Best Beer - 2005
O'Fallon Smoked Porter
It's all good, of course, so the idea of calling one "Best" is to suggest that others are less good, which simply isn't true. But O'Fallon Smoked Porter comes in a very big bottle, which automatically makes it better than most because there's more of it. Plus, it's a huge beer, this rich, dense concoction created locally by Fran and Tony Caradonna, owners of the O'Fallon Brewery in O'Fallon. By nature, porter is a hefty dark, and when smoked malt is added, the result is a beer that tastes like beef mole. And we aren't alone in praising O'Fallon's smoked porter; it snagged a gold medal at the 2004 Great American Beer Festival in Denver -- no small feat for a modest regional brewery based in the 'burbs. Just as good, in fact, is O'Fallon's seasonal pumpkin ale, available in stores now.