The World's Best Beers Slideshow
8. Passionfruit and Dragonfruit Berliner Weisse
Brewed by Cigar City Brewing
Style: Berliner Weisse
Origin: Tampa, Fla.
One unique beer in the list is made more exciting by the fact that it is a pilot series and has not yet been released. Visually, nothing is said to compare to Cigar City’s Passionfruit and Dragonfruit Berliner Weisse. Pouring a vibrant neon pink sample for himself, one RateBeer taster described it as a "Sci Fi beverage." The aroma is said to be as strange as the color, with a taste and smell of exotic fruits. Those who have tried it rave about it and say they can’t wait for it to be officially released.
7. Russian River’s Pliny the Younger
Brewed by Russian River Brewing
Style: Imperial / Triple India Pale Ale
Origin: Santa Rosa, Calif.
Russian River named its double IPA "Pliny the Elder" after the Roman scholar and naturalist who first named the hops plant and studied it. Pliny the Younger was his adopted son, so it seems fitting for this to be the name of Russian River’s triple IPA. It is almost a true triple IPA, with triple the amount of hops as a regular IPA.
This beer is full-bodied, with hop character in the nose and throughout. It is also deceptively well-balanced and smooth. However, due to it being time- and space-consuming and expensive to make, it is only available once a year for two weeks in February. The beer has been known to sell out on the day of release. Consumers deem it to be worth the fuss though, with many claiming to have stood in line for hours to get some.
6. Bell’s Hopslam
Brewed by Bells Brewery
Style: Imperial / Double IPA
Origin: Kalamazoo, Mich.
Bell's Brewery began in 1985 and has grown into a regional craft brewery that employs more than 100 people in 18 states. Coming in sixth, the brewery’s Hopslam starts with six hop varietals added to the brew kettle and culminates with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops. Selected because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest hops contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check and make it pour a deep gold.
5. Rochefort's Trappistes 10
Brewed by Brasserie Rochefort
Origin: Rochefort, Belgium
Described as Belgium’s best and a rival to Westvleteren 12, Trappistes 10 is the top product from the Rochefort brewery. Originally a convent founded in 1230, the current buildings can be traced back to the 1600s. The location started making beer in 1595. This beer has a dark color and tastes of plums, raisins, and black currants.
4. Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
Brewed by Founders Brewing
Style: Imperial Breakfast Stout
Origin: Grand Rapids, Mich.
Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers quit their day jobs and fell near bankruptcy to make the types of beers they were passionate about. Fortunately, the gamble paid off. Founders' KBS is described by the brewers as an imperial stout brewed with a massive amount of coffee and chocolates, then cave-aged in oak bourbon barrels for a year to make sure its bourbon undertones come through: A combination that will "make your taste buds squeal," the company says. Consumers seem to agree, with KBS rated fourth on the list with 100 for taste and 99 for style.
3. Rare Bourbon County Stout (Retired)
Formerly brewed by Goose Island Beer Company
Style: Imperial Stout
Founded in 1988 by John Hall, the Goose Island brewpub was one of the first producers of craft beer in Chicago. Hall built interest in craft beer by allowing consumers at his brewpub to watch the brewing process. The brewpub was successful and led to a larger brewery that he opened in order to keep up with demand. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout was brewed in 2008 and aged for two years in 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle Barrels. A true rarity, each bottle of this beer has its own number and is now permanently retired. Tasters at RateBeer hail the flavors of coffee, vanilla, and chocolate.
2. Närke Kaggen Stormaktsporter
Brewed by Närke Kulturbryggeri
Style: Imperial Stout
Origin: Örebro, Sweden
Retired since 2011, Narke Kaggen Stormktsporter is described by the brewery as imperial stout beer, brewed with heather honey and aged on oak barrels for two and a half months. Pouring a very dark brown, it is rated the second best beer of 2012 by those who have tasted it, and described as "liquid perfection."
1. Westvleteren 12
Brewed by Westvleteren Abdij St. Sixtus
Origin: Westvleteren, Belgium
The small Abbey of St. Sixtus of Westvleteren attracts thousands of pilgrims from around the world, not to pray but to drink. The monastery is famous for producing what is regarded as the best beer in the world: Westvleteren 12.
Westvleteren has the smallest output of all the Trappist breweries, with the monks asking for their beer not to be resold outside the monastery. Introduced in 1940, No. 12 is so popular and produced in such small quantities that the web site warns that if you call to make a reservation to buy the beer, it’s most likely that the line will be busy.
Still, it’s an improvement over the old system, where cars lined up for miles outside without any guarantee of getting the beer. The beer gets a rating of 100 by tasters overall and for its style. Pouring a medium brown, with little head and the aroma of dark fruits, it is described by enthusiasts as a complex beer that lives up to its reputation as the best in the world.
The 21 Best Beers You Can Buy at Your Local Store
From domestic to imported, not all of the best brews are impossible to find.
The top-rated beer in the world, according to Beer Advocate , is the Toppling Goliath Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout. Good luck finding it though. As Esquire noted, the barrel-aged coffee stout is only released about once a year, 300 to 400 bottles at a time, and straight from the brewery in Decorah, Iowa.
If a trip to Iowa that coincides with the release isn't in the cards for you, fear not. There are plenty of beers that are easily accessible, either through an online portal like Drizly or at your local grocery store or liquor store. To determine how to find the best of the brews, Town & Country consulted two beer experts:
Greg Engert is Beverage Director & Partner of Neighborhood Restaurant Group, which runs 22 independent restaurants and bars, including the craft beer bars ChurchKey in Washington, D.C. and The Grand Delancey. Engert, who chose "consistently excellent, steadfastly reliable, readily available, and downright affordable American craft brews," has been nominated by the James Beard Foundation for &ldquoOutstanding Wine & Spirits Professional&rdquo and Food & Wine named him its first-ever &ldquoSommelier of the Year.&rdquo
Tom Peters is the proprietor of Philadelphia's legendary Monk's Café. Peters began in the Philadelphia restaurant industry in 1980 as a waiter, bartender, host, line cook, sous chef, head chef, pastry chef, and general manager before opening Monk&rsquos Café in 1997. Noted beer writer Michael Jackson called Monk&rsquos &ldquoSimply the best Belgian Café in the United States," and All About Beer magazine named it one of the top five places in the world to drink a beer. Peters founded Philly Beer Week, the world's very first Beer Week, and is a four-time James Beard Foundation semifinalist.
Suffice it to say, these two know how to find a tasty brew, whether you are looking for a light or craft beer, or maybe just a pale ale or an IPA. Here are their picks.
"Bone dry and hop-driven, Pivo delivers zippy effervescence and earthy bitterness along with inviting aromas of fresh cut flowers and lemon candy."&mdashGreg
"American brewer Matt Brynildson of Firestone Walker added his touch to Czech pilsner by hopping it up, California style. One of the best widely-available American takes on Czech pils, a style that is best drunk fresh."&mdashTom
"This is a balanced brew that delivers a nuanced interplay of bready malt and herbal hops. Dortmunder Gold is clean, refreshing and crushable, even at nearly 6% ABV."&mdashGreg
"Malt-driven notes of caramel and toast provide a rich backbone to this hoppy ale. Expect waves of piney, citric and resinous hop flavors along with a bold and bitter finish."&mdashGreg
"This classic beer was one of the first hoppy beers many people ever had, and remains the definition of the West Coast pale ale style. Refreshingly bitter, with balanced malt. Great with spicy food. It is the one beer that is always in my refrigerator."&mdashTom
"Two Hearted explodes out of the glass with fruity aromas of orange peel, grapefruit and tangerine, underpinned by a bit of pine. The body is lean and balanced while showing a restrained bitterness that makes this IPA eminently drinkable."&mdashGreg
"Sierra Nevada's entry into the crowded field of hazy IPAs is remarkably consistent, widely available, and downright delicious. Creamy, slightly sweet and softly bitter, this brew is chock full of juicy fruit flavor, with pineapple, apricot, and citrus notes throughout."&mdashGreg
"Not just a low-calorie brew, Lagunitas DayTime IPA has remained impressive since its debut back in 2010. Full flavored and hop forward, this IPA brings bold citrus hop character along with a refreshing malt base."&mdashGreg
"The only dry-hopped Trappist ale, this refined Belgian brew is in a class by itself. A touch of Brettanomyces yeast gives the flavor profile a distinctive lift and contrast to the pale roasted malt and soft astringency of the hops. This beer ages well."&mdashTom
"Aged in massive oak barrels called foeders, this Belgian pale ale takes on tart quality from the microbiota living in the wooden barrel staves. Unlike American style pale ales, this is not characterized by hoppy bitterness, but rather a dry, complex bite that recalls Champagne."&mdashTom
"Brewed by Brasserie Dupont in the Belgian countryside near France, Saison Dupont is the benchmark farmhouse ale that inspired brewers the world over. Peppery hops in the nose and palate and rich, fruity esters define this brew, whose name means "season." This style was brewed for consumption during the hot summer months when brewing was historically not possible."&mdashTom
"This Belgian Trappist abbey invented the triple style, a golden ale with fruity esters originally brewed for sale to support the abbey's operations. Westmalle is the first notable triple and certainly the best widely-available triple, with notes of stone fruit. This has a dry, hoppy finish&mdashnot sweet like many imitators."&mdashTom
"For 25 years, Allagash White has remained the benchmark for Belgian-style Witbier in the US and beyond. Bright, thirst quenching and slightly sweet, this wheat brew combines warm spices with a lemony tang and gentle peppery bite."&mdashGreg
"Brewed with a touch of orange peel and coriander in the classic Belgian Wit style, this hazy wheat ale is even better than the originals brewed in Belgium. Soft on the palate but not flabby, Allagash White is super refreshing and low enough in alcohol to have a few."&mdashTom
"SeaQuench fuses all sorts of zesty lime (black limes, lime peel, lime juice) with a generous dollop of coriander, plus sea salt, and layers it atop a clean, wheaty base to create the quintessential year-round crusher."&mdashGreg
"Though this remix clocks in at a big 9.5% ABV, the tantalizing tartness keeps everything tangy and bright, while aromas of banana, rum, apple, lemon, and clove bring complexity to the beer."&mdashGreg
"Brewed by Van Steenberge outside of Ghent, Belgium, Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Ale is a definitive 'oude bruin' or Flanders red beer. Evoking a cherry Warhead with lactic sourness and a touch of malt sweetness, this is a great introduction of the vast array of beers broadly classed as 'sour.'"&mdashTom
"Rochefort 10 is often named among the 'Best Beers in the World,"' but the 8 has perhaps even more nuance. Brewed in a Belgian Trappist monastery, this is a high-alcohol, bready, and rich brew with caramelized toffee notes. "&mdashTom
"Rich, yet restrained, Black Butte delivers bold notes of chocolate, licorice, fig and burnt caramel, all in a silky smooth package."&mdashGreg
"Rich with oats added to the mash, this silky-smooth stout is dry, bracing and classically English. A stalwart that will never go out of style."&mdashTom
"This now classic Brown Ale is creamy and round on the palate with a dry, bittersweet finish nutty malt flavors, punctuated by notes of coffee and cocoa, give way to an earthy, herbal hop character."&mdashGreg
"The key to finding a low-calorie beer isn&rsquot looking for mass produced ultra-lights, which rely on brewing adjuncts like rice to produce thin, quickly made, flavorless beer. Instead, look for correctly made full-grain bill beer that is low in alcohol, like Brasserie de la Senne&rsquos Taras Boulba. This is a sessionable Belgian Pale Ale brewed in Brussels, 4.2% ABV, and 135 calories per 12-ounce bottle. It is super dry, aromatic, and absolutely delicious. If a mass produced, widely available beer is required, the Irish dry stout Guinness is about 125 calories per 12 ounces and also about 4.2% ABV."&mdashTom
"This seasonal stout is all about sitting by the fireplace on a snowy evening and enjoying this massive beer out of a snifter. This is all about the copious amount of they malt use. Notes of espresso and bittersweet chocolate come through when served at cellar temperature. This beer ages extremely well."&mdashTom
10 Spicy, Chile-Spiked Beers We Love
Spite is a cruel sentiment, a calculated desire to insult, annoy, or hurt. But human beings are strange creatures. Some readily seek out pain, finding pleasure where others experience tears. And then there are those who delight in doling out spite, such as the delicious maliciously crew at Michigan’s Founders Brewing.
While the long-running Grand Rapids brewery may be best known for its citrusy Centennial IPA, compulsively quaffable All Day IPA, and barrel-aged Kentucky Breakfast Stout, it takes a certain pride in Spite—a rotating series of pale ales spiked with peppers and occasionally aged in oak barrels. The brewery has experimented with just about every chile ripened under the sun, from easy-going poblanos to spicy serranos and lip-incinerating habaneros.
“If you’re going to make something called Habanero Spite, it has to be hot,” says Jason Heystek, the “lead guitar” of production planning, who often sources chiles from farmers’ markets. “You might only be only able to drink two ounces, but it’ll be an interesting two ounces.”
As Americans increasingly cotton to the combustible flavors of Thai and Sichuan fare—not to mention Sriracha—craft brewers have also embraced the flames, creating cold beers with serious burn. In Illinois, Bent River crafts the Jalapeño Pale Ale, while Oregon’s Rogue makes the smoky, amber-toned Chipotle Ale. Elsewhere, Colorado-based Twisted Pine makes its Ghost Face Killah with dangerously hot Bhut Jolokias (a.k.a. “ghost pepper”), while Ohio’s Elevator Brewing ups the ante by also adding Trinidad Moruga Scorpion to its Ghost Scorpion Lager. “We…tell people not to drink the stuff,” Elevator owner Dick Stevens told the Akron Beacon Journal.
But not all pepper beers must be gimmicky dares. Habaneros have an inherent sweetness, which Founders uses in its strong, salsa-inspired Mango Magnifico. “You get this bright, fresh fruitiness and just a bit of heat,” Heystek says. “If you’re not focused on making a balanced, drinkable thing, then what the hell are you doing?”
Here are 10 chile-fueled beers worth the burn. As always, let the drinker beware.
The 36 Best Beers You Can Buy Online Or At Your Local Store
We've got it all: mainstream lagers, cult-status IPAs, innovative craft stouts, and more.
It's been brewing for a while, but at this point, it's safe to say: We're in the golden age of beer. And that means it's a great time to expand your horizons&mdashto embrace your favorites and learn more about them or discover totally new-to-you styles. To help you do just that, we've rounded up 37 of the best beers you can sip on right now. From mainstream lagers and historic Belgian ales to cult-status IPAs and innovative craft stouts, these are the hits: the flagship beers, the genre-establishing beers, the experimental beers that took off.
What's more? It's easier than ever to try out bottles and cans, both new and old, without leaving home. Shop all our picks right here, and get them delivered straight to your home. Ready, set, cheers!
Looking for something more specific? Check out our favorite low-carb beers and Irish varieties. Or can we interest you in some recipes? These three are perennial hits: beer-battered fish, beer cheese dip, and beer can chicken.
Mexican lagers are a warm-weather classic, and few have stood the test of time like Modelo Especial. This iconic favorite is a shining example of what makes Mexican lagers great. Mexican brewing traditions shaped the Vienna lager style into something uniquely its own&mdashsubtly toasty and caramel-forward with a dry finish that keeps is crisp. If you're not having a Modelo Especial with your tacos or at your barbecues, you're doing it wrong.
Another refreshing easy drinker is Miller High Life. Having been around since 1903, this lager is a key piece of American beer history. Even if you're not old enough to have seen the commercials firsthand, you remember the 1970s-era jingle, "If you've got the time, we've got the beer." High Life is just so clean and simple that even craft beer and cocktail pros count it as their mainstream brew of choice, and its "Champagne of Beers" identity is an endearing play on the high-low concept. From daytime gatherings to late night bar visits, Miller High Life is a familiar comfort.
Big Beer, a.k.a. Budweiser and Coors, are most often associated with light lagers. Craft breweries make them too, though, and the results are typically even better. The Nite Lite Craft Light Lager from Night Shift Brewing in Massachusetts converted anti-light lager craft fans. The Nite Lite is a lager at its cleanest, most balanced, and bubbliest.
Few beers can claim a history that dates back to the 13th century, but the purely perfect Pilsner Urquell is just that legendary. It's crafted in Plzen in the Czech Republic, a city that's famous for its soft water, which gives a nice, round finish to what would become the classic Czech pilsner. Made since 1842, Pilsner Urquell is easily the style's best known and best loved iteration.
Not all lagers are light. A schwarzbier is a traditional German style that combines the easy-drinking nature of a lager (clean, low in alcohol) with the complex flavor profile of a porter or stout (roastiness, coffee, chocolate). It's essentially, and sometimes called, a dark lager. One of the original producers of schwarzbier is Köstritzer, which has been brewing in Germany since 1543.
The Weihenstephan Abbey Brewery is one of the world's oldest, founded in 1040. Its Hefe Weissbier is brimming with history&mdashand a German wheat beer's special flavors of banana and clove. It's also a total trail-blazer as far as Germany's beers are concerned. The country's 1516 law requires German beer to be made only from water, hops, and barley (and later, when fermentation was understood, yeast). until Georg Schneider acquired a dispensation in 1872 and commercial breweries began to make wheat beers.
Schöfferhofer's Grapefruit Hefeweizen is a fresh&mdashand refreshing&mdashtake on the essential German wheat beer for anyone who enjoys a fruity beer. The brewery made the first grapefruit hefeweizen in 2007. This beer is half hefeweizen, half grapefruit, so those banana, clove, and bread flavors are brightened with tart citrus. While delicious on its own, it's also a great base for beer cocktails.
Bell's Brewery in Michigan quickly became the forefather of the American approach to wheat beers with the Oberon Ale. American wheat ales don't have the banana and clove flavors of German versions, instead playing up the wheaty-ness with subtle fruit aromas and a touch of spice from the hops. Bell's Oberon is so popular that when it's rolled out each year, the brewery and bars and shops who stock the beer celebrate with events and parties there's even a holiday for it.
California's Lagunitas Brewing Co. is famous for its IPA, but the brewery has another flagship beer that fans love. Lagunitas takes the American wheat ale one step further with the Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale, a beer that brings the wheat style into bolder territory with a hoppy twist.
The Fat Tire Amber Ale is somewhat of a beer industry darling. Colorado's New Belgium Brewing was one of the earliest trailblazers in what we now know as craft beer, and co-founder Kim Jordan is revered as an important game-changer in what has historically been a male-dominated industry. The Fat Tire is named for Jordan and partner Jeff Lebesch's bicycling trip through Belgium that inspired them to open a brewery, and it was one of the first two beers they sold in 1991. Other breweries have held the Fat Tire as a model for well-balanced amber ales ever since.
Since opening in 2003, Yazoo has inspired a vibrant beer scene to bubble up in Nashville. The Dos Perros Ale is one of its beloved flagship brews. It's a Mexican-style take on the brown ale, first made in England in the 17th century. Dos Perros nails the brown ale's nutty malt character with a touch of chocolate, but lightens things up as Mexican brewers frequently do with flaked maize for a perfect balance.
If it's something more straightforward you're after, Newcastle Brown Ale is like the brown ale poster child. The English beer has been brewed since 1927, and it's a can't-fail classic you can count on when you see it on the menu. Brewed with pale and crystal malts, it's light and bready with touches of nuttiness and dried fruit.
Today, Belgium's beer scene is richly varied between independent breweries and Trappist breweries (certain abbeys that make beer) producing beautiful interpretations of iconic styles. More recently, as in during the 20th century, Belgian brewers sought to compete with German and Czech lagers with lighter styles, and the blonde ale was born. The Leffe Blonde Ale is the most classic, widely known and loved version of the effervescent, grainy-sweet, orange-y and lemon-y and sometimes a little spicy style.
Chimay's Grande Reserve is for when you're feeling a little fancy. Popping that cork is the beer equivalent of popping a nice bottle of champagne. The Grande Reserve is a Belgian Strong Ale, which boasts a bouquet of caramel, toast, plum, fig, raisin, pepper, and perfume notes with a boozy warmth. Chimay is also an example of a Belgian Trappist breweries&mdashone of 14 in the entire world.
For a modern American take on farmhouse ales (more on those in a sec), turn to Connecticut's Two Roads Brewing Company. Their expertise is clear in the light, fruity, spicy Workers' Comp. Now for the history: Farmhouse ales were brewed with leftover crops during the winter and then saisonniers, or seasonal workers, drank them in the summer. That's where the name of a sub-group of farmhouse ales comes from, saisons. Farmhouse ales are a loose category, but often identified by tart and funky flavors with a crisp dryness that's super refreshing.
Pennsylvania's Victory Brewing makes one of America's favorite takes on the Belgian tripel, which is usually fruity and spicy and on the stronger side, at 7.5-9.5% ABV. Golden Monkey packs notes of banana, clove, orange, and earthy hops, with a dry finish. Made since 1997, it set the bar for American breweries to try their hands at Belgian beers.
Ommegang's Three Philosophers is a special treat. It's a blend of two styles: a kriek and a quadrupel. A kriek is a lambic (more on this on the next slide) made with cherries, and a quadrupel is a strong, dark Belgian ale with caramel, molasses, bread, and pepper flavors. The combo is a lovely American twist on a Belgian classic that smells and tastes like brown sugar, dark fruit, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and of course, cherries.
Okay, let's talk about lambics. Lambics are made with cherries (that's the kriek), raspberries, peaches, and more, for a sweet take on the original style. One of the best known and best loved versions is a raspberry version: Lindemans Framboise. It's sweet and juicy (and only 2.5% alcohol!) with a crisp twist of carbonation. And because lambics are fermented spontaneously, the final taste is unpredictable but usually tart, funky, and dry.
Collective Arts Brewing is a Canadian brewery known for emphasizing a mix of art and beer, so it's no surprise they got creative. Their Guava Gose is one of the most exciting takes on the style, a lush tropical vacation in a can. It's brewed with malted barley and malted wheat along with coriander and salty water for a finish that's tart, funky, crisp, and yep, a little salty. Like the lambic, goses a popular base for adding fruit.
Springdale's Lavenade Tart Ale is a Berliner weisse with lavender and lemon. It's very on trend with its dreamy fragrant character, and its punchy, zippy lemon is super refreshing, making it a must on warm days. American craft breweries keep pushing forward the evolution of German and Belgian-inspired Berliner weisses, a tart, bready, low-alcohol German style also commonly riffed on with different fruit additions.
No list of best beers would be complete without the Anchor Steam Beer, considered the first American craft beer by experts. Anchor Brewing first brewed their steam beer, otherwise known as a California Common, in San Francisco in 1896. They're still doing so today, making it one of the longest running commercial examples of an original American beer style. Called "steam beers," Commons are malty yet light and smooth amber brews. Anchor's Steam is every bit as refreshing today as it was nearly 125 years ago.
Sierra Nevada is a titan of American beer, having helped put craft beer on the map in 1979. You probably know them for their Pale Ale, a beer approachable enough for craft novices to love and nuanced enough to have garnered cult status among brewers. Its piney, citrusy hop character paved the way for America's love affair with the IPA, while the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale remains a staple in its own right.
While the Daisy Cutter Pale Ale from Half Acre Beer Company is a craft kid compared to the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, it's still got a respectable decade under its belt. Ten years basically makes a beer a wise and revered elder in the craft brewing world. This Chicago-brewed pale ale has all the dank hoppiness of a more assertive IPA, but at a lighter, smoother clip, making it a more crushable source of hop flavor.
The India Pale Ale style was born out of England sending their pale beer to India with lots of hops that acted as preservatives in the 1800s. Today, it's one of the most popular styles in the United States because of its big, bold flavors, and Cigar City's Jai Alai is one of the most popular versions of that style. Named for a game invented in the Basque region of Spain, Jai Alai has in previous years been the best-selling craft six-pack in American grocery stores.
Let's talk West Coast vs. New England IPAs: West Coast IPAs are closer to the original form of the style. They're bright with a dry finish and most importantly, a bouquet of herbal, citrusy, bitter hop notes. More recently, New England IPAs came to represent a less bitter iteration of the style. They're hazy and juicy, often with lots of tropical fruit character and a smoothie-like quality. The Sip of Sunshine IPA from Vermont brewery Lawson's Finest Liquids is the best of both worlds. It's often classified as a New England IPA, or NEIPA, because of its tropical characteristics, but it has the floral hop quality and bitter punch of a West Coast take.
The Ithaca Flower Power IPA is a another form of West Coast meets Northeast for India Pale Ales. Brewer Jeff O'Neil had worked at several breweries in the Bay Area, and he brought his expertise in creating a pitch perfect West Coast IPA to New York when he went to work for Ithaca Beer Co. Flower Power is considered one of the most important beers in the industry because of how it introduced a West Coast style done right to the East.
California brewery Bear Republic Brewing Co. launched Racer 5 back when there were only 500 breweries in the United States. It paved the way for American IPAs with its flavor profile: notes of pine and citrus from Cascade and Chinook hops, balanced by subtle sweetness from the malt.
This is the beer that started the whole double IPA trend. Pliny the Elder from Californian brewery Russian River is responsible for Very Important Beer Moments: Brewer and now owner (with wife Natalie) Vinne Cilurzo is credited with inventing the double IPA, taking the West Coast IPA to a higher level of piney bitterness. Pliny the Elder also kick-started today's beer nerd culture. The lifestyle of lining up for brews, trading them, photographing and reviewing them for blogs and social media, that can essentially be drawn back to the hullabaloo around Pliny the Elder releases, excitement that still hasn't died down to this day.
Speaking of beer nerd culture: If you're an IPA fan, you might be aware of the style's own cult status. King Sue is a Double IPA from Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. in Decorah, IA. The brewery had wowed consumers with their IPA, Pseudo Sue, and doubled its hoppiness and tropical milkshake-y-ness for King Sue. The result is a perpetually sought after brew, an instant status symbol for your Instagram feed.
Heady Topper is a double IPA from Vermont brewery The Alchemist. Just as Racer 5 helped define the West Coast IPA and Pliny the Elder helped define the double IPA, Heady Topper helped define the hazy New England IPA. This beer is so good and has been so famously hard to find in the past that there are social media accounts dedicated to spotting it, people get on planes when they find out it's being sold somewhere, and when the brewery had a brewpub, customers would actually secretly bottle the beer in the bathroom to sell or trade. This double IPA is genre-defining and legendary&mdashmake sure you follow the can's instructions and drink it without a glass.
The World's Best Beers Slideshow - Recipes
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Behind every great brewery are skilled craft brewers. These men and women shed blood, sweat, and tears to bring their range of traditional and more experimental beers to our glasses. But what you might not know is many of these professional craft brewers had humble beginnings as homebrewers in their garages and backyards.
Since there are over 1.1 million Americans out there who brew beer at home, we reached out to craft brewers (and a few mead makers) all over the country to compile a list of commercial beer clone recipes.
Scanning this list, you’ll find a clone recipe from a craft brewery in every state, scaled down to a 5-10 gallon batch size so you can enjoy making these commercial clone beer recipes at your home brewery.
All the breweries featured here are small and independent craft brewers. The independent craft brewer seal is a helpful tool for you to easily identify and support #IndependentBeer. Learn more about small and independent craft breweries on CraftBeer.com.
Back Forty Beer Co. Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale
Truck Stop Honey is Back Forty Beer Company’s flagship which won a Great American Beer Festival silver medal the same year it debuted in 2011! The wildflower honey gives this close to traditional English brown ale a slightly sweet finish.
Denali Brewing Co. Mother Ale Blonde
Mother Ale is the lightest of Denali Brewing’s lineup of signature ales. This blonde ale is brewed with pilsner and wheat malts, hopped with American and European hops and fermented with lager yeast at warm ale temperatures.
Pedal Haus Brewery Biere Blanche Belgian Witbier
A gold medal winner in the 2018 Great American Beer Festival, this traditional witbier from Pedal Haus Brewery features Moraccan orange peel and coriander.
Ozark Beer Co. Belgian Golden Ale
Ozark Beer Co. brews this tradiational Belgian golden with pilsen malt and noble hops that lend aromas of apples and pears. The perfectly timed hop additions makes it a light, dry and very refreshing homebrew.
Ladyface Ale Companie La Grisette
La Grisette is a thirst-quenching Belgian farmhouse ale akin to saison, which earned Ladyface Ale Companie a silver in the 2018 Las Angeles International Beer Competition.
Odell Brewing Company 90 Shilling Ale
Only the highest quality beers were taxed 90 shillings in the old Scottish taxing system! You’ll find this amber ale brilliantly refreshing and worth every shilling.
Two Roads Brewing Co. Worker’s Comp Farmhouse Ale
This beer is named for the concept of compensating migrant farm workers of yore with beer as part of their pay. Imagining these farms beers were brewed with a variety of surplus grains, Two Roads Brewing crafted this saison with a blend of grains for a subtle complexity.
Crooked Hammock Brewery Haulin’ Oats Milk Stout
This dark roasted sweet stout is heavy in body and color but light in its mouthfeel thanks to rolled oats and lactose, providing an underlying sweetness that is sure to make your dreams come true.
Perfect Plain Brewing Co. Holy Spin American IPA
Dubbed the Holy Spin, the third spin of a vinyl record is known to be when the tunes are at their best. This recipe was the third turn of their brewhouse and is dry-hopped, abundantly so, with citra hops!
Good Word Brewing Never Sleep New England IPA
This hazy IPA is described as “juicy” without being overly sweet thanks to Vic Secret and Citra hops. Pilsner malt dominates alongside English pale malt and oats for a little more body and mouthfeel.
Honolulu BeerWorks CocoWeizen
Instead of a commonly thought of coconut dark beer, this German-style coconut hefeweizen is a lighter-bodied beer inspired by one Honolulu Beer Works brewer’s wife.
Boise Brewing Dark Daisy Chocolate Milk Stout
Boise Brewing uses two different types of chocolate malt plus a touch or roast to get the dark chocolate character. Paired with the sweetness from lactose, this is chocolate-y brew!
Corridor Brewery Wizard Fight American IPA
Corridor Brewery’s flagship beer that features a plethora of cool kid hops including Mosaic, Citra, and El Dorado create a citrus and tropical paradise.
Triton Brewing Co. Fieldhouse Wheat
This American wheat ale is a 2017 Great American Beer Festival bronze medal winner from Indiana. The golden color, white head and crisp flavor will satisfy any wheat lovers cravings.
Exile Brewing Company Sir Moch-A-Lot Mocha Stout
“I like big stouts and I cannot lie.” Exile Brewing’s mocha stout is brewed with Brazilian coffee beans from their neighbors up the street, Horizon Line. Roasted coffee and chocolate bitterness balance its smooth malty sweetness.
Nortons Brewing Co. Don’t Poke the Bear Milk Stout
Named by the brewer’s child, Poke the Bear is a tasty milk stout with notes of chocolate and vanilla. With an “imperial” twist, this milk stout really packs a punch!
Dreaming Creek Brewery 1792 Kentucky Common
The Kentucky common was a once popular recipe that originated in the Louisville, Kentucky area. Lost to Prohibition and recently resurrected, this has once again become a popular style of beer across the Bluegrass state and beyond.
Parleaux Beer Lab Lemony Sippit Lager
This hopped-up take on a classic American lager is whirlpooled with lemongrass and then dry-hopped with Lemondrop hops, lending it a rich, bright aroma with a smooth lemon candy-like finish.
Bissel Brothers Brewing The Substance New England IPA
The Substance from Bissel Brothers Brewing Co. flirts with the new world IPA style in a way that intrigues and compels, adding complexity and not detracting from the beer.
Denizens Brewing Co. Lowest Lord ESB
This extra special bitter is a more hop-forward version of the English bitter from Denizens. With classic ESB notes of toffee and biscuit, they use a mix of English and American hops to create a floral and herbal balance with the malt.
Night Shift Brewing Matisse Classic Saison
This is a classic, peppery, dry saison. A simple grist coupled with an assertive bittering hop addition help accentuate the dry characteristics and give a solid base for the phenols from the yeast.
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Bam Biére
This farmhouse ale is named after Jolly Pumpkin’s Jack Russell, who after being struck by a car bounced back in tenacious Jack Russell fashion. It’s golden, naturally cloudy, bottle conditioned and dry hopped for a perfect flavor balance.
Lupulin Brewing Straight Hash Homie IPA
This appropriately named IPA is made with pure Lupulin powder, paying homage to the brewery’s name. The bursting tropical flavors and soft bitterness may fool you, but no pellet or hop touched this beer. Brew your own and see what you think!
Biloxi Brewing Company Pale Ale
This is Biloxi’s sessionable pale ale that bursts with grapefruit flavors and aromas from the generous amount of Citra hops used, especially in the dry hop addition.
Missouri Beer Company English Dark Mild
This malt-focused session ale from Missouri Beer Company is dark, low gravity and really refreshing. The low ABV makes the English dark mild suited for session drinking.
Outlaw Brewing Udder Madness Chocolate Milk Stout
Winter can be long and cold in Montana, leaving a beer with a bit more body to be desired. Outlaw Brewing has come to love this beer for its full body, rich mouthfeel, and utter deliciousness.
Boiler Brewing Co. Bobber’s Big Red Rye Pale Ale
Brewed in collaboration with a local homebrewer, the spicy rye notes of this pale ale blend perfectly with the new school Mosaic hops that it’s hard to tell where the rye ends and the hops begin.
River Horse Brewing Company Tripel Horse
Tripel Horse has been the flagship beer of River Horse since the company was founded in 1996. This dark gold Belgian tripel has hints of clove, coriander and banana all packed into a 10% ABV beer.
Red Door Brewing Company New England IPA
This juicy and hazy India pale ale features an intense tropical fruit and floral nose. This is a perfect choice for warm weather.
Great South Bay Brewery Massive IPA
Let’s just say this Massive IPA from New York’s Great South Bay Brewery doesn’t skimp on the hops! With a hefty dose of flameout hops, Massive IPA is packed full of American hop flavor and aroma.
Wedge Brewing Co. Golem Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Named Golem after Led Zeppelin’s lyric in “Ramble On,” this Belgian golden strong ale has evolved over the years into a perfect balance of malt sweetness, yeast esters and Czech Saaz.
Fargo Brewing Company Wood Chipper IPA
Horizon hops and oats provide a sleek, velvety body and balanced bitterness while pounds per barrel of Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and Simcoe hops give this IPA waves of citrus and pine flavors. That’s one delicious beer eh? Oh yeah, you betcha!
Seventh Son Brewing Co. Oubliette Russian Imperial Stout
This nearly opaque imperial stout from Seventh Son Brewing Co. boasts hints of plum, dark cocoa and a pleasing warm alcohol finish. Oubliette may be the french word for dark forgotten dungeon, but you are guaranteed to remember this dark stout.
Iron Monk Brewing Co. Velvet Antler Amber
Iron Monk brewing’s American amber ale is very malt-forward and smooth. They hear from fans all the time that this is their all-time favorite beer, and we think you’ll agree once you brew some yourself!
Von Ebert Brewing Sabrage Brut IPA
Sabrage /səˈbrɑːʒ/ is the technique for opening a champagne bottle with a saber. This recipe is dry and effervescent, with minimal bitterness and hop character that’s dominated by grapefruit-heavy Citra and a touch of resinous Chinook.
Church Brew Works Pious Monk Dunkel
This dark-style lager from the Church Brew Works is based on a 150-year-old recipe from Munich, Germany. This version is slightly darker and surprisingly easy drinking with a low ABV and crisp finish.
Providence Brewing Company Battlecow Galacticose New England IPA
Bursting with mango, orange and pineapple flavors, this juicy-yet-dank milkshake New England IPA from Providence Brewing Company will have you begging for another sip.
Holy City Brewing Pluff Mud Porter
Holy City’s Pluff Mud Porter presents (and smells) like a classic porter, with subtle chocolate notes and a silky finish, but the medium body and tame ABV keep it refreshing at all times. Enjoy this throughout the year, in or out of the marsh.
Crow Peak Brewing Co. Pile ‘O Dirt Porter
This beer was named Pile ‘O Dirt because of the ridiculous amount of dirt Crow Peak Brewing had to build their original brewery on to get them out of the flood plain. This porter is very dark in color with a nice tan head and complexity due to the variety of specialty malts used.
Tennessee Valley Brewing Co. DIVARTY Redlegs
DIVARTY Red Legs is named in honor of brave Division Artillery soldiers. This is an Irish red ale that’s really easy drinking with slight malty flavor, a soft touch of caramel and lightly roasty finish.
Jester King Brewery Figlet Farmhouse Amber Ale
This dry farmhouse ale called Figlet is a real Texas gem! Jester King Brewery stayed true to Texas style by incorporating locally-sourced cold-smoked figs into the recipe.
Red Rock Brewing Black Bier
This German-style dark lager is a classic schwarzbier that won a gold medal at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival. Its unusually dark color is gained from four different malts and very light hopping that make it a sessionable black lager.
Whetstone Station Brewery Whetstoner Session IPA
This bright and delicious session IPA features Simcoe, Amarillo and Citra hops. While it’s hazy, aromatic and full of flavor, at just 4.5% ABV this crisp beer is perfect for when you’ve got thirst that needs quenching.
Strangeways Brewing Martian Spring Biere de Mars
This is based on the classic Bière de Garde style, but with an extra kick of hops to make it more of a Bière de Mars. This might be a classic style, but American hops and dry-hopping make this a pretty unique take!
Reuben’s Brews Robust Porter
One of Reuben’s Brews year round beers, this robust porter was one of the first beers brewed when they opened in 2012. Brewmaster Adam Robbings came up with the recipe as a homebrewer and he won gold the first three competitions with the very first batch!
Atlas Brew Works Rowdy Rye Ale
Atlas Brew Works in Washington D.C. created this hop-forward rye ale that is both fun and aggressive. Using a large amount of specialty malts and three hop varieties, it is sure to get rye ale lovers’ attention.
Big Timber Brewing Porter
This well balanced, yet complex porter derives all of its flavor from loads of specialty malts. The recipe has remained virtually unchanged, and this beer and can only be found in West Virginia.
Earth Rider Brewery Precious Material Helles
This export helles was inspired by Augustiner Edelstoff, which the Earth Rider founder fell in love with on a trip to Bavaria. Precious Material packs a bigger punch with a slightly elevated hop character compared to a standard helles.
Roadhouse Brewing Co. Family Vacation Cream Ale
Family Vacation was originally brewed to quench the thirst of locals coming back from a day of skiing and was inspired by a wildly popular Midwestern brewed cream ale. Over the years, Roadhouse has taken the liberty of adjusting the recipe to ensure it’s always crushable!
9 IPAs to Drink in Winter—Bitter Beers for Bitter Cold
When blizzards blanket the country, beer becomes a bone-warming necessity. During icicle season, drinkers typically look to a strapping stout or a beefy barley wine—potent beers with alcohol percentages that often trump the thermometer reading (well, Celsius anyway).
While these styles remain popular defrosters, they’re not the only worthy winter warmers. In recent years, craft brewers have used December, January, and February as a launching pad for releasing their dankest, bitterest brews. From the honey-fueled Bell’s Hopslam to Tröegs’ floral Nugget Nectar and Green Flash Palate Wrecker, these strong and warming imperial IPAs are a cold comfort to craft fans.
Why do such bitter beers work in winter? The answer lies in a happy, hoppy coincidence. The majority of the world’s hops are harvested in late summer, starting at the tail end of August and stretching into September. After harvesting, most hops are kilned and pelletized, a process that can last until the cold-weather months.
“Brewing a beer when the hops are at their freshest, for the brightest possible hop character, happens to land at the beginning of winter,” explains Green Flash brewmaster Chuck Silva.
Beyond simple agricultural availability—and the warming alcoholic hit—there’s another explanation for the growing numbers of strong and hoppy winter beers. One of the pleasures of drinking a barley wine or an imperial stout is their layered flavors, which unfurl with each successive sip. Bitter beers can be multifaceted, too.
“You can sink into and explore big, diverse hop flavor like you would the malt complexity of a winter warmer,” says Ryan Arnold, communications director for Sierra Nevada, which distributes the hop-forward Celebration and Ruthless Rye during the winter. “Both are capable of helping shake off winter’s chill.”
And while Silva believes that a bitter beer is a brilliant choice in Arctic conditions, it’s just the proverbial tip of the iceberg when it comes to winter-friendly brews. “Any bold-flavored beer, whether it be hoppy, malty, or even spicy, is a great choice when it’s cold out,” says the Green Flash brewmaster. “Your senses need an awakening jolt.”
The World's Most Alcoholic Beers
Did you know that you're currently sipping lager in the midst of an all-out beer war? It's true. Brewers all over the world have been in a no-holds-barred competition to see who can brew the highest alcohol-by-volume (ABV), best tasting beer, creating concoctions for the past four years that contain more alcohol than whiskey while still retaining that earthy yeast flavor that beer lovers crave.
Prior to 2010, the beer world was pretty tame, alcohol-wise. The strongest brews hovered around 20 percent and that was mostly relegated to barley wines, a niche market among beer connoisseurs. All that changed when Struise, a brewing company out of Belgium, began its Black Damnation project in which they used Black Albert, their Russian Imperial Stout, as the base for some increasingly dangerous brews ranging from 13 to 26 percent ABV.
You see, the water in beer has a lower freezing point than the alcohol, so freezing the water and occasionally scooping out the frozen chunks allows the remaining unfrozen alcohol to concentrate, thus creating hard hitting mega beers.
Soon, Scottish brewers Brewdog got in on the action, and the results rocked the world of craft beer. By freezing their beer in a local ice cream factory and slowing the fermentation process, the cheeky geniuses at Brewdog were able to create a beer they dubbed Tactical Nuclear Penguin. What began as a respectable 18 percent ABV imperial stout was aged in whiskey barrels for 16 months, infusing the beer with a tart whiskey flavor and higher alcohol content to boot. After three more weeks in the ice cream freezer, the result was a 32 percent ABV bombshell that launched dozens of boozy counterattacks.
The craft beer industry is ever growing, but as demand for beer grows, so does the need for innovation. The newest generation of beer drinkers doesn't want their dad's watery old standbys. They're looking for something invigorating and tasty that also packs a punch. And as the beer wars produce ales hovering around the 70 percent mark, consumers have also proven that they're willing to pay top dollar for these spirit-like brews. A bottle of Sam Adam's Utopias will set you back $200, but by most beer tasters' accounts the carefully brewed concoction is worth every penny.
Top 10 Home Brew Beer Recipes
To home brew a great beer&mdashwhether it's all-grain or extract&mdashrequires, first and foremost, an understanding of the process and mastery of brewing technique. That's not to say creative, well-balanced recipes with all the right ingredients don't help with the final product. We scoured brewing books, listened to beer podcasts, and talked to brewmasters to find ten of the best homebrew recipes out there, representing a range of beer styles. The recipes we found come from some of the best professional brewers in the country as well as absurdly dedicated homebrewers. Cheers!
Batch Size: The amount of beer present by the end of your batch.
Original Gravity (OG): The amount of sugars present in the wort before the yeast is pitched
Final Gravity (FG): The amount of residual sugars present in the beer after fermentation
Bitterness: Measured in International Bittering Units (IBU), the higher the number the more bitterness you can expect
Color: The Standard Reference Measurement (SRM) reflects degress Lovibond which range from 3.5 for a pilsner shade to over 25 for a nearly opaque stout.
Hops: Different hop strains provide different flavors and impart varying levels of bitterness. The percentage listed indicates the bitterness level for that strain. The number of minutes listed in the recipe indicates how long each addition should be boiled. Thus a 60 minute hop addition should be added at the beginning of the boil and a 5 minute hop addition should be added 5 minutes before the flame is turned off and cooling has begun. Dry hop additions get added after fermentation has been completed.
Tips and Tricks
Learn your boil-off rate: Boil a fixed amount of water as a test to find out how much water your system loses to evaporation during a boil (it can vary from brewer to brewer with variables such as kettle size and burner output). This will tell you how much wort you need in order to reach your targeted batch size. For instance, if you fill your kettle with 4 gallons of water and boil it for a half hour and find that you're left with 3.5 gallons of water then you know that you're boiling away a half gallon every 30 minutes. A typical 5 gallon batch with a 60 minute boil will require you to start with 6 gallons of wort.
Adjusting the gravity of a beer: If your gravity readings aren't what you're targeting you can add dry malt extract to raise the gravity or add water to lower the gravity. Just make sure that dry malt extract adjustments are added at the beginning of the boil.
Adjusting the bitterness of a beer: The bitterness levels (Alpha Acids or (%AA) of hops vary from crop to crop, but you can make some quick adjustments to ensure that you're bitterness remains consistent. Just plug the numbers into a brewing software program or free online tool like beer calculus to figure out how much hops to add to a beer to hit a recipe's targeted bitterness level.
Yeast Quantities: Pitching the proper amount of yeast is hugely important for any recipe. We highly recommend using Mr. Malty's Pitching Rate Calculator to determine how much yeast you'll need for any beer recipe. The calculator is a free online tool and is also available as a paid iPhone app.
3. Sapporo Space Barley
Back in 2009, Sapporo released a beer made using barley descended from grain that spent five months on the International Space Station’s Zvezda Service Module. According to Sapporo, the point of this experiment was to study “the purpose of achieving self-sufficiency in food in the space environment.” The beer was released in Japan in a run of just 250 cases, which sold for 10,000 yen each, or about $100, with the proceeds donated to charity. There are likely still some unopened bottles floating around in the ether somewhere, but expect to pay a hefty premium if you locate one.
The World's Best Beers Win Awards At The 2018 World Beer Cup
It may be time for craft-beer aficionados to put to rest those arguments about which are the best beers throughout the world. The results are in! The 2018 World Beer Cup winners have been announced.
After three days of judging by 295 judges from 33 countries, 8,234 beers were evaluated, and 302 beers won awards, according to the Brewers Association, a not-for-profit trade group of small and independent American craft brewers. Nearly three-fourth of the 295 judges were from outside the United States.
“The World Beer Cup showcases the breadth of the global brewing community, and winning an award symbolizes one of the greatest brewing achievements,” says Charlie Papazian, the Brewers Association’s founder and past president.
Brewers from Taft's Ale House of Cincinnati, Ohio, are ecstatic after their Gustav beer won a silver . [+] medal in the Vienna-Style Lager category at the 2018 World Beer Cup competition in Nashville this week. (Photo: The Brewers Association)
Winners of the World Beer Cup — the largest competition in the beer industry — were presented awards this week at the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America at Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee. The World Beer Cup competition is held every two years, and this year’s competition had 25 percent more entries than in 2016.
Beers from 66 countries entered the competition. The United States, which has had explosive growth in the number of craft breweries during the past few decades, had the most award-winning beers: 242. Canada finished second with 14, and Germany was third with nine. Belgium had the highest winning rate: 10 percent of all beers entered won awards.
So, without further adieu, here are many of the 2018 World Beer Cup winners. A complete list is available here .
Gold: Vladislav, Diebolt Brewing
Silver: Oblivious, Griffin Claw Brewing
Bronze: Solzhenitsyn, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Best American-Style Amber Lager
Gold: Brooklyn Lager, Brooklyn Brewery
Silver: Tragedy of the Common, Iowa Brewing
Bronze: 89 Ale, O.H.S.O Brewery — Paradise Valley
Best American-Style Imperial Stout
Gold: Cultivating Mass, Cooperage Brewing
Silver: Black Walnut Belgian, Raised Grain Brewing
Bronze: HoliDAVE, Artifex Brewing
Best American-Style India Pale Ale
Gold: Revision IPA, Revision Brewing
Silver: Radiant Beauty, Green Cheek Beer
Bronze: Bailing Room, Pinthouse Pizza — Lamar
Best American-Style Lager/Cream Ale
Gold: Old Style Lager, Pabst Brewing
Silver: Pabst Blue Ribbon, Pabst Brewing
Bronze: Hamm's, Miller Brewing
Best American-Style Pale Ale
Gold: C-Hops, Firestone Walker Brewwing
Silver: Double Nickels, Docent Brewing
Bronze: Pennyrile Pale Ale, West Sixth Brewing
Best American-Style Stout
Gold: Black Cliffs, Boise Brewing
Silver: Krieky Bones, Firestone Walker Barrelworks
Bronze: Disorder, Barley Brown's Brew Pub
Best American-Style Wheat Beer
Gold: Dark O' The Moon, Tilted Axis Brewing
Silver: Whacked Out Wheat, Telluride Brewing
Bronze: Clutch's American Wheat, Tustin Brewing
Best Baltic-Style Porter
Gold: Bangor Slate, Two Rivers Brewing
Silver: Doggerland, Oakshire Brewing
Bronze: Danzig, Devils Backbone Brewing — Outpost
Best Belgian-Style Sour Ale
Gold: Oude Geuze Boon VAT 108, Brouwerij Boon
Silver: Lindemans Cuvee Rene Oude Kriek, Lindemans Brewery
Bronze: El Sur, Casa Agria Specialty Ales
Best Belgian-Style Tripel
Gold: Triple LeFort, Omer Vander Ghinste
Silver: 33 Acres of Euphoria, 33 Acres Brewing
Bronze: Hoegaarden Grand Cru, InBev Belgium
Best Belgian-Style Witbier
Gold: Camden Gentlemans Wit, Camden Town Brewery
Silver: White Rascal, Avery Brewing
Bronze: Hoegaarden White, InBev Belgium
Best Bohemian-Style Pilsener
Gold: Chuckanut, Chuckanut Brewery
Silver: Bobcat, Adirondack Pub & Brewery
Bronze: Check Pils, Beaver Island Brewing
Best Classic English-Style Pale Ale
Gold: Valley Isle ESB, Maui Brewing
Silver: Prickly Pear, Lewis & Clark Brewing
Bronze: Annadel, Third Street Aleworks
Best French- & Belgian-Style Saison
Gold: La Finca Miami, The Tank Brewing
Silver: Bord du Lac, Amsterdam Brewing
Bronze: Farmhouse, Karl Strauss Brewing — 4S Ranch
Best Pumpkin Beer
Gold: 5 Phantoms Pumpkin Spice Barleywine, Philipsburg Brewing
Siver: Pumpkin Ale, Bier Brewery and Taproom
Bronze: Pope's Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Millersburg Brewing
Best Scotch Ale
Gold: Scotch Ale Wee Heavy, Microbrasserie Gainsbourg
Silver: McKay's Scottish Ale, Three Creeks Brewing
Bronze: Wee Bit Left, Metazoa Brewing
Best Session Beer
Gold: Fernson Farmhouse Ale, Fernson Brewing
Silver: Session Pale Ale, Center of the Universe Brewing
Bronze: Peacekeeper, Launch Pad Brewery
Best Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer
Gold: Queen of Hearts, Pelican Brewing — Pacific City
Silver: Double Barrel Knotty, Twin Peaks Brewing
Bronze: Dry Hopped Brett Pale Ale, Hi-Wire Brewing — South Slope Specialty Brewery
I am a multi-award-winning journalist who was USA TODAY's investigative travel editor for 17 years and a founding journalist of Conde Nast Traveler magazine. I