No one wants to drink bad beer. But standing in the bottle shop or the bodega, or sitting at the bar where the music is deafening and the bartender's surly, it's often easier to make the safe choice and get what you've been drinking since college. "Bud bottle, please." Easy. The keg will never be kicked; you don't have to worry about mispronouncing the name; you don't have to worry about not liking that new beer with the ludicrous name that puns on the word hops. "Bud bottle," you say, and everything is fine.
It doesn't have to be that way anymore. You should drink good beer. You should be able to order without fear. To make this daunting task less overwhelming, we spoke with seven experts in the field to get their favorites: Jimmy Carbone, owner of Jimmy's No. 43 in the East Village, one of the best beer bars in the city; Wendy Littlefield, co-owner of Vanberg & DeWulf, one of the premier importers of Belgian beers in America; Andre Wechsler, owner of German beer bar Wechsler's; David Liatti, former Sixpoint Brewery engineer and owner of Cobble Hill public house 61 Local; Samuel Merritt, founder of Civilization of Beer, a business focused on improving beer knowledge among distributors and retailers; Justin Philips, co-owner of Park Slope restaurant Beer Table; Mike Lovullo, specialty brands manager for Union Beer Distributors; and B.R. Rolya, of Shelton Brothers Imports.
Each person selected a handful of beers—Complex picked, too— in order to put together a diverse list of 100 beers to try before you die. On your mark, get set, drink.
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