Thanks to Chris Van Orden for his hefty contributions to this piece.

In case you somehow haven't heard, Snallygaster returns tomorrow. The Neighborhood Restaurant Group's massive beer festival/event/spectacular will feature over 300 beers and way more than 300 attendees. You can find info on tickets, an extensive FAQ, and all that on their website. We're not going to reinvent the wheel. What we are going to do is say holy shit this beer list is intimidatingly impressive and immense. If you thought narrowing down what you want to drink at ChurchKey is time-consuming, this is kind of like that…times 6.5.

We were going to power rank all of the beers at Snallygaster for your #content-consuming amusement, but that path was fraught with danger. Where do you put a beer like Allagash White, which is a top class example of a witbier but also widely available? It probably winds up somewhere in the mid-to-low 200s because there are so many beers you can't get everywhere else that will be at Snally. So we abandoned the power ranking approach. If you'd like to know where I'd rank any of the given beers, you can tweet at me.

So then we decided we'd do the SAVOR approacha and try to pick out some suggestions. "Some" is such a slippery word. You start with 10 and then yadda, yadda, yadda you wind up with 80. Please do not drink 80 beers tomorrow.

Before we get to those suggestions though, some notes about the beer list overall. Thanks to Chris Van Orden for compiling this:

Alright, with that said, here are some beers we think you should try to have tomorrow at Snally. A couple of notes here bear emphasizing.

  1. Your mileage may vary. These are the beers that some of us here at DCBeer are interested in trying and suggest that you try. Either because they sound interesting, or they're hard to get, or we just think they're delicious beers you should put in your mouth. This isn't the be-all, end-all definitive list. Such a list doesn't exist.
  2. In most cases we left beers off that are easy to get in the market. Except where we didn't. Life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone, etc. etc.
  3. These are roughly categorized by NRG's flavor profile categorizations. I say roughly because Greg Engert might disagree with where we put some choices (sorry, Greg, we think this raspberry wheat beer should go under "Roast"). Or he might not. Who knows. The point is, if you know you like a certain flavor profile, we broke it out for you that way. We are nice people.
  4. The beers are in roughly descending order of what's most notable/interesting. We suspect a lot of beers will kick tomorrow, so we've given you plenty of choices here anticipating that.
  5. For the love of all that's holy please be patient with the volunteers tomorrow.
  6. It's just beer. Let us remind you that pre-emptively. It's just beer. If you can't get any of these and wind up with a Sierra Nevada Torpedo or something else you normally see on the shelves, you're still winding up with a great beer.

Here we go!

Tart and Funky

Yes, there are a lot of these on our list. No, we are not apologetic about it. Yes, we do eat a lot of Tums. Yes, you can have some.

Crisp

It's criminal how many people don't take advantage of the gravity kegs at these events. These beers are rarely seen in the US and are masterpieces of balance. Do yourself a favor and get at least a few of these.

Hop

People still apparently drink hoppy beers?

Roast

Pace yourselves. Look at these ABVs.

Fruit and Spice

This was something of a catch-all category for us. But since you're not paying us for this post, we're okay with it. We almost put a Russian imperial stout in here just to see if you were paying attention.

Cider

Have you heard of apples?

Malt

Same advice about gravity kegs applies here. There are some truly beautiful beers in this section. If you miss out on them, we don't want to hear it.

Smoke

Surgeon general's warning: smoking is bad for you.

Have a great time out there everyone!