Mountain West Beverage Power Rankings

All this talk about football and pre-season is making me thirsty for some great brews. Therefore I have compiled this list of Power Rankings for the Best micro-brews in the MWC regional cities. Feel free to disagree with my statements, but a great conference has to have great local beverages to go with it!

T9(N/A). New Mexico - simply because I have never tried any beer from this region. Feel free New Mexico fans to jump in and criticize my lack of snobbery here.

T9 (N/A). Wyoming - Having never been to or through Wyoming, I have not gotten to taste any beer from that area. Cowboy fans, feel free to give me suggestions.

8. Air Force - Laughing Lab Scottish Ale (Bristol Brewing Co.) - I actually tried this beer as a special of the World Beer Tour at Old Chicago in Boise. Be careful, it's very smooth but it has a nutty taste. So if you're not a fan of that, you won't like it.

7. Boise State - Copperhead Red (Table Rock BrewPub) - My favorite beer out of all the Table Rock beers, this one is a nice red ale with a bit of a herb and maybe some sweet taste in there. It's a nice beer, that most people will enjoy, but won't be memorable by any stretch.

6. Nevada - Ichthyosaur IPA (Great Basin Brewing Co.) - Hoppy, but tasteful. Also, very difficult to find, unless you're in Reno or at some special place in Vegas or Boise. Those who enjoy Sierra Nevada will find similarities, but make no mistake, this is a very distinct IPA. The 6.4% ABV makes it a nice stronger beer to enjoy.

5. Fresno State - Sequoia Pale Ale (Sequoia Brewing Co.) - Mmmmmm...malty. There are many things in the Sequoia's that allow for a good beer to be made, and this pale ale combines all of them into one. The Crystal hops make this a slightly spicier beer, but not as to make it a seasonal only.

4. UNLV - Double Wit (Triple 7 Restaurant and Microbrewery, inside Main Street Station) - Who said Las Vegas doesn't brew good beer. The Double Wit ups a traditional Belgian Wit Beer by making the flavor more bold and colorful while also increasing the alcohol content to a 7.4% ABV.

3. Colorado State - Fat Tire (New Belgium Brewing Co.) - Do I really need to say more? With a great smooth caramel flavor, Fat Tire is one of those beers that sets a standard to how beer should taste. It's an extremely balanced beer that once again, everyone can enjoy. I have yet to hear someone say they dislike Fat Tire. As it is a reasonable price by the case, if you bring this to a party, you become the life of the party.

2. Hawaii - Pipeline Porter (Kona Brewing Co.) - No, this beer's not from Oahu, but it doesn't matter. I really could've chosen any Kona beer (there's not a bad one), but the Pipeline Porter is my absolute favorite. It's a fall/winter beer that has an earthy complexion, that's surprisingly not bitter. The best part about this? The malts are combined with Kona coffee, which gives it a mouthwatering aroma and taste. This beer, while best with hearty foods, is actually surprisingly delicious with desserts, if you're into that kind of thing. What could possibly follow it up with number one?

1. SDSU - Arrogant Bastard (Stone Brewing Co.) - Did you expect any difference? Warning: this is not a prissy, watered down beer. This is about as in your face as you can possibly get. At 7.2% ABV, the website lists the Hop Variety and the IBU's as "Classified" to let the drinker guess what they taste. Given an A- by BeerAdvocate and a 99 by RateBeer, this beer is in a class of it's own. There's an extra surprise for those who've had this beer and enjoy it like I do: Arrogant Bastard has three other "varieties" put out specially by Stone. Oaked Arrogant Bastard is just as good, and I haven't gotten around to trying the Double Bastard or the Lukcy Bastard (misspelling intended), though with a 10.5% and a 8.5% ABV respectively, those beers are sure to demand respect from the drinker just like the original.

Agree or disagree? Tell me what your favorite beers of the region are!

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