It’s Nappie time and the votes are in for the best drinks in Mobile!
Not surprisingly, local favorite Fairhope Brewing Co. won as Lagniappe readers’ Favorite Craft Beer for the second year in a row with its Take the Causeway IPA, beating out a number of other excellent beers — including its own Judge Roy Bean Stout. Take the Causeway is not only great general local navigation advice, but also a very nice, strong (8.2 percent ABV) IPA with good flavor and not too much bitterness.
COMPLETE LIST — 2017 NAPPIE AWARDS
In the Favorite Import Beer category, the Belgian pilsner Stella Artois won the Nappie for the second time in two years, having been beaten by Corona last year. I have to agree with Lagniappe readers on this one, as Stella is a smooth, traditional European pilsner, light in color and sweet in aroma and taste. First brewed in 1926, it has become much more widely distributed in the past decade or so and is now fairly ubiquitous throughout the United States.
Pennsylvania’s Yuengling lager took home the award for Favorite Domestic Beer, a new Nappie category this year. The nation’s oldest brewery, Yuengling was founded during Andrew Jackson’s administration in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, by David Yuengling, a German immigrant. The brewery has been in continuous operation and under the control of the same family ever since, not even closing during Prohibition, when it produced a series of “near beers” to stay afloat.
The Yuengling lager popular today dates only from 1987 but, according to the brewery, is based on a historical family recipe. Very different from most American lagers, it looks more like an ale, with an amber color and very little head. It’s a bit bitter but its flavor isn’t very distinctive, especially for those who have become used to craft beers.
While Yuengling, Stella and even Fairhope’s Take the Causeway are easily found at almost every bar and restaurant in our area, if you’re looking for something more exotic than your regular beer fare, LoDa Bier Garten is again the readers’ choice for Bar with Best Tap Beer Selection, and I heartily agree, as it is my favorite place to try new and different beers I can’t find anywhere else. With more than 100 beers regularly on tap — and 100 more available in bottles and cans — it’s a fantastic place to explore new beer styles, especially on Sunday afternoon when drafts are half price.
For the Best Beer Selection — Retail, our readers chose Old Shell Growlers, another great place to find a wide range of craft beers from around the area and around the world. Old Shell Growlers offers both on- and off-site sales, so you can enjoy a pint from one of the 30 or so beers on tap while perusing the dozens of beers for sale.
The thing that really makes Old Shell Growlers such a haven for beer enthusiasts is that it makes it easy to try lots of different beers without breaking the bank. First, it offers a great variety of single-sale bottles and cans, so you don’t have to get a six- or a 12-pack of something you aren’t quite sure about. Second, you can get a taste of any one of the beers on tap before filling up your 32- or 64-ounce growler to take home.
If your tastes go to something other than beer, some of the other drink winners include Tacky Jack’s Bushwacker and the Pineapple Jalapeño Margarita at Five Bar, which I think I’m going to have to try.
Finally, for those of you who had a little too much the night before and need a little hair o’ the dog, Ashland Midtown Pub’s Bloody Mary was again chosen as the best by Lagniappe readers.
Congratulations to all the winners!