Anyone who reads my posts on adult beverages with any regularity knows how little regard I have for "best of" lists in general. But, sometimes a list pops up that is so ridiculous I feel compelled to mention it. This is one of those.
Men's Health magazine, which usually is a lot more about sex, drinking, clothes and electronic gadgets than it is about actual health, has come up with a list it labels "The 101 Best Beers in America." The problems begin immediately. It limits the "best" to two per state! A preposterous construct, given the title.
So, knowing full well that it is virtually impossible to reach agreement on even the "best" brews in a single city or county, let alone an entire nation that has more than 5,000 breweries, here's what Men's Health says are the two "best" beers created in New York State, accompanied by comments from the magazine:
Black Ops (American IPA)
This beer grew out of Brooklyn Brewery’s not-for-sale, barrel-aging experiments, but the Williamsburg operation quickly gave in to pressure and demand, now bottling the silky black ale annually.
There's nothing secret about the magic of Black Ops, though: After four months of bourbon barrel-aging, Brooklyn bottle conditions the stout with Champagne yeast.
The beer holds deep flavors of chocolate, coffee, and the sweet side of bourbon, but the body is lighter, almost wine-like while most big stouts sit thick and heavy.
Other Half Mosaic (American IPA)
Other Half Brewing
Brooklyn-based Other Half earned a cult following within its first year of opening, in 2014.
And Mosaic IPA, one of its single-hop series highlighting individual hop varietals (this one, noted for its flavors ranging from berry to pine), displays why the outfit is worthy of such adoration.
“Other Half’s single-hop series is one of the best I have had,” says Tristan Colegrove, general manager and “beer czar” at Haymaker Bar & Kitchen in Manhattan.