Drinking one Prima Pils should be enough to convince most nascent beer geeks that pilsner is a worthwhile endeavor after all.—Jim Vorel, Brewery: The Lost Abbey City: San Marcos, Calif. The recipe changes slightly every year, but you’re guaranteed to find a malty, slightly spicy, incredibly vanilla treat inside each bottle. This makes it a great beer for aging, and considering how long it’s been around, it’s a great candidate for setting up a vertical tasting. Yeah, Highland can. In other words, this is the American Hefe that all other American Hefe’s are judged by. City: Marshall, Mich.? It’s also the base to even more sought-after beers: the bourbon barrel-aged Kentucky Breakfast Stout and the maple-bourbon variant Canadian Breakfast Stout. While light, Bud Light felt a bit more substantial and filling than its direct competitors, which works for people looking for a Light that doesn’t feel like less. Talk to craft brewers and you’ll hear it again and again: there’s still no better American pale ale; Sierra Nevada Pale Ale might even be the best craft beer being brewed today.—John Verive, Brewery: Allagash Brewing Company City: Portland, Maine Description: The Belgian witbier is the Rodney Dangerfield of the craft beer world—it gets no respect. Most lawnmower beers you find are lagers, but this is a “fancy” lawnmower beer, so Saint Arnold went with a Kolsch, a beer style that’s huge in Germany, but underappreciated here in the States. Description: A sour that spends up to a year in oak barrels, then several months hanging out with fresh apricots, Cascade’s Apricot Ale dances that beautiful line between tart and sweet. But from there, Great Divide takes it even further with a wide range of flavor expressions and spin-offs of the same beer. At the 2013 Great American Beer Festival, one of the longest lines in the Denver Convention Center was for a one-ounce pour of this magical brew. Schlafly is one of the best examples of a widely distributed pumpkin ale—very full-bodied and rich with a restrained sweetness and perfect blend of spices. An aggressive, unfiltered IPA that hits hard with bitter grapefruit notes, Finest Kind can give most West Coast IPAs a run for their money, adding fodder to the growing East Coast/West Coast brewing smackdown. Heineken PilsenerMolson XXXDelirium TremensFounders Breakfast StoutStone IPA (India Pale Ale), Beck's DarkFuller's ESBHeavy Seas - Holy Sheet (Über Abbe...La Folie Wood Aged Beer, Samuel Adams HefeweizenDale's Pale AleApriHopChipotle AleUnearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale), Stone Pale AleIndian Brown AleFat Tire Amber AleAllagash WhiteHarp Lager, Samuel Adams Cranberry LambicSublimely Self RightousSamuel Adams Scotch AleStorm King Stout, Yeti Imperial StoutPabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)#9Stone IPA (India Pale Ale)Arrogant Bastard Ale, Landshark LagerPrima PilsSt. What more could you want?—Jim Vorel, Brewery: Schlafly/St. There aren’t a lot of surprises in this bottle, but Shakespeare belongs on lists like this because it delivers. Brewer: Anheuser-Busch . Description: This is one of those much-anticipated annual releases that people line up for the day before it’s released. The result is an ink-black chocolate bomb with layers of spice that’s so good, Westbrook decided to bring it back every May. An estimated $661 billion worth of beer was sold around the world in 2017. Weighing in at 14% ABV, Alpine Great immediately delivers a powerful bourbon and caramel mix, with a dash of dark chocolate and a hint of vanilla that will linger and haunt your palate. Why not make it 18% ABV? It is a brew that is difficult to grasp with the first sip, but that’s all the more reason to keep sipping a glass while puzzling out the beer’s compelling subtleties.—John Verive, Brewery: Bell’s Brewing Company City: Kalamazoo, Michigan Description: The IPA has become synonymous with American craft beer, and the popular West Coast interpretation of the style—all about hop punch and crushing bitterness with little regard for balance—dominates the selection on tap lists and bottle shop shelves across the country. So why not an imperial pumpkin ale in rum barrels? Until then, we’ll keep trying to find beers like Kern’s Citra, which is so damned rich and sweet and bitter and pungent with hops, that it elevates your expectations moving forward. Brewery: Avery Brewing Co. City: Boulder, Colo. Brewery: Haymarket Pub & Brewery City: Chicago, IL Description: Chicago’s Haymarket Pub & Brewing is one of those places where the brewers make no concessions to those who don’t want to be challenged; they simply plow ahead and make what they want to make. Our editor in chief went ga-ga for Westbrook’s version, which is in fact “sour, salty, and delicious” as the label suggests. If you’re a baseball fan, you have to see a game at Wrigley Field. How Russian River is able to infiltrate every drop of liquid with such bold hoppiness—yet still offer a sweet caramel and malty back end—is mind-boggling.—Greg Eckert, Brewery: Revolution Brewing Co. City: Chicago, Ill. This has more depth than most American lagers you’ll come across—more malty amber than crisp lawnmower beer. Brewing City: Tampa, Fla.? Beer Blogs Best 100 List. It does exactly what you would hope, lifting the best elements of both “black” and “IPA” into a whole. 22. That’s Avery’s Rumpkin, and it’s determined to make you remember it, as if you could forget.—Jim Vorel, Brewery: Firestone Walker Brewing Co. City: Paso Robles, Calif. It could easily have been an undrinkable disaster, but it’s not. This unique beer is created by blending various barrel-aged brews, some nearly two decades old, into a boozy (the 2013 bottling was over 27%ABV) and syrupy elixir that coats the palate with strong oaky flavors. The amazing thing is that whether you’re drinking it from the can or a glass, the bold citrus and pine flavors overwhelm your palette in the best way possible, leaving you wondering if you’ve actually been alive up until this point. Welcome to West Coast IPA 101, you’ll want to take this class again.—Nathan Mattise, Brewery: Great Divide Brewing Co. City: Denver, Colo. Bernardus Abt 12, Fat Squirrel AleDark Lord Imperial StoutSteel Rail Extra Pale AleSmithwick's Ale, Samuel Adams Cream StoutWiesen Edel-WeisseHarpoon Summer BeerSaranac Black & Tan, Arrogant Bastard AleOaked Arrogant Bastard AleDead Guy AleAnchor Steam BeerStone IPA (India Pale Ale), Boddingtons Pub AleAmstel LightMiller Genuine DraftCorona ExtraPumpkinhead Ale, Smuttynose Shoal's Pale AleUnfiltered WheatStroh'sPete's Wicked Strawberry Blonde, Sam Adams LightPalo Santo MarronSt. Description: Ten Fidy pours as black and nearly as thick as motor oil from its beautiful can and will put to rest any preconceived notions you might have about “canned beer.” Dark malts, oats and barley give this a tasty malt backbone, but what really sets Ten Fidy apart from its imperial stout peers is the generous application of hops. Description: Dogfish Head continuously hops this beer for 90 minutes (thus the name), then throws in some dry hopping to create one beast of an imperial IPA clocking in at 9% and 90 IBUs. The Best 19 Beers of 2019. Every year London Beer Competition Judge's asses spirits that been nominated from the globe on Quality, Value for Money and Packaging. It’s earthy. Or have a meal that isn’t wrapped in bacon? Of the 10 most popular beers in the world, half are nearly unknown in the United States. Angry Birds is maybe their most archetypal example, a potent combination of funky Belgian aromatics and citric American hops. City: San Diego, Calif. ? Its aroma has always reminded me of a freshly mowed lawn. It’s the perfect dark beer in its modest alcohol range, the kind of thing a lover of porters and stouts could quaff all night long. It’s new, it’s hot, and now you can find it in cans…if you’re in Vermont and happen to catch one of The Alchemist’s pop-up can sales. Some of these beers would be considered the best beers in the country, if not the world. These are our top 100 brewers in the world for the year 2019. The mixture of pine, grapefruit and orange offers a complex and delicious trifecta. Description: Lost Abbey’s Duck Duck Gooze is a craft-beer whale in every sense of the word. That’s what you want when you pop the top of an oatmeal stout, and that’s what you get with Rogue’s Shakespeare, one of the most highly regarded beers in the American Stout category. Deceptively light and lively for its 8.5% ABV, it’s a great example of an American saison, alive with peppery spice and herbal flavors. Budweiser is one of the flagship brands of the Belgian brewing giant AB InBEV, the other one being Bud Light. A beer must have 150 ratings or more to qualify for this list. I am haunted by how unbelievable this beer is—both on tap and in the bottle.—Greg Eckert. Brewery: Hill Farmstead City: Greensboro, VT. They do killer versions with cherry, figs, raspberries, blueberries…but the Apricot Ale might be the best of the bunch. Description: It’s a good thing this vicious Russian imperial stout only comes around once a year. Description: There are a lot fewer breweries in the U.S. making great German-style beer than there are making great American-style beer. For decades, Boston Lager was essentially your only craft beer option. That one’s always on tap, always citrusy, always hoppy, and yet it shows some restraint compared to other West Coast IPAs, which seem to be battling it out for hoppiest brew. In the world of craft beer, “funk” is a compliment, and Serenity is the George Clinton of the craft beer world, winning gold for American Style Brett Beer at last year’s GABF. Brewery: Oskar Blues City: Lyons, Colo. If you’re craving a full-flavored stout, and winter is nowhere in sight, Old Rasputin is just what the doctor ordered.—Don Ayres. Description: With a name like “Maple Bacon Coffee Porter,” Funky Buddha has made it a little unnecessary for people like me to describe this sort of beer. The first taste of Revolution’s Anti-Hero is one of those experiences, with a rush of citric hops that immediately morph into other flavors: The pine of your classic West Coast IPAs, along with the tropical fruits of many modern brews. Description: If you’ve never had a nitro beer—a beer that’s bottled with nitrogen instead of CO2—do yourself a favor, stop what you’re doing and go buy this beer right now. Or bacon? If you find those delicious, I expect you will find this beer delicious as well.—Jim Vorel, Brewery: Three Floyds Brewing Co. City: Munster, Ind. If that’s not frustrating enough, they love to produce beer styles that most of us have never heard of. Description: Only available in the winter, Bell’s Hopslam Ale weighs in at 10% ABV. Here’s the first round from the master list—we’ll be counting down all week. It’s one of the few annual releases that has been around since the 1990s and still gets people excited on a yearly basis. —Greg Eckert, Brewery: Founders Brewing Company City: Grand Rapids, Mich. This is a low ABV, summer beer, but nothing like the low ABV summer beers that you’re used to. In the bottle, the boozy cherry flavor is all over the place. Brewery: Smuttynose Brewing Co. City: Portsmouth, N.H. Brewery: Terrapin Beer Company City: Athens, Ga. Unfortunately, that term has been associated over the years with the flagship products from breweries like Miller, whose conception of “pilsner” was nothing more than an American adjunct lager. City: San Diego, CA.? Description: At the nexus of brewing prowess and marketing genius sits this Double IPA from San Diego’s most successful craft brewer. Brewery: Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. City: Saint Louis, MO Description: Sometimes, it’s just about doing an old-school style better than any of your competitors. Description: Beers like Wake n Bake are why we look forward to winter. The beer never falls apart or feels muddled.—Jim Vorel. American beers are as diverse as their people, with favorites like Anchor Brewery's Anchor Steam beer having as low as 4.8 abv, to brews with obscenely high alcohol content such as Bruery's Chocolate Rain, which boasts a whopping 19.5 abv. Brewery: Half Acre Beer Company City: Chicago, Ill. Once you’ve felt it warm your chest like a dram of whiskey, it’s hard to think of many comparable brews.—Jim Vorel, © 2021 Paste Media Group. These beer are judged by top beer buyers, bartenders, traders and beverage professionals. There’s Oak-Aged Yeti, Espresso Oak-Aged Yeti, Chocolate Oak-Aged Yeti, Barrel-Aged Yeti and Oatmeal Yeti just for starters in wide circulation, and even more unique varieties if you’re able to visit the tap room in Denver. Those breweries are from seven countries, with the […] This year marks the first virtual GABF award’s ceremony. Lagunitas IPA is world class and available. This is a meaty coffee oatmeal stout, blended with locally roasted coffee that occasionally gets an added ingredient (like cinnamon rolls). You would never know it, though because the alcohol is well-hidden among the seductive flavors of honey, caramel, and pine. But in action, there’s so much goodness going on from the inclusion of coriander, Horny Devil transcends standard Belgian status. Dear Lord, no. Brewery: Cigar City Brewing City: Tampa, Fla. Description: At some point, Americans might get tired of big, bold double IPAs. Description: Mad props to New Belgium for achieving “lion” status in the craft beer world with crowd pleasing year-round beers, but still getting jiggy with it with bouts of experimentation, like their Hop Kitchen and Lips of Faith Series. Description: This is the beer that they’ll have to pry from my cold, dead hands. City: Holland, Mich.? A massive, astoundingly rich stout, it pours down the throat with a viscous consistency like motor oil. This short contact time provides an intense bourbon flavor that’s balanced by blending the aged beer with more freshly-brewed tripel. Description: Carver deserves your attention first because it’s a supremely crisp and drinkable lager, and second, because there are 200 pounds of local sweet potatoes in there, but none of the “sweet potato pie” spice you might expect. For many of us, Fat Tire was the gateway brew into the tasty world of craft beer. Description: If more people drank Prima Pils, they would have a better understanding of what the word “pilsner” truly meant. (Call it a hop-ularity contest). You just have to. Mowing a lawn? The unique barrel-aged brew is a Belgian-style tripel that, instead of months or years spent aging in the barrels, only sees the inside of Jim Beam barrels for a few weeks. 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