Shocker! Philly Mag’s new list of the region’s best beers is not all-IPA-all-the-time. Is that actually allowed?

I’m likely stepping on a few toes here by writing about something in the June issue of Philadelphia Magazine that hasn’t hit the newsstands yet, but I pay for a subscription and I get the benefit of getting my issue early, so live with it.

“The Philly Beeramid of Excellence” by Jason Sheehan and Art Echels is their list of  The 25 Best Philly Beers and it has some surprises, starting with #1, Forest and Main Palomino, a barrel-aged Saison which they term “the definition of what a perfect barrel-aged summer Saison should taste like.” That raises the question of how many barrel-aged summer Saisons they’ve ever had, of course, but we shall not quibble.

Another surprise entry is Conshohocken Brewing Cascadian Dark Ale at #21, “a serious brooding beer.” Surprise because it’s so new (Conshohocken just opened, surprise because anybody on the East Coast who uses “Cascadian” instead of “Black IPAjust hasn’t been paying attention.

Overall, Victory Brewing Co. came out as king of the hill and then some, with six beers chosen. Yards had four, Troegs  had three, Flying Fish, Sly Fox and Tired Hands two each. Conshohocken, Forest & Main, Iron Hill, Nodding Head, Weyerbacher and Vault Brewing each had a single beer named. A few of the beers received specific comments, the most quotable of which (look for it soon in a promotional post near you) went to #9 Sly Fox Pikeland Pils: “If we were going to send one can of beer out into space so aliens would know how awesome beer is, this is the can we would choose.”

The complete list, in order:

Forest & Main Palomino, Troegs Nugget Nectar, Tired Hands HopHands, Tired Hands SaisonHands, Victory DirtWolf, Victory Headwaters, Troegs Troegenator, Victory Summer Love, Sly Fox Pikeland Pils, Victory Storm King, Victory Golden Monkey, Flying Fish Exit 4

Nodding Head Ich Ben Ein Berliner Weisse, Victory Braumeister Pils, Yards Thomas Jefferson Tavern Ale, Yards IPA, Iron Hill Russian Imperial Stout, Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale, Weyerbacher Merry Monk’s Ale, Sly Fox Helles, Conshohocken Cascadian Dark Ale, Yards Saison, Flying Fish Farmhouse Summer Ale, Troegs Perpetual IPA & Vault Belgian Blonde.

Kudos to the writers for the first Top (Number-of-Your Choice) Beer List in modern times not to be overwhelmingly a celebration of IPAs.

This was all about the forthcoming Philly Beer Week (May 30- June 8) if you didn’t so surmise. Coming next week, the annual Philadelphia Inquirer Brew-vitational results, focused on Saisons.

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