Beer Spree

Around Chez Alworth, we have no hard-and-fast rule against profligate beer buying, yet I try to moderate my purchases. Since dropping $15 on a wee dram of spontaneously-fermented kriek is an out-of-budget expense, I don't do it often. However, a few months ago, thanks to my superior insight as a basketball prognosticator, I came into some March Madness cash. A hundred and fitty. I may not spend it all on beer, but since it's found cash, I'm gonna go on a spree.

But which beers?

I appeal to you all: which world, national, and local classics do you consider must-tries? Jon has his list, but I've never really thought it through. I recognize that not every beer I should try is on the classic list (Hoegaarden Wit ... yawn.) But others, like Orval, do make my cut as one of the world's best. That beer I reviewed last week (Taras Boulba) was so new the brewers haven't even gotten their own facility yet, and it would be a respectable recommendation. There are at least a dozen world-class beers brewed right here, too.

For what it's worth, if someone asked me this, I'd offer this list (excluding locals, which don't require a spending spree):
  • Budweiser Budvar
  • Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus
  • Coniston Bluebird Bitter
  • Saison Dupont
  • Duvel
  • Fuller's ESB
  • Guinness Extra Stout
  • Hanssen's Oudbeitje
  • Huyghe Delerium Tremens
  • Orval
  • Rodenback Grand Cru
  • St. Peter's Porter
  • Verhaeghe Duchesse De Bourgogne
As you can see, my tastes tend toward the Flemish. I would easily double or treble the list if I added domestics (the US is now rivaled by only Belgium in the sheer number of world-class beers it produces). Not limiting yourself to foreign styles only, or even those available in the US, on which beers should I absolutely, positively spend my hoops lucre?