Beer Advocate’s Top 100 Beers On Planet Earth Annotated

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Beer Advocate just released their latest list of the Top Beers on Planet Earth, at least according to their ratings. Just for fun, I’ve also looked through them and pulled out some interesting statistics about the list.

In the Top 100, there are beers from 44 breweries. Those breweries are from seven countries, with the U.S. having by far the most. In fact, 71 of the beers on the list are American, and are located in just 13 states. California, with 23 beers has the most. Here’s how they shake out:

Countries in Top 100

  1. U.S. = 71
  2. Belgium = 11
  3. Germany = 7
  4. UK = 5
  5. Canada = 4
  6. Czech = 1
  7. Ireland = 1

U.S. States in Top 100

  1. California = 23
  2. Delaware = 10
  3. Colorado = 6
  4. Michigan = 6
  5. Pennsylvania = 6
  6. Massachusetts = 5
  7. Oregon = 5
  8. New York = 4
  9. Indiana = 2
  10. Illinois = 1
  11. Maryland = 1
  12. New Hampshire = 1
  13. Ohio = 1

The styles represented by the list are around 30, though I simplified and combined a few from Beer Advocate’s list. Around 14 styles have only one beer on the list. The top 15 break down as follows.

Most Popular Beer Styles in Top 100

  1. Imperial Stout = 14
  2. Imperial IPA = 10
  3. India Pale Ale = 10
  4. Stout = 6
  5. Belgian Strong Dark Ale = 5
  6. Porter = 5
  7. American Strong Ale = 4
  8. Brown Ale = 4
  9. Pale Ale = 4
  10. Tripel = 4
  11. Belgian Strong Pale Ale = 3
  12. Doppelbock = 3
  13. Hefeweizen = 3
  14. Pilsener = 3
  15. Quadrupel = 3
  16. Herb/Spice Beer = 2

Nearly 60% (58) are above 5% a.b.v. but below 9%. 32 of the beers are 9% or above and ten of them are 5% and under. That’s far more middle of the road than I expected and it is quite different if you look at just the top 25. For the top 25 beers, 15 (or 60%) are extreme beers over 9% and the remaining 10 (0r 40%) are all over 5% but below 9%. The Top 25 also represent only 12 beer styles from 19 different breweries in 4 countries, shaking out like so:

Countries in Top 25

  1. U.S. = 15
  2. Belgium = 5
  3. Germany = 3
  4. Canada = 2

U.S. States in Top 25

  1. California = 8
  2. Michigan = 4
  3. Illinois = 1
  4. Indiana = 1
  5. Pennsylvania = 1

Most Popular Beer Styles in the Top 25

  1. Imperial Stout = 6
  2. Imperial IPA = 5
  3. American IPA = 3
  4. Belgian Strong Dark Ale = 2
  5. Quadrupel = 2

The top 50, naturally, is somewhat in the middle, with extreme beers and middle-strength beers nearly equally represented, with only 1 below 5%. At fifty, only one more nation is represented, bringing the total to five. The highest canned craft beer came in at #30, with only two canned beers making the list, both of them from Oskar Blues. I don’t know what any of this ultimately means, but I thought it would be fun and interesting to take apart the beers that Beer Advocate users rated the highest and see what patterns emerged.

Obviously, the high number of American beers is a product of having been founded here and I presume the greatest number of users are still either here or at least in English-speaking countries, which may limit access to some beers. That may also be a factor in certain breweries making the list multiple times as a quick scan of them shows that the majority have fairly wide distribution throughout the U.S. The breweries having the most beers on the Top 100 list is below.

Breweries in the Top 100

  1. Dogfish Head = 10
  2. Stone Brewing = 8
  3. Sierra Nevada Brewing = 7
  4. Rogue Ales = 5
  5. Samuel Adams = 5
  6. Victory Brewing = 5
  7. Bell’s Brewery = 4
  8. Anchor Brewing = 3
  9. Chimay = 3
  10. Great Divide Brewing = 3
  11. Ommegang = 3
  12. Samuel Smith = 3
  13. Unibroue = 3
  14. Bear Republic Brewing = 2
  15. Founder’s Brewing = 2
  16. Oskar Blues = 2
  17. Paulaner = 2
  18. Rochefort = 2
  19. Spaten = 2
  20. Three Floyds =2

And here’s the original list:

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Beer Advocate’s Top 100 Beers On Planet Earth

  1. Pliny The Elder, Russian River Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 8%)
  2. Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Founders Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 11.2%)
  3. Trappistes Rochefort 10, Brasserie de Rochefort (Quadrupel; 11.3%)
  4. HopSlam Ale, Bell’s Brewery (American Double/Imperial IPA; 10%)
  5. Stone Imperial Russian Stout, Stone Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 10.5%)
  6. St. Bernardus Abt 12, Brouwerij St. Bernardus (Quadrupel; 10.50%)
  7. Founders Breakfast Stout, Founders Brewing (American Double/Imperial Stout; 8.3%)
  8. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, Brauerei Weihenstephan (Hefeweizen; 5.4%)
  9. Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe), Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel (American Double/Imperial Stout; 9.5%)
  10. Celebrator Doppelbock, Brauerei Aying (Doppelbock; 6.7%)
  11. Duvel, Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat (Belgian Strong Pale Ale; 8.5%)
  12. Dreadnaught IPA, Three Floyds Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 9.5%)
  13. Nugget Nectar, Tröegs Brewing (American Amber/Red Ale; 7.5%)
  14. La Fin Du Monde, Unibroue (Tripel; 9%)
  15. Bourbon County Stout, Goose Island (American Double/Imperial Stout: 13%)
  16. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, North Coast Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 9%)
  17. Two Hearted Ale, Bell’s Brewery (American IPA / 7.1%)
  18. Ruination IPA, Stone Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 7.7%)
  19. Schneider Aventinus, Private Weissbierbrauerei G. Schneider & Sohn (Weizenbock / 8.2%)
  20. Double Bastard Ale, Stone Brewing (American Strong Ale / 10.5%)
  21. 90 Minute IPA, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (American Double/Imperial IPA; 9%)
  22. Hop Rod Rye, Bear Republic Brewing (American IPA; 8%)
  23. Trappistes Rochefort 8, Brasserie de Rochefort (Belgian Strong Dark Ale; 9.2%)
  24. Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue), Bières de Chimay, a.k.a. Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont (Belgian Strong Dark Ale; 9%)
  25. Stone IPA, Stone Brewing (American IPA; 6.9%)
  26. Arrogant Bastard Ale, Stone Brewing (American Strong Ale; 7.2%)
  27. Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Great Lakes Brewing (American Porter; 5.8%)
  28. Chocolate Stout, Rogue Ales (American Stout; 6%)
  29. Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, Great Divide Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.5%)
  30. Ten FIDY, Oskar Blues Grill & Brewery (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.5%)
  31. Storm King Stout, Victory Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.1%)
  32. Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout, Rogue Ales (Oatmeal Stout; 6.1%)
  33. Alpha King Pale Ale, Three Floyds Brewing (American Pale Ale; 6%)
  34. Westmalle Trappist Tripel, Brouwerij Westmalle (Tripel; 9.5%)
  35. Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout, Samuel Smith Old Brewery at Tadcaster (Russian Imperial Stout; 7%)
  36. Yeti Imperial Stout, Great Divide Brewing (Russian Imperial Stout; 9.5%)
  37. Hennepin (Farmhouse Saison), Brewery Ommegang (Saison/Farmhouse Ale; 7.7%)
  38. Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout, Samuel Smith Old Brewery at Tadcaster (Oatmeal Stout; 5%)
  39. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Brooklyn Brewery (Russian Imperial Stout; 10.1%)
  40. Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale, Stone Brewing (American Strong Ale; 7.2%)
  41. Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, Stone Brewing (American Strong Ale; 8.7%)
  42. Trois Pistoles, Unibroue (Belgian Strong Dark Ale; 9%)
  43. Bell’s Expedition Stout, Bell’s Brewery (Russian Imperial Stout; 10.5%)
  44. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, Sierra Nevada Brewing (American IPA; 6.8%)
  45. Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale, Sierra Nevada Brewing (American Barleywine; 9.6%)
  46. Racer 5 India Pale Ale, Bear Republic Brewing (American IPA; 7%)
  47. Orval Trappist Ale, Brasserie d’Orval (Belgian Pale Ale; 6.9%)
  48. Hercules Double IPA, Great Divide Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 10%)
  49. Maharaja, Avery Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 10.3%)
  50. Maudite, Unibroue (Belgian Strong Dark Ale; 8%)
  51. Sierra Nevada Harvest Wet Hop Ale, Sierra Nevada Brewing (American IPA; 6.7%)
  52. Palo Santo Marron, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (American Brown Ale; 12%)
  53. Hop Stoopid, Lagunitas Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 8%)
  54. Ommegang (Abbey Ale), Brewery Ommegang (Dubbel; 8.5%)
  55. Anchor Porter, Anchor Brewing (American Porter; 5.6%)
  56. HopDevil Ale, Victory Brewing (American IPA; 6.7%)
  57. World Wide Stout, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (American Double/Imperial Stout; 18%)
  58. Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend, Brewery Ommegang (Quadrupel; 9.8%)
  59. Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Wells & Young’s Ltd (Milk/Sweet Stout; 5.2%)
  60. Smuttynose IPA “Finest Kind”, Smuttynose Brewing (American IPA; 6.9%)
  61. Stone Smoked Porter, Stone Brewing (American Porter; 5.9%)
  62. Chimay Première (Red), Bières de Chimay, a.k.a. Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont (Dubbel; 7%)
  63. Indian Brown Ale, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (American Brown Ale; 7.2%)
  64. Chimay Tripel (White), Bières de Chimay, a.k.a. Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont (Tripel; 8%)
  65. Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA, Sierra Nevada Brewing (American IPA; 7.2%)
  66. Prima Pils, Victory Brewing (German Pilsener; 5.3%)
  67. Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier Naturtrüb, Paulaner Salvator Thomasbraeu (Hefeweizen; 5.5%)
  68. Hazelnut Brown Nectar, Rogue Ales (American Brown Ale; 6.2%)
  69. Hop Wallop, Victory Brewing (American Double/Imperial IPA; 8.5%)
  70. Gonzo Imperial Porter, Flying Dog Brewer (Baltic Porter; 7.80%)
  71. Fuller’s ESB, Fuller Smith & Turner (Extra Special/Strong Bitter (ESB); 5.9%)
  72. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada Brewing (American Pale Ale; 5.6%)
  73. Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale, Samuel Smith Old Brewery at Tadcaster (English Brown Ale; 5%)
  74. Delirium Tremens, Brouwerij Huyghe (Belgian Strong Pale Ale; 8.5%)
  75. 60 Minute IPA, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (American IPA; 6%)
  76. Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse, Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu (Hefeweizen; 5%)
  77. Sierra Nevada Porter, Sierra Nevada Brewing (American Porter; 5.6%)
  78. Anchor Liberty Ale, Anchor Brewing (American Pale Ale; 6%)
  79. Samuel Adams Cream Stout, Boston Beer Company (Milk/Sweet Stout; 4.69%)
  80. Dale’s Pale Ale, Oskar Blues Grill & Brewery (American Pale Ale; 6.5%)
  81. Mocha Porter, Rogue Ales (American Porter; 5.3%)
  82. Dead Guy Ale, Rogue Ales (Maibock/Helles Bock; 6.5%)
  83. Salvator Doppel Bock, Paulaner Salvator Thomasbraeu (Doppelbock; 7.9%)
  84. Spaten Optimator, Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu (Doppelbock; 7.2%)
  85. 120 Minute IPA, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (American Double/Imperial IPA; 18%)
  86. Hoegaarden Original White Ale, Brouwerij van Hoegaarden (Witbier; 4.9%)
  87. Punkin Ale, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Pumpkin Ale; 7%)
  88. Bell’s Oberon Ale, Bell’s Brewery (American Pale Wheat Ale; 5.8%)
  89. Anchor Steam Beer, Anchor Brewing (California Common/Steam Beer; 4.9%)
  90. Guinness Extra Stout (Original), Guinness/Diageo (Irish Dry Stout; 6%)
  91. Samuel Adams Black Lager, Boston Beer Company (Schwarzbier; 4.9%)
  92. Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Boston Beer Company (Vienna Lager; 4.75%)
  93. ApriHop, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (American IPA; 7%)
  94. Midas Touch Golden Elixir, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Herb/Spice Beer; 9%)
  95. Golden Monkey, Victory Brewing (Tripel; 9.5%)
  96. Samuel Adams Winter Lager, Boston Beer Company (Bock; 5.8%)
  97. Raison D’etre, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Belgian Strong Dark Ale; 8%)
  98. Pilsner Urquell, Plzensky Prazdroj (Czech Pilsener; 4.4%)
  99. Samuel Adams Octoberfest, Boston Beer Company (Märzen/Oktoberfest; 5.4%)
  100. Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager, Sierra Nevada Brewing (Czech Pilsener; 5%)

Comments

  1. says

    I was surprised to see that the list is full of beers with reasonable availability. There isn’t any Vanilla Oak Aged Dark Lord Brewed on a Full Moon. I wen’t back to check the regular Beer Advocate top 50 and see they are missing from there too. I don’t know how long the Bros have been filtering out exceedingly rare beers but I like it. This is actually a list that you can aspire to try all of them and complete the task while in the mean time getting a good feel for many different styles of craft beer. Cheers.

  2. Kyle says

    Sorry…needed to point something out here…Southern Tier didn’t make the top 100? I am a little confused….

    • Jay Brooks says

      Kyle, you’ll have to take that up with Beer Advocate, I didn’t create the list, I just analyzed it. That said, there is an explanation of the formula used to create the list that’s at the bottom of the original list.

    • first stater says

      Based on population the second smallest state in the US kicked ass. Of course they are all from one brewer but who cares, when you are from Delaware you will celebrate pretty much anything.

      • robert says

        here’s another thing first staters can celebrate: we’re the second smallest in SIZE but a little further up the list in pop.
        cheers

  3. Kevin LaMar says

    I understand what they’re trying to do, and I don’t mind it since they have also provided a new “Most Buzzed” list. The problem I have with the new top 100 list is that I think a 1,000+ review requirement is excessive. There simply are not that many beers total on the site with 1,000+ reviews, which makes it so a lot of the beers in this new top 100 list are actually not reviewed that high at all. I’d go with a minimum requirement of something like 400 or 500 reviews instead.

    • Popeye 2010 says

      According to the Beer Advocate calculations at the bottom of their page:

      Currently, a beer must have 105 or > reviews to be included in any calculations

      105 or more sounds reasonable.

      • Jay Brooks says

        Popeye, when Kevin was commenting on that day it was 1,000. It was a one-day experiment when Beer Advocate changed the list and made 1,000 the minimum number of reviews to be on the list, just to see what would happen. Beer Advocate changed it to 105 the next day, which is where it is now.

  4. Kristofor Barnes says

    I hate to be a naysayer here, but there are beers on this list that wouldn’t make the top 100 in CA or the US, let alone the world. We’ve got Sierra Nevada and no Alesmith? We have more than 3 Sam Adam’s offerings and no Bruery? Only 7 beers from Germany? Only 11 beers from Belgium? Hitachino offerings from Japan? The US has 71 beers (71%) of the best beers in the world? I’m all for National pride, but this is a bit ridiculous. I even love Dogfish Head, but 10% of the World’s best beers are Dogfish Head? I think even Sam would humbly argue against this statistic…

    All these beers on the list are great don’t get me wrong and I don’t mean offense, but it just seems…well…wrong or inflated.

  5. Kristofor Barnes says

    Sorry Jay. I think I got a little too heated. I realize you were just pulling stats from Beer Advocate. You did a good job and it’s pretty interesting. I didn’t mean to offend if i did.

  6. Adam says

    I think some of you are missing the point and/or don’t understand how the Beer Advocate produced this list. Try reading everything or re-read it.

  7. Brandon F says

    For all of the beer geeks out there, keep in mind this list only includes beers with > 1000 ratings. Thus no Westy, no Dark Lord, no Abyss, etc. Also this will tend to filter out difficult to get in the US offerings from other countries since BA is a very US centric site.

  8. Matt M. says

    Why doesn’t your list of most popular beer styles in the Top 100 include IPA’s? There are a number on the list (Two-hearted, Racer 5, Stone IPA, etc.)

    • Jay Brooks says

      Matt,

      Simple, because I’m human and missed it. It’s fixed now. There were 10 IPAs, tying for second with Imperial IPAs.

      Cheers,

      J

        • Jay Brooks says

          Matt, sorry about that. This will make you laugh. I also missed listing the IPAs in the second Beer Advocate list, and that’s the one I changed. It didn’t even occur to me that it was the initial list you were commenting on. Sorry about that. Both lists now have IPAs on them, and it’s 10 for both, curiously.

  9. says

    Part of this has been said, but I think it’s important to take this list for what it is: the highest-rated beers that have 1000+ reviews on BA. Sure, all of us have probably had some beer that we would put in our personal top-100 list that’s not represented here, but for an international list based on the reviews on the website–this is it. If “best”, to you, only means the most wonderful beer you’ve had, you’ll be disappointed by the list. If it included a combination of beers that are great and readily available for others reading the list to try, I think you’d end up with a pretty similar list to the one we see on BA. I’ve had some amazing homebrews that could probably beat out some of those on the list, but what good would it be to other BA users to have it or any other beer so tough to come by on the list?

  10. Peter D. says

    The BA site says:

    Currently, a beer must have 105 or > reviews to be included in any calculations

    not 1000 or more. there are lots on the list in the 200-300 range.
    If you don’t find your favorite, review it and give it a great grade. That’s all that can be done. The rest is statistics.

  11. says

    Some nice beers there but…. seriously? 5 UK beers??? And… No Landlord!? Only Champion Beer of Britain 4 times, runner up 3 times!

    This should probably be called the top 100 beers regularly available all over America.

  12. Derek says

    For those who are complaining about the list… please follow the link to the Beer Advocate site and scroll to the bottom and read “How this list was generated” .
    This list is based on reviews on the website. Probably the majority are American and are certainly harder-core craft beer fans. So naturally they (we) will review beers we can get, and there may be a preference for stronger or crazier stuff. Why no more beers from Belgium or why not that one beer from England? Simple: not enough Beer Advocate members went to the trouble of reviewing those beers or there weren’t enough high reviews.
    It doesn’t mean that beer or those countries are unworthy. It’s simply based on BA’s website.

  13. says

    Changing the list to a 1,000-review minimum was definitely an interesting experiment. I wish BeerAdvocate would have left this list online somewhere as well as the 105-review minimum list (although the whole “experiment” with changing the minimum numbers of reviews needed was kinda confusing). Anyway, I don’t put too much credence into these lists, but it’s fun to see what fellow beer lovers like!

  14. says

    Thanks Derek

    I never would have guessed any of these things without your comment.

    I agree completely with your logic, and I know what you’re saying, but these lists tell me more about what people are missing than what they are digging. I mean, really, I could have written this list a year ago, blindfolded, with a ballpoint pen in zero gravity, with both arms tied behind my back. Same old folk, same old fads.

    Yawn…

    I wonder what fad will be next? We’ve seen the uber-hops, we’ve seen the imperial stouts, we’re seeing the funk… perhaps, soon, we’ll see hardcore beer geek “best of” lists featuring excellent quality balanced beer, made with great raw ingredients and fantastic yeast, using superb fermentation profiles. Nah… how would you market that one to anyone.

    Still, credit where credit’s due, I see a few sub 5% beers made it into the 80-100 section. And a beer under 6% even made the top 20… egad!

    No need to defend yourselves. I’m just playing devils(beer)advocate. you know, just fuckin’ with ya’ll! ;-)

    Slainte mhath
    Stu

  15. Jerry says

    There are some odd choices on this list. a few are swill in my book. Not one from Deschutes Brewery or Alesmith for instance? 3 Floyds missed too? Hmmm

  16. Jay says

    Notable omissions: Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA (best ever IPA), Sam Adams Double Bock and Victory’s new Yakima Glory.

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