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Beer’s Most Wanted

All craft beer lovers have probably at least one thing in common.  They yearn for some particular beer that they can not get very simply.  Not all breweries are widely available across the United States and it makes many of us envy what others can have.  Being in such a geographically out of the way place like South Florida I am constantly one of the many that wishes he could get his hands on some of the great beers that people rave about.  Luckily occasional trips bring a smile to my face when I can sample something I normally can’t have at home but that doesn’t last long.

Over the summer while I was in Arizona I got to have New Belgium, Deschutes and Alaskan brews for the first time.  All are widely considered big names in the craft brewing biz and all not available in Florida.  Now I am continually counting the days until I can have 1554 from a local store and poured into a glass in my own home.  Unfortunately it isn’t looking like New Belgium will be in Florida until 2012 so I will still be waiting and Ed Roberts at Total Wine will still be getting asked when they will be here for at least a couple more years.

Luckily we are getting the Bruery, Summit and Southern Tier in South Florida soon and I have been waiting for the Bruery for awhile after trying Two Turtle Doves a few months back.  So there is some things to look forward to.  But that brings me to the main question at hand.  What is your most wanted brewery or beer?  What do you wish you could easily get without long travels, mail orders or trades?  I’m really anxious to see what everyones’ wishes are.

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  • Reply Beer Drinker

    Hey Mike.

    A friend of mine brought me two of Deschutes beers back from a business trip he took to Arizona. From those two bottles plus all the reviews I’ve heard about many of their other beers, that’s where I’d put my vote.

    Russian River a close second.

    January 19, 2010 at 11:51 am
  • Reply Mike

    I’ve had Abyss from Deschutes and that is going to be a fine beer with age.

    I haven’t had anything from Russian River other than the collaboration with Avery but always hear good things about them.

    January 19, 2010 at 1:23 pm
  • Reply Don

    Believe me you are better off without the New Belgium brews. See my comment on Simply beer for my full opinion. Living in Idaho, some of the beers you can get I can’t, and vice versa. For example Sierra Nevada, Rogue, and Deschutes are all readily available. However I cannot get Southern Tier, the Bruery, Brooklyn, Dogfish Head, or Left Hand. I’d like to have access to all their stuff, but if I had to choose the one I really want to get it would have to be Dogfish Head. I have a few of their IPAs in my stash that my brother sent me, but I’ve heard just really interesting things about their brews.

    January 19, 2010 at 1:36 pm
  • Reply Mike

    Hey Don, I know a lot of people rag on Fat Tire but they make some really respectable beers from what I hear. Plus I have had 1554 before and loved it and enjoyed their Mothership Wit. But to each their own.

    That’s odd that you are so close to Colorodo and don’t get Left Hand. Mike over at THFB can’t seem to find them in Pasadena either yet me in South Florida can. Bizarre. But I definitely feel bad that you can’t get DFH. They are doing wonderful things with their beer and wish you could regularly enjoy some of their stuff. Shoot me an email with some things that you are looking at try from them and I would be happy to do a trade with you for some New Belgium and Deschutes stuff.

    January 19, 2010 at 3:12 pm
  • Reply Michael Reinhardt

    Don is definitely worse off here. Look at what he can’t get. I take a lot of those terrific breweries for granted.

    January 19, 2010 at 3:35 pm
  • Reply Don

    Not only do I not get Left Hand, but The Bruery is in Cali and I’m way closer than you! I could drive there in a day, but alas they are still quite small and they have to be very selective about who they distribute to. I’ve heard that Dogfish Head is doing a 60,000 barrel expansion and when complete their stuff should be easier to find. Even when it is complete I may have trouble getting some of their more experimental brews which I have heard are really fun and interesting, and some even taste ok.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:18 pm
    • Reply Mike

      I get pretty much everything they mass produce. The only thing I wasn’t able to get was Life and Limb. Sierra Nevada distributed that and it was such a small amount it was gone within a day. So again if you want to do a trade I would be absolutely open to that.

      January 19, 2010 at 6:03 pm
  • Reply Joel

    I love anything by Cigar City and can’t believe it’s impossible to get bottles in south Florida when the brewery is in Tampa (Road trip!!). Jai Alai was decent and I need to taste it again, but Humidor IPA, Guava Grove, and Maduro were very good IMHO. It’d be nice to have easier access to the New Belgium stuff, too. I wasn’t blown away by Fat Tire (after lots of hype) but I loved the 1554 and hear nothing but good things about their other varieties. Also, while not considered “great” by many, I enjoy a couple beers from Widmer and wish their full lineup was available for me to at least try.

    January 22, 2010 at 12:00 am
  • Reply Taylor

    Great question Mike. Here in Chicago we have access to a lot of national craft beers, but not all of ’em. The brews on my Most Wanted list are Stone (California), New Glarus (ONLY in Wisconsin), and Rock Art (Vermont). Rock Art made a little history with its epic battle against Monster energy drink, and that’s how I found out about em. Great stuff.

    What’s the best Floridian brewery in your opinion?

    January 22, 2010 at 11:01 am
  • Reply Mike

    Thanks for stopping by Taylor. Wow, Stone isn’t in Chicago!? That sounds so bizarre to me. If us in Florida can have them and PA has them why can’t one of the biggest cities in the country. That is crazy.

    I would say the best Florida brewery is Cigar City as Joel mentioned. They are gaining a lot of attention for their brews in the past year. They even won a gold medal at the last GABF. Despite they are only about 4 hours from me we have only just started getting them in the south of Florida. I know they are in Philly and I believe New York City as well.

    I would also say Saint Somewhere is a really good one too. They make very authentic Belgian styled brews. I think they are carried anywhere outside of Florida by Shelton Brothers, who distribute Mikkeller and Jolly Pumpkin. If you get either of them you should be about to get Saint Somewhere.

    January 22, 2010 at 11:44 am
  • Reply Scott-TheBrewClub

    Hard to say. There are a lot of beers I read about that we can’t get in NJ, but being in between Philly and NYC, there is so much that we DO get it’s not a big deal. Off the top, I think I’d like to see some more stuff from Bells or Goose Island.

    January 23, 2010 at 6:50 pm
  • Reply Mike

    Yeah Scott, you and Pete from Simply Beer are in good areas to be able to get beer.

    January 24, 2010 at 10:58 am
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