Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Top 100 Beers On Planet Earth, from Beer Advocate Ratings, Part 2

By Jay Brooks
Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 at 3:35 pm in On Beer.

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The latest list of the Top Beers on Planet Earth that Beer Advocate released yesterday was an experimental list, aimed at sparking a discussion so they could consider the best way to approach such lists in the future. After a day of constructive feedback, and some not so constructive I’m told, they’ve again redone the list introducing several new changes to the formula, based on feedback they received during the experiment. The biggest difference between the two lists is to be included on yesterday’s list required a minimum of 1,000 reviews. The current list requires only 105 reviews to be eligible. So since so many people seemed to enjoy yesterday’s analysis of the list, I’ve looked at the new list in the same way and again pulled out some interesting statistics about the Top 100 Beers.

In the Top 100, there are beers from 60 breweries, 16 more than yesterday’s list (the Experimental or E-List). Those breweries are from six countries, one less than the E-List. Two countries dropped off (the Czech Republic and Ireland) and one new one was added (Denmark).

The U.S. again has by far the most, with 72 (one more than yesterday’s). The American beers on the list are located in 19 states, 6 more than the E-List. California still has the most, by far, with two more than yesterday’s list, bringing their total to 25, meaning one in four beers on the list is from California. Seven new states had beers that made the list (Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin) and one dropped off (Maryland). Here’s how the new list shakes out:

Countries in Top 100

  1. U.S. = 72
  2. Belgium = 17
  3. Canada = 4
  4. Germany = 3
  5. UK = 3
  6. Denmark = 1

U.S. States in Top 100

  1. California = 25
  2. Michigan = 9
  3. Colorado = 5
  4. Indiana = 5
  5. Minnesota = 4
  6. Illinois = 3
  7. New York = 3
  8. Ohio = 3
  9. Oregon = 3
  10. Pennsylvania = 2
  11. Wisconsin = 2
  12. Connecticut = 1
  13. Delaware = 1
  14. Florida = 1
  15. Maine = 1
  16. Massachusetts = 1
  17. Missouri = 1
  18. New Hampshire = 1
  19. Texas = 1

The diversity of styles represented by the list dropped to 24, losing a dozen but picking up five new ones, and again I simplified and combined a few from Beer Advocate’s list. Around 11 styles have only one beer on the list. The most popular, Imperial Stout, more than doubled over yesterday’s list, while the second most popular, Double IPAs, remained the same. The top 13 (the styles with more than 1) break down as follows.

Most Popular Beer Styles in Top 100

  1. Imperial Stout = 30
  2. Imperial IPA = 10
  3. India Pale Ale = 10
  4. American Strong Ale = 6
  5. American Wild Ale = 2
  6. Belgian Strong Dark Ale = 4
  7. Quadrupel = 4
  8. Stout = 4
  9. Tripel = 4
  10. Doppelbock = 3
  11. Fruit Beer = 2
  12. Saison/Farmhouse = 3
  13. Barley Wine = 2
  14. Hefeweizen = 2

Extreme beers (9% and above) took the lead, with 53, over half, whereas yesterday they numbered only 32. Beers below 5% also dropped in half, from 10 to 5. Beers of middle-strength (over 5% but below 9%) likewise fell from 58 to 42. In the new list extreme beers make up 53%, middle-strength 42% and session beers 5%. In the Top 25, things stayed more constant, with 16 (1 more than the E-List) being 9% or above. The Top 25 also represent less styles, 9 as opposed to 12 yesterday, from 16 different breweries in 4 countries, shaking out like so:

Countries in Top 25

  1. U.S. = 18
  2. Belgium = 4
  3. Canada = 2
  4. Germany = 1

U.S. States in Top 25

  1. California = 6
  2. Michigan = 4
  3. Illinois = 2
  4. Indiana = 2
  5. Minnesota = 1
  6. New Hampshire = 1
  7. Oregon = 1
  8. Pennsylvania = 1

Most Popular Beer Styles in the Top 25

  1. Imperial Stout = 11
  2. Imperial IPA = 4
  3. Quadrupel = 3
  4. American IPA = 2

The top 50 is no longer as middle of the road as it was. Yesterday, extreme and middle-strength beers were nearly equal. Today’s list has extreme beers at about 56%. Again, Oskar Blues was the highest ranked canned beer, but came in at #45 instead of #30.

The diversity of breweries also changed dramatically, with several having a great number on yesterday’s list being reduced to very few or even none, notably Anchor, Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada. Thirteen breweries, many of them world class, fell of the new list but 30 news ones made the cut, giving the whole list greater diversity. The breweries having the most beers on the Top 100 list is below.

Breweries in the Top 100

  1. Russian River = 7
  2. Stone Brewing = 7
  3. Founder’s Brewing = 5
  4. Three Floyds =5
  5. AleSmith = 4
  6. Bell’s Brewery = 3
  7. Great Divide Brewing = 3
  8. Surly Brewing = 2
  9. Bear Republic Brewing = 2
  10. Goose Island = 2
  11. De Struise = 2
  12. New Glarus = 2
  13. Rochefort = 2
  14. Rogue Ales = 2
  15. Samuel Smith = 2
  16. Unibroue = 2
  17. Westvleteren = 2

And here’s the new list:

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Beer Advocate’s Top 100 Beers On Planet Earth (as of 8.10.2010)

  1. Trappist Westvleteren 12, Brouwerij Westvleteren (Quadrupel; 10.2%)
  2. Pliny The Elder, Russian River Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 8%)
  3. Pliny The Younger, Russian River Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 11%)
  4. The Abyss, Deschutes Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 11%)
  5. Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Founders Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 11.2%)
  6. Trappistes Rochefort 10, Brasserie de Rochefort (Quadrupel; 11.3%)
  7. Trappist Westvleteren 8, Brouwerij Westvleteren (Dubbel; 8%)
  8. Founders Breakfast Stout, Founders Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 8.3%)
  9. HopSlam Ale, Bell’s Brewery (American Double/Imperial IPA; 10%)
  10. Stone Imperial Russian Stout, Stone Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 10.5%)
  11. St. Bernardus Abt 12, Brouwerij St. Bernardus (Quadrupel; 10.5%)
  12. Dark Lord Imperial Stout, Three Floyds Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 15%)
  13. Supplication, Russian River Brewing (American Wild Ale; 7%)
  14. Speedway Stout, AleSmith Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 12%)
  15. Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe), Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel (American Double/Imperial Stout; 9.5%)
  16. Kate The Great, Portsmouth Brewery (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.5%)
  17. Dreadnaught IPA, Three Floyds Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 9.5%)
  18. Sculpin IPA, Ballast Point Brewing (American IPA; 7%)
  19. Canadian Breakfast Stout, Founders Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 9.4%)
  20. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, Brauerei Weihenstephan (Hefeweizen; 5.4%)
  21. Masala Mama IPA, Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery (American IPA; 5.9%)
  22. Bourbon County Stout, Goose Island (American Double/Imperial Stout: 13%)
  23. Nugget Nectar, Tröegs Brewing (American Amber/Red Ale; 7.5%)
  24. Bourbon County Coffee Stout, Goose Island (American Double/Imperial Stout; 13%)
  25. Celebrator Doppelbock, Brauerei Aying (Doppelbock; 6.7%)
  26. Darkness, Surly Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 10.3%)
  27. Temptation, Russian River Brewing (American Wild Ale; 7.25%)
  28. Furious, Surly Brewing (American IPA; 6.2%)
  29. Duvel, Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat (Belgian Strong Pale Ale; 8.5%)
  30. La Fin Du Monde, Unibroue (Tripel; 9%)
  31. Schneider Aventinus, Private Weissbierbrauerei G. Schneider & Sohn (Weizenbock; 8.2%)
  32. AleSmith IPA, AleSmith Brewing (American IPA; 7.25%)
  33. Consecration, Russian River Brewing (American Wild Ale; 10%)
  34. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, North Coast Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 9%)
  35. Double Bastard Ale, Stone Brewing (American Strong Ale; 10.5%)
  36. Trappistes Rochefort 8, Brasserie de Rochefort (Belgian Strong Dark Ale; 9.2%)
  37. Hop Rod Rye, Bear Republic Brewing (American IPA; 8%)
  38. Ruination IPA, Stone Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 7.7%)
  39. Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Great Lakes Brewing (American Porter; 5.8%)
  40. Two Hearted Ale, Bell’s Brewery (American IPA; 7.1%)
  41. Wisconsin Belgian Red, New Glarus Brewing (Fruit Beer; 4%)
  42. Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue), Bières de Chimay, a.k.a. Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont (Belgian Strong Dark Ale; 9%)
  43. YuleSmith (Summer), AleSmith Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 8.8%)
  44. Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, Great Divide Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.5%)
  45. Ten FIDY, Oskar Blues Grill & Brewery (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.5%)
  46. Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout, Cigar City Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 11.5%)
  47. Chocolate Stout, Rogue Ales (American Stout; 6%)
  48. 90 Minute IPA, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (American Double/Imperial IPA; 9%)
  49. Blind Pig IPA, Russian River Brewing (American IPA; 6.1%)
  50. Pannepot: Old Fisherman’s Ale, De Struise Brouwers (Quadrupel; 10%)
  51. Raspberry Tart, New Glarus Brewing (Fruit Beer; 4%)
  52. Fantôme Saison, Brasserie Fantôme (Saison/Farmhouse Ale; 8%)
  53. Yeti Imperial Stout, Great Divide Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.5%)
  54. Choklat, Southern Tier Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 11%)
  55. Alpha King Pale Ale, Three Floyds Brewing (American Pale Ale; 6%)
  56. Stone IPA, Stone Brewing (American IPA; 6.9%)
  57. Westmalle Trappist Tripel, Brouwerij Westmalle (Tripel; 9.5%)
  58. J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale, J.W. Lees & Co. (English Barleywine; 11.5%)
  59. Kuhnhenn Raspberry Eisbock, Kuhnhenn Brewing (Eisbock; 13.5%)
  60. Old Ruffian Barley Wine, Great Divide Brewing (American Barleywine; 10.2%)
  61. Black Tuesday, The Bruery (American Double/Imperial Stout; 19.5%)
  62. Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout, Rogue Ales (Oatmeal Stout; 6.1%)
  63. Arrogant Bastard Ale, Stone Brewing (American Strong Ale; 7.2%)
  64. Storm King Stout, Victory Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.1%)
  65. Live Oak HefeWeizen, Live Oak Brewing (Hefeweizen; 4.1%)
  66. Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue), Brouwerij Het Anker (Belgian Strong Dark Ale; 11%)
  67. Vanilla Bean Aged Dark Lord, Three Floyds Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 13%)
  68. Founders Imperial Stout, Founders Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 10.5%)
  69. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Brooklyn Brewery (Russian Imperial Stout; 10.1%)
  70. St. Bernardus Tripel, Brouwerij St. Bernardus (Tripel; 8%)
  71. Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout, Samuel Smith Old Brewery at Tadcaster (Russian Imperial Stout; 7%)
  72. Bell’s Expedition Stout, Bell’s Brewery (Russian Imperial Stout; 10.5%)
  73. Andechser Doppelbock Dunkel, Klosterbrauerei Andechs (Doppelbock; 7.1%)
  74. Girardin Gueuze 1882 Black Label (unfiltered), Brouwerij Girardin (Gueuze; 5%)
  75. Pure Hoppiness, Alpine Beer Co. (American Double/Imperial IPA; 8%)
  76. Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale, Stone Brewing (American Strong Ale; 7.2%)
  77. Saint Lamvinus, Brasserie Cantillon (Lambic, Fruit; 6%)
  78. Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock, Thomas Hooker Ales & Lagers (Doppelbock; 8%)
  79. Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel, Brasserie d’Achouffe (Belgian IPA; 9%)
  80. B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout, Hoppin’ Frog Brewery (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.4%)
  81. Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, Stone Brewing (American Strong Ale; 8.7%)
  82. Hennepin (Farmhouse Saison), Brewery Ommegang (Saison/Farmhouse Ale; 7.7%)
  83. Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout, Samuel Smith Old Brewery at Tadcaster (Oatmeal Stout; 5%)
  84. Founders Red’s Rye PA, Founders Brewing (Rye Beer; 6.8%)
  85. Samuel Adams Utopias, Boston Beer Co. (American Strong Ale; 27%)
  86. Beatification, Russian River Brewing (American Wild Ale; 5.5%)
  87. AleSmith Speedway Stout, Barrel Aged, AleSmith Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 12%)
  88. Abrasive Ale, Surly Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 9%)
  89. Trois Pistoles, Unibroue (Belgian Strong Dark Ale; 9%)
  90. Tripel Karmeliet, Brouwerij Bosteels (Tripel; 8.4%)
  91. Racer 5 India Pale Ale, Bear Republic Brewing (American IPA; 7%)
  92. Cadillac Mountain Stout, Bar Harbor Brewing (American Stout; 6.7%)
  93. Siberian Night Imperial Stout, Thirsty Dog Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 9%)
  94. Maharaja, Avery Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 10.3%)
  95. Oak Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout, Three Floyds Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 13%)
  96. Ølfabrikken Porter, Ølfabrikken (Baltic Porter; 7.5%)
  97. The Angel’s Share, Bourbon Barrel-Aged, The Lost Abbey (American Strong Ale; 12%)
  98. Saison, Brett, Boulevard Brewing (Saison/Farmhouse Ale; 8.5%)
  99. Black Albert, De Struise Brouwers (Russian Imperial Stout; 13%)
  100. Night Stalker, Goose Island (American Double/Imperial Stout; 11.7%)

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  • Bill Karleskind

    Typical American A-holes that can’t be content with a decent lager. I like a good stout now and again but Americans have taken craft beer making to a new high when it comes to ridiculousness. I can’t even go into a pub anymore and find a decent german malt lager. Instead I’m confronted with dumb ass fruit beers and IBU nightmares. Germany is the motherland of beer, learn from it and come back to f’n planet earth. Bavaria uber alles!

  • http://www.damnthatsgoodbeer.com Ilya Feynberg

    That’s one seriously surprising list!

    I did not expect to see Imperial Stouts and Russian River occupy the top ranks the way that they do. Then again, the wonderful thing about lists and opinions is that everyone has one…and they don’t mean all that much. Not to be taken wrong here, I love a lot of those beers and many of those breweries….just don’t exactly agree with many of them. That’s the wonderful thing about craft beer and the entire culture…you can choose what suits you best. :)

    As for @Bill….

    What a stupid thing to say man….

    Germany makes some great brews, but is FAR…VERY FAR….from being the “Motherland of beer”.

    I love German beers, and agree that many beers from around the world get a bit too extreme in what they think is beer. Like Kasteel’s Rouge. Which is from Belgium by the way. I’m not sure you even know what Germany is known for producing out there because they have some seriously complex beers that stray far from your idea of simple “German Malt Lagers”.

    You might not like certain beers or styles…but what your idea on the whole topic as a whole and the way you just brought it across to everyone puts you squarely and effortlessly into the “idiot” realm.

    Other than that…GREAT POST! :)

    To American Craft Beer! Cheers!!!!!!

    Ilya

  • craig

    i agree bill…it is way common to only find “hop-cool aid”..in bay area pubs…but… with the price of “hops”..it justifies their exorbitant price..prost..

  • Charlie C.

    You don’t like “hops”? I love “hops”. “Alot”.

  • hardCOREy

    Not liking lagers makes me an Ahole? Craft brew should be celebrated, not ripped for being different. The west coast IPA’s are brilliant!