Beer lists. Where to even begin? These days, it’s oh hey, here are 77 beers that may or may not have anything to do with each other, but if we throw them on a list, we can peer pressure breweries into sharing them on all their social networks and drive some serious traffic to our site.
The problem with this way of thinking is that it creates an endlessly cycling social pyramid scheme, where breweries share, not because the work is quality, but out of a fear of not being included on the next list. It’s better to laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints. Am I right? Thank you Thrillist for your contribution to the eventual collapse of journalism. Much appreciated.
So here we go. Another day, another beer list. But this list will be different, because it’s the unequivocally, greatest, most definitive beer list ever conceived. I mean, this ain’t no blind sipping, whale chasing, or even based on how the beer tastes kind of list. This is a new kind of list, one based on common threads (side note: I like pulling threads), and you’ll see it once I’m done with this nap.
If you’ve been to St. Louis, you’ll know why this list is in reverse order. If you haven’t, ten means one, and one means ten. Here are the unequivocally, greatest, most definitive ten best beers that man, and cat, have ever concocted.
10) Moon Man
What New Glarus did for Moon Man is the beer cat equivalent of getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This fucking cat got his paw print and name on the bottle of the only No Coast Pale Ale out there. Moon Man is a goddamn legend, and I’m just proud to have called Wisconsin home like this New Glarus celebrity. Fun fact: we both live in Chicago right meow.
Full disclosure: I’m Twitter friends with the cat on the label. Real talk: he’s an asshole. However, I won’t let a few of his personal peccadilloes get in the way of my journalisticat integrity. They say that Schlitz is the beer that made Milwaukee famous, well Gumballhead is the beer that made Three Floyds famous. Any objectors can shut their Zombie Dust drinking mouths up. Gumballhead might be the only cat on the Internet as gangster as I am, and I respect that shit. And that label art? C’mon. Who wouldn’t want to drink that. I mean, don’t judge a book by the cover, but judge a beer by its label. That’s my credo. Not convinced that this is one of the best beers in the world yet, I haven’t gotten to the beer case. This thing is the rare combination of stunning art and liveable cardboard quality. Move into this thing on Monday, and you’re craft beer royalty by the weekend.
8) La Roja
It’s kind of hard out there for a cat, and nowhere more so than Jolly Pumpkin Brewery. Owner and brewer, Ron Jefferies’ dog Bam is in many ways the face of the brewery, gracing a series of bottles named after him. It’s kind of an embarrassment of riches for Bam. So what up with the cats you say? That’s where La Roja, the swashbuckling, ginger-haired pirate with a Godzillaish streak, comes into play. This cat claimed its place on the label by paying the iron price. Also, Ron Jefferies likes tacos. And anyone who likes tacos makes better beer than someone who doesn’t. Also, tacocat spelled backward is tacocat. I’m going to take another nap while you recover from that one.
7) Fantasy Factory
It’s hard to make a splash with a new IPA in a 6-pack in today’s craft beer market. Unless of course you roll out with a badass golden gun toting, Rambo headband wearing cat riding a unicorn that is shooting flames out of its nose. Then you’re good. While I know what’s in the bottle is good (pawsome even), it’s what’s on the bottle that has turned this beer into a hard to find rarity. This shit moves off the the shelves faster than a cat hearing a can of wet food opening. One suggestion to my friends at Karben4: sell this beer in cases, I can’t fit in a 6-pack.
6) Kwingston’s Kitty Cat-ina
As John Laffler would say, Pipeworks brewery cat game is “on fleek.” This creative, standard-challenging brewery has really separated themselves from the pack both in pure quantity of beers made and quantity of cats roaming the brewery floors. With Kwingston already ruling the roost, the Pipeworks crew went off in search of new brewery space and feline friends for their overlord. And long behold, they found a litter of kittens in the wall at their new brewery space next to my friends at Off Color Brewing. The three new brewcats, Loosie is the only one I know by name, and their mother are over rocking out with Kwingston and the barrels at the original location. And most importantly, Kwingston got a beer. And it’s pawsome.
DISTRO has begun of Kwingston's Kitty Cat-ina, a Meowgarita inspired ale! pic.twitter.com/KUD6m8Uufs
— Pipeworks Brewing Co (@PipeworksBrewin) April 21, 2015
5) Piercing Pils
I’ve always had kind of a love-hate relationship with Dogfish Head Brewery. I mean I love fish heads. Who doesn’t? But who would go and ruin such a great brewery name by adding “dog” to the front? It boggles the mind. But then they went ahead and totally redeemed themselves by putting a cat in a Christmas hat on their Piercing Pils label. Plus it’s not like Pilsners get a lot of love on these beer lists.
4) Big Hugs
I’ll present Half Acre’s Big Hugs without description. Word, Phineas. Also, word to Dark Matter Coffee.
3) Soiyoubi no Neko
Big ups to Yo-Ho Brewing for putting post-modernist Bitches on their can of beer. With all the amazing cat beer stuff happening in the states, it’s nice to see that international breweries are stepping up their cat game. Belgian White seems like the appropriate style as well. I have no clue what the name means, but does it really matter? Rough translation: something about a cat.
2) King Kitty
As the Queen Kitty, I need my King Kitty. Known far and wide for its great beer and friendly cat population, it seems only appropriate that this beer comes from Coalition Brewing out of Portland, Oregon. Fievel goes west, with Bitches on his fucking tail.
Trying out a beer today called King Kitty. Because with a name like that it has to be good. pic.twitter.com/4ywtNvNQdU
— Tawn (@TawnCheetah) November 20, 2014
1) Beer Right Meow
Not only is the beer called what it’s called, it’s brewed by a place called HopCat. Let’s lay all our cards on the table. With those two things vouching for them, I don’t need to taste their beer to know these guys get it. I will have to take one point off for the beer not being available in bottles or cans. It’s just not fair to deny the world the glorious packaging art that would certainly result from a beer with such a classy name.
Honorable Mention – Apex Predator
So there it is, the unequivocally, greatest, most definitive, best beer list ever conceived. I’ll leave you with a memorable Hunter S. Catson quote that describes what you just witnessed.
“But this list was different. It was a classic affirmation of everything right and true and decent in the craft beer industry. It was a gross, physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in the brewery, but only for those with true grit. And we were chock full of that.”