by John Ellis
While claiming to be a beach connoisseur may be a stretch, having grown up in Florida does give my opinions about all things beach related some validity – likewise, if someone grew up in Canada, I’ll defer to their opinions about the best types of snowshoes and maple syrup. In other words, growing up in Florida means that I’m probably better qualified than most to determine which items should be taken along in the event that an individual finds himself or herself exiled to a deserted island.
Music and books are great and all; but, without beer, does the presence of either on the deserted island really matter? That’s a question with an elusive answer that I never want to have to answer. Thankfully, on my hypothetical deserted island exile, whoever exiled me has graciously allowed me to stock the island with ten beers, so I can avoid the question. For now. This raises, however, an equally important question – if I’m going to be stuck on a deserted island for the foreseeable future, what ten beers will I be unable to live without? And that, my friends, is a much more difficult question to answer than I imagined when I first thought of it.
After much thought, and a considerable amount of “testing,” I managed to narrow my beer selection down. I have little doubt that as soon as I hit “publish,” I will regret leaving a beer or beers off, but I’ll resist the urge to go back and edit. Don’t let that stop you, however, from letting me know which beers you’d take to a deserted island.
Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
I’m not sure if I have a favorite beer in the same way that I have a favorite album, but, like Achtung Baby, if I could take only one beer to the island, that beer would be Bell’s Two Hearted. Honestly, I wouldn’t complain too much if the only beer I had to drink was this one. It’s hard to find a better example of an IPA than Bell’s famed Two Hearted. Not only full-flavored, but the Two Hearted is crisp and refreshing – perfect for an island exile/get-away.
North Coast Old Rasputin
I love thick, creamy, and rich Russian Imperial Stouts, and North Coast Old Rasputin is as good of a representative of the style as can be found. With Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, Old Rasputin is one of my two go-to-beers. I can’t imagine being without it.
New Glarus Two Women
I’m not sure how hot it gets on the deserted island, but having a cold lager to quench my thirst during the heat of the day will be appreciated. And, while I’m generally not a fan of lagers, the Two Women from Wisconsin’s famed New Glarus Brewing Co. is an excellent and tasty beer.
Founders Breakfast Stout
As delicious as coconuts and fish are, I’ll probably get tired of having the same breakfast every single morning. Beyond the addition of oatmeal, chocolate, and coffee into my diet, I don’t think that I could ever get tired of Founders Breakfast Stout.
Cigar City Jai Alai
This is one of my favorite beers, but it’s rarity that I’m able to enjoy Cigar City Jai Alai. Thanks to draconian distribution laws, the stores where I live haven’t had any of this delicious IPA in over a year and a half. Being exiled to a deserted island will afford me the opportunity to circumvent the anti-free market laws that the macro-breweries high-priced lobbyists have helped gin up.
Trappistes Rocheforte 10
Just because I’ll be stuck on an island all by myself doesn’t mean that I won’t want to attempt the occasional gourmet meal by combining coconuts, fish, and seagulls in new and exciting ways. When that does happen, I’ll want a well-made and complex beer to pair with my dish of coconuts, fish, and seagull. The Rocheforte 10 is not only my favorite Quad, it’s my favorite Belgian beer, period.
Brasserie Saison Dupont
I won’t drink this Saison very often, but from time to time, I’ll want some barnyard funk. Probably on those evenings when the weather is a little cooler and it’s raining.
Meantime London Porter
Porters are the working man’s beer. Since I will be the one to construct my island shelter and build whatever else I’m going to need in order to not die, I will be the deserted island’s working man. With that in mind, I’m going to make sure that the island is stocked with my favorite working man’s beer.
Mystery Brewing Annabel
I’ve only had this black saison twice, and have been craving more. One of the more interesting and flavorful beers that I’ve had, the Annabel from Mystery Brewing out of Hillsborough, NC makes it to the deserted island because I believe that the more I drink it, the more I’ll love it.
Don’t misunderstand, this is not for drinking. Having Bud Light stocked on the island will serve as a constant reminder that no matter how bad being exiled to a deserted island may be, at least I’m not one of the millions of people still drinking bad beer.
 We won’t talk about how I’ve had sun poisoning twice due to the fact that I didn’t believe that it was necessary for me to put sun screen on while lying on Pensacola Beach.
 Or they used to be until the working man was tricked into drinking macro-brewed swill.