An Experiment with Beer Advocate’s Best: A Beer So American, You Could Salute It

Optional music for this post

All week we’ve been sorting through the beers that drinkers go crazy for, but we’ve been focusing on the final product – what we pop open and quickly make us flock to Beer Advocate to sing a brew’s praises.

But today, we take a look inside the glass.

While we might have found the best beers from every state, I wanted to take it a step further and try to figure out how we might be able to create the “best Best Beer.” By using the list of each state’s best beers from yesterday and a little help from Friend of the Program Allen, I can offer you insight into the ultimate U.S. beer.

Can you hear that? The bellowing sound coming our way? Over Purple Mountains Majesty and above the enameled plain?

With an aroma of freedom with an aftertaste of exceptionalism, today we unleash the True American Patriot IPA.

This gets into the nitty gritty of beer nerdom, but what Allen and I have done is determine the composition of what would make the best American beer, per the ratings we’ve seen from Beer Advocate that favor IPAs, double IPAs and imperial stouts.

There were three set specifications for this beer:

  • It has to be 18 SRM, the average number for all 506 beers on the “best beers” list.
  • It has to have an ABV of 8 or 8.1 percent, per the average of the list.
  • It must be hopped like an IPA.

From there, two optional aspects:

  • It can be hopped like a DIPA.
  • It can be barrel aged.

With all that in mind, we’ve created an all-grain recipe for what a batch of this beer would look like. Ladies and gentlemen, your best Best Beer our American palates care to muster:

True American Patriot IPA copy
Click to enlarge or download the full recipe in this PDF.

Naturally, we wanted to include a variety of American hops to give this beer an IPA edge, but we also added a touch of Chocolate Malt to represent the American drinker’s yearning for all things imperial stout. Rest assured that the use of Munich malt would come from American maltsters, but if you want to really show those Germans that these colors don’t run, a substitute of Melanoidin Malt or Biscuit Malt can be made.

Lastly, Friend of the Program Oliver noted that it wouldn’t make sense to create this beer without a nod to bourbon, a uniquely American liquor and favorite for barrel-aging. So if applicable, we could also add some soaked wood chips or barrel staves.

chuck norris-american beerAs frightening as it may be, I plan to create a version of this beer at home because someone has to, right? Results will probably be shared in a few months.

Now you tell me: what else would go into creating the Ultimate American Beer?

+Bryan Roth
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac


14 thoughts on “An Experiment with Beer Advocate’s Best: A Beer So American, You Could Salute It

    1. Its existence within the realms of our great country should supply an ample dose. Water flowing from untamed streams to our man-made treatment plants forged by the hands of farmers’ sons who feast on steak every night.
      Aeration created by gusts of air pulled from the bluest skies that stretch across a prairie of cowboys.
      Lastly, an ancestor of George Washington, dressed in a Captain America costume, stares intently at the beer throughout the entire fermentation.

      1. I just got a boner the size of a bald eagle

  1. That Munich is still a bit too German for me.

    1. Still more John McClane than Hans Gruber.

  2. Hope you do a better job hitting your estimated starting gravity than this guy did, or it will be a True American Patriot Session IPA.

  3. My word, please brew this. One thing– Melanoidin and Biscuit malts are not good subs for Munich, the latter of which is a base malt with enough diastatic power to self-convert. Regardless, go forth and make this ‘Merican Masterpiece at once!

    1. Thanks for this insight! I hope to make this sometime in the next couple months and look forward to the results.

  4. Yikes. I’m enough of a patriot that I’d totally drink it, though.

  5. And it is written into law: “You shall not be permitted to sample this American Treasure without removing your cap, proclaiming your love of God and Country, and reciting the pledge of allegiance in front of a 50 foot flag.”

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