Writing the Father’s Day post reminded me of another trait my dad and I share – a love of good beer.  Thanks to my father’s appreciation for a delicious microbrew and the fact that my first beer drinking experiences occurred during a high school trip to Germany (I was a senior so it was legal), I became an unabashed beer snob before I was even 21.  Spending time in Amsterdam and taking a side trip Belgium the summer after I finished college only increased my beer snobbery.

Now that I’m 23, I shun American macro-brews in favor of imports and craft beers.  One of my favorite places in Chicago is the Maproom, which has over 200 unique beers from all over the world with a menu that changes constantly.  They take their beer seriously!  I’m also a fan of Goose Island and Bell’s Brewery.

Without further adieu, here are my top five beers:

1.  Beamish and Beamish Red.  I know that these are two separate beers, but they are from the same brewery and Beamish Red is only available in Europe.  The original Beamish is a classic creamy stout with hints of chocolate, and Beamish Red is a smooth Irish Red with a hint of bitterness.

2.  Augustiner Weissbier.  I’m really a fan of most of the Augustiner Brauhaus’s products, but I find the weissbier especially refreshing.  Crisp and wheaty with a hint of citrus, this is the perfect beer for a summer day.

3.  Duvel.  The name means “devil”, but this tasty Flemish beer combines the complexity of ale with the lightness of a pilsner for a heavenly result.

4.  Leffe Blonde.  A smooth Belgian blonde beer with a hint of sweetness that’s perfect with a meal (spicy food in particular) or on its own.

5.  Sam Adams Oktoberfest.  Yes, it’s a mass produced American beer, but I wanted to include one that was readily available in the U.S. and this one is delicious.  Hoppy and spicy, this beer tastes like fall.

What are some of your favorite beers?  Let me know in the comments!

Like many freelancers, I tend to work on weekends.  Partly because I like to be busy – I’m seemingly incapable of doing nothing – and partly because when a good idea calls to me, I like to see where it leads.  Of course, thanks to doing lots of writing about fashion and entertainment, my weekends tend to involve lots of fabulous events like fashion shows and benefit parties (I know, my life is sooo tough). 

However, this weekend I am not going to work.  Instead, I’m heading up to the wilds of northern Michigan, where there are Mennonites, bears, and (gulp) no internet access.  Since the vast majority of what I do depends on the web, I’ll be forced to relax sans computer for a few days. 

What will I do?  Swim in Lake Michigan and attempt to climb the sand dunes, fish on the lake that Hemingway once fished – yup, the Papa spent his childhood summers in northern Michigan too, and celebrate Father’s Day with my dad (hi Dad!).  And maybe I’ll take some pictures of the stunning sunsets over the lake to share.  Granted, the reason they are so gorgeous probably has something to do with how polluted the Great Lakes are, but at least it’s not Lake Erie. 

Have an excellent weekend and come back Monday!