviews of all 25 craft beers to be honored can be found here. (PDF)