Quote Originally Posted by SDF View Post
If thats the qualification then unless you are ridiculously traveled you can't make many statements about most beer. I'm comparing bottled beers to regionally bottled beers.
Not necessarily; with the exception of some of the trappist beers which are only available at the monastery, it's fairly straightforward to transport barrels of beer around England, or Belgium, for instance. It's one of the reasons that places like Bruges and Brussels have such a reputation for beer: they have dozens if not hundreds of breweries basically on their doorstep.

I will echo the view that, particularly when it comes to ales and the like, draught is better than bottled, and it's difficult to get an accurate impression of the quality of an ale from the bottled version. Lager tends to bottle better.

Just about the best ale I've ever had was from Northumberland of all places, at a beer festival. Unfortunately it turns out it's very difficult to get hold of down south, and even the bigger beer festivals don't usually have any available.

In terms of continental beer I would have to recommend Kwak. Unfortunately my recollection of most German/Belgian/Czech beers is something along the lines of "that awesome beer I had in that place at that bar/beer festival and then fell over" and names elude me. But I've encountered Kwak often enough to recall it well, and it's very good.