In the September/October issue of Imbibe, the editors selected their 99 favorite beers in different categories, such as seasonals or beers to drink with a burger. In “Imbibe Vs. Beerspotter,” Y&H’s Beerspotter takes each list to task.

Imbibe curates an eclectic list of eclectic beers, spanning from the bright, grapefruit-vinegar Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueuze (one of my favorites on this list) to the ultimate smoke beer, Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen (my other favorite). But where there’s smoke, there should be fire, right? Applied delicately, peppercorns and chilis add faint sparks of heat to a beer; take for example Rogue Chipotle Ale. It’s a mild-mannered golden ale to start, but after a handshake with some chipotle peppers, the malty sweetness fades into a whisp of smoke. Meanwhile Dieu du Ciel Route des Épices, from Montreal, is a spicy rye beer with peppercorns, making for an herbal, heady burn.

Imbibe also recommends Birrificio del Ducato Nuova Mattina, an Italian saison with coriander, ginger, chamomile, and green pepper. And it’s tasty, but also an exception among Italian beers in that it’s (arguably) worth its $25 price tag for a 750ml bottle. But if you’ve already taken out the mortgage to fund your beer habit, try Ducato’s Verdi Imperial Stout. Chili-pepper heat mingles with tingly cinnamon and licorice, recalling a mug of Mexican chocolate. Is it different? Yes…but good.

What are your favorite weird beers? Tweet @Beerspotter!

Imbibe picks:

  • Birrificio del Ducato Nuova Mattina
  • Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen
  • Brauerei Hofstettner Granitbock
  • De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale
  • Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueuze
  • Eisenbahn Lust
  • Girardin Gueuze 1882 Black Label
  • Petrus Aged Pale
  • Rogue Juniper Pale Ale
  • Samuel Adams Utopias

More Imbibe Vs. Beerspotter:
Beers to Drink With a Burger
Seasonal Beers
Hop Monsters