Tom - did you end up drinking any of the Alesmith beer, or were they all dedicated to the dough? I've gotten Alesmith a couple of times (to drink) and am yet to be impressed by it. Maybe I need to give them another try?
I pick a beer based on suggestions by the beer stores and sometimes by the ratings chart that the store has posted below the bottles. I try to never go over the $20 a pint range. (Although, I have my eye on a $34.95 Pint of beer.) There are some fantastic beers out there in the $5 to $10 a pint range. It is fun to try different styles of beer and especially those that are unique or hard to find. Sometimes people complain on this forum about a high end or limited release beer being used in dough instead of being consumed. I have learned to take the comments with a grain of sea salt. I like to use quality products and I think high end beer makes a difference in the flavor of the dough and texture. Sometimes, even a beer that i can't really enjoy, because i am not used to that beer's particular taste and style, produces an outstanding pizza dough. Beers can really surprise you!!! Again cooking with high end ingredients makes a difference, despite what some may say. Making dough has introduced me to a whole world of great beers and has allowed me to try beers that I never would have tried before.
In response to your question, the beer is dedicated to the dough, but i will taste a sip first and then often drink what is left over. The AleSmith beer has been good. The AleSmith ESB is a favorite of one of the beer store owners. It came highly recommended. You might consider giving it another try. I like what an ESB style beer can do for pizza dough. Also, I know a Pizzeria owner that even brews ESB style beer to be specifically used in dough making at his Pizzeria. Hope that helps.
In closing, IMO, this forum has been about learning from each other and seeing new creative ideas to pizza making. If you look at my early posts in this thread, you will see that i didn't even know how to make pizza dough. Now i have fun doing so.