By Matt Abbatacola–

(CBS) — About 18 months ago, I was over at my brother-in-law’s house. We were hanging out in the garage and tossing darts. He asked me if I wanted a beer. of course, I said yes.

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He handed me a red pint-sized can named “Furious,” made from a brewery called “Surly.” I had never heard of it. I opened it and took a big swig. It was bitter and harsh. It took me 45 minutes or so to get through it. Needless to say, I switched to my usual garage brew after that — Coors Light.

Well, that began my journey into the world of craft beers. I’m certainly no expert, but I have developed a palate for strong hoppy bitter beers. I love trying new beers and getting recommendations from other craft beer lovers.

I also have discovered a group of individuals along this journey known as “beer snobs” — aka. beer d-bags. Those are the beer guys who tell you the beer you like and enjoy “sucks.” I’m not one of those guys. Those fellas are super annoying. Everyone has their own tastes, likes and dislikes and that’s OK.

You may hate what I love. I may have never tried your favorite beer. Let me know what it is and I will.

I just wanted to share my list of #83beers, that’s all.

Now keep in mind, these #83beers are not all “craft” beers. There are so many different beers out there, and I believe certain beers are meant for specific settings or occasions. For example, when I go to my favorite Mexican restaurant — Tacos El Rey De Oro in Libertyville, which has great food and even better people — I have my beers I drink there. Some nights, a man needs to drink a dozen or so beers when hanging out with his pals — these hoppy bitter beers don’t work for those occasions. I also have some favorites I enjoy on a hot summer day hanging out on the patio in the backyard.

So here’s my list of #83beers — look it over and try some new beers. I would love your feedback and recommendations of what to try. Obviously, I have had more than these #83beers. Some were bad and others just didn’t make the cut.

Surly (Minneapolis)
Furious — hybrid IPA/ESB
Todd the Axe Man — West Coast-style IPA
Overrated — West Coast IPA
Coffee Bender — American oatmeal brown ale, great for tailgating and brunch
Xtra Citra — pale ale

Solemn Oath (Naperville)
Snaggletooth Bandana — American IPA

Wild Onion (Lake Barrington)
Misfit — IPA
Radio Free Pils — pilsner

Sierra Nevada (Fletcher, N.C.)
Pale Ale
Otra Vez — Gose style ale

Lagunitas (Petaluma, Calif./Chicago)
PILS — Czech style pilsner
Aunt Sally — sour mash ale
Maximus — ale
Censored — copper ale

Ballast Point (San Diego)
Sculpin — IPA
Grapefruit Sculpin
Pineapple Sculpin
Habanero Sculpin — I use this when making chili
Dorado — Double IPA
Watermelon Dorado
Wahoo White — Witbier

Two Brothers (Warrenville)
Sidekick — extra pale ale
Outlaw — IPA
Peppermint Bark Porter — great holiday brew

Pipeworks (Chicago)
Lizard King — pale ale
Glaucus — IPA

Sam Adams (Boston)
Boston Lager
Summer Ale
Cold Snap — white ale
Porch Rocker — Bavarian Radler

3 Floyd’s (Munster, Ind.)
Alpha King — American Pale Ale
Gumballhead — Wheat beer
Yum Yum — American Session Ale
Zombie Dust — Pale Ale

Tighthead (Mundelein)
Chilly Water — pale ale
Irie — IPA

Leinenkugel’s (Chippewa Falls, Wis.)
Summer Shandy
Grapefruit Shandy

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Bell’s (Galesburg, Mich.)
Two Hearted — ale
Hopslam — Imperial IPA

Anchor (San Francisco)
California Lager

Yuengling (Pottsville, Penn.)
Traditional Lager

Guinness (Dublin, Ireland)
Guinness Draught — draft only, and Island Tap Inc. in Libertyville pours a solid draft

Revolution (Chicago)
Anti-Hero — IPA
Fist City — pale ale
Rev Pils — pilsner
A Little Crazy — Belgo-style ale
Galaxy Hero — IPA
Crystal Hero — IPA
Citra Hero — IPA
Unsessionable — Imperial IPA
1Z Enuff — Imperial IPA
Fistmas Ale

Oskar Blues (Longmont, Colo.)
Dale’s Pale Ale
Pinner — IPA
Mama’s Little Yella Pils — Czech-style pilsner

Temperance (Evanston)
Gatecrasher — English IPA

Mickey Finn’s (Libertyville)
Pineapple Express — double IPA
Santa’s Magic — Belgian strong pale ale, which I wish was brewed year-round

Los Muertos (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)
Death Rides on a Pale Horse — blonde ale
Queen of the Night — pale ale
Hop on or Die — IPA

21st Amendment (San Francisco)
El Sully — Mexican-style lager
Hell or High Watermelon — wheat beer

Avery (Boulder, Colo.)
Joe’s American Pilsner

Stone (Escondido, Calif.)

Tallgrass (Manhattan, Kan.)
Top Rope — IPA

Marz (Chicago)
Lumpen — IPA

New Glarus (New Glarus, Wis.)
Spotted Cow — farmhouse ale
Two Women — lager
Moon Man — pale ale

Maine Beer Company (Freeport, Maine)
Lunch — IPA

Special mentions for various reasons…
Coors Light
Miller Lite
Dos Equis — lager
Bud Light — best enjoyed icy cold at a Boers and Bernstein Who Needs 2 Tavern Tour remote

My top 10 beers (as of now)
10. Grapefruit Sculpin
9. Top Rope
8. Fist City
7. Anti-Hero
6. Lizard King
5. Xtra Citra
4. Furious
3. Sidekick
2. Zombie Dust
1. Misfit

Relax and be cool — everyone has their own favorites. Enjoy the Fourth of July weekend.

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Matt Abbatacola is a producer, host and update anchor at 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter@MattAbbatacola and email him at