The Best Beer Ever Depends on More Than Which Beer You Drink

This weekend McKinnney-based craft brewery Franconia shared a link to an article from Blog About Beer about the top five beers in the world. I'm imagining a monk in a cave in a forgotten forest in Bavaria who just released a beer graced with angel tears. Or specks of unicorn horn. And the horn is made of pure Bavarian chocolate. The five best beers in the world, according to Logan Thompson on Blog About Beer are:

1. The Beer That's In Your Hand 2. The Beer You're Having Next 3. The Best Beer You Can Remember 4. The Beer That's Free 5. The Beer You Made

My feelings on the local craft beer scene go like this: so many flavors, so little time. Which is complicated by my New Year's resolution to drink only on weekends, which we all know technically start on Thursdays at 4 p.m. and include Mondays too, because -- ugh -- Mondays.

Craft beer is a fantastic, continually developing scene. Still I'm not always sure what I'm supposed to like when it comes to beer, versus what I do like. When I shop at the small craft beer store in my neighborhood I try to pull this information out of the guy who works there. He gets annoyed. I get amused. It goes something like this:

Me: "So, what should I try?"

Him: Long pause. Deep sigh.

Me: Whatever.

Him: "I recommend anything in the case. There's nothing I don't like. It's all good."

Me: "There's just so much ... What about this purple label with the ..."

We do this every week or so. We've come to some sort of happy place in our dysfunctional relationship, both annoyed, yet we know we need each other. I have no idea what his name is. He doesn't give a shit what mine is. When I pay, he manages a smile.

One day he finally reveals, "Try Delirium Tremens. It's the best beer in the world."

In the world! Wow! Finally...

Two days later as I popped the top off, I felt like I was about to be part of an exclusive club. I'd talk loudly about this moment at parties for years to come. YEARS! Yet, after a few swallows, the only thing I learned was that the best beer in the world wasn't all that great. Or do I just not know what great beer is? What was I missing? Am I wrong about everything? Maybe fracking is good for us ...

Perfect example, No. 3: As much as I love the local craft beer movement and all that it involves, the best beer I can remember lately was a Miller Lite. This summer a friend and I ran the floor of Palo Duro Canyon and the last few miles through the dusty red canyon I was beyond parched. And once I get thirsty, all I can think about is how thirsty I am. I play this awful game of "What would I drink right now?" all while eying puddles and cacti. It's stupid. Anyway.

So, then I remembered we had two random cans of Miller Lite floating at the bottom of our cooler back at base camp. We also had water, wine, sports drinks, but right then those two beers sounded magnificent. And I hate Miller Lite! We picked up our pace, shuffled through the dirt, up and down the rocks a bit quicker.

At camp we made a beeline to the cooler, plopped down in chairs and popped the tops. By that time late in the afternoon, the sky was this huge empty orange and blue, the canyon was brilliant and silent. And those were the two best beers ever.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.