That being said, here's my list:
TOP TEN ALES AND LAGERS
part two, second entries of each.
2. Westmalle Tripel
There are 7 Trappist Monasteries out of the existing 171 that make beer for commercial consumption. 6 are in Belgium, 1 in the Netherlands. These breweries are the only ones allowed to actually say "Trappist" on the label. Any others that are not made at these monasteries, but are going for their style of beer, will have "Abbey Ale" on the label instead. Many of these Abbey Ales are also quite tasty, but Westmalle is head and shoulders above most beers on the planet. Brouwerij Westmalle is located at the Westmalle Monastery in Antwerp, Belgium. Their Tripel is amazingly well balanced, with a nice clean malt shining through. Extremely highly recommended. Available in LA at The Other Room in Venice. May also be available at Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena, Father's Office in Santa Monica and Library Alehouse also in Santa Monica, though I am not sure. Beverages and More also should have it, and perhaps Whole Foods.
Here's their writeup:
Westmalle Tripel is a clear, golden yellow Trappist beer that undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle (9,5% alcohol). It is a complex beer with a fruity aroma and a nice nuanced hop scent. It is soft and creamy in the mouth, with a bitter touch carried by the fruity aroma. An exceptional beer, with a great deal of finesse and elegance. And with a splendid long aftertaste.
The Westmalle Tripel is indeed called the “mother of all tripels”. This type of beer was first brewed in Westmalle abbey in 1934 when the new brewing hall came into use. The current formula has stayed practically unchanged since 1956, thus almost for 50 years.
2. Paulaner Salvator Doppelbock
Bock Beer is a strong lager made in the winter and drank in the spring. The style originates from Munich. It's another beer style brought to us by monks, so it's a monk beer day today! These guys always made these beers to drink during fasting. No food, combined with very strong beer. That's always a good idea. No wonder they see God and have visions, eh?
I recommend you eat.
Many bock beer producers have displayed goats on bottle labels since Bock in German means billy goat. In the local dialect, Einbeck is pronounced similar to "Einbock", which sounds like ein Bock (a goat).
From the German Beer Institute web site, linked below:
It is a fair guess that the Paulaners' Lenten "liquid bread" got stronger over the years. It is not exactly clear, however, when it reached the strength we now associate with a modern Doppelbock. Obviously, the Paulaners revered their weighty and now papally sanctioned brews, because eventualy they came to name the strongest of their strong beers "Salvator," after the Savior, their other passion in life.
Though initially intended only for themselves, the Paulaners must have let some of their beer leak out, for cash, to the population. This, under stringent feudal rules, required a permit from the civil authorities, which the Paulaners did not possess; and soon the Paulaners were brewing not only beer but trouble, too. We know so, because of many civil complaints on record about public rowdiness and drunkenness in the streets around the monastery. There is even evidence that the monks served Doppelbock illegally on April 2, 1751, the names day of their patron saint, Saint Francis of Paula.