…not the ones I’d pick. And that’s the whole point, right?
Let me back up here a bit. DRAFT Magazine has released its list of the 25 top beers of 2010. There are some very good beers that made the list, some great beers that are missing and…whatever. I give them all the credit in the world for putting together a list like this – I’m sure they agonized over it – but does it really matter what they think?
In the end, not so much. I have come to the conclusion that lists like this are only good for one thing – turning me on to a good beer I might have overlooked. Other than that, they are mostly useless.
Why? Because as a fellow blogger once said, beauty is in the eye of the beerholder. It only matters what YOU like and no one else. And how does DRAFT know what YOU like?
Here’s what I find myself doing when I read the list. When I see a beer on there that I think doesn’t belong (or is hogging a spot that could be held by a beer I like better), I scoff at DRAFT’s poor judgment. When I see a beer I like, I commend myself for my excellent taste. And when I see a beer that sounds interesting, I make a mental note to check it out later.
So beyond turning me on to something new, lists like this don’t do a lot for me. It’s not like I’m going to reignite my love for Belgian tripels just because Westmalle made the list (even if they make it sound really, really tasty).
That said, I give them credit for doing this the best way it can be done. First off, it’s done bucket-style, lumping all the beers together without feeling the need to rank them 1 through 25. Thank you, DRAFT – rankings make me nuts. Also, each beer has a nice blurb attached to it, telling what makes it special and describing the flavor. This adds context and allows me to decide if I’d like to try it someday. That’s essential to making a list like this useful at all. And the beers are well chosen by folks who obviously know and love good beer.
So good for the crew over at DRAFT. I love their information, but have come to the conclusion that personal taste in beer is a very individual thing, which makes their opinions is largely irrelevant.
Of course if they called this “25 Beers You Should Try from 2010” no one would read it, so they almost have to play the “Top 25” card. Doing so elicits a much better response, creates debate on message boards, generates word of mouth, provides fodder for blogs (ahem) and drives more traffic to their site.
Still, it’s not the Top 25 I would have chosen. What are my TOP 25 you ask? Irrelevant, I say. Totally irrelevant.