All-Time Top 25 Beers, Breweries, Pubs, Etc.

I’m a sucker for lists. The Top 10 This, the Best 5 That. So I had a bit of fun when I got my hands on the latest issue of Beer Advocate magazine (yes, they have a magazine. And it’s actually pretty good. I’d never pay for a subscription, but if you can find one of their free drop spots, pick it up) a few days ago which includes six “top 25” lists in the “Beer in Review” section. The lists are the “All-Time Top Beers on Planet Earth”; the top 25 “Most-Wanted Beers”; the “Top Beers That Get No Respect” — these are the 25 worst-rated beers on the BeerAdvocate forums and include the likes of Bud Light (1), Natural Ice (15), Icehouse (20) and Crazy Ed’s Cave Creek Chili Beer (7) — the “All-Time Top Brewers” (which should read “breweries” in my opinion and not “brewers”, since they list the breweries themselves and not the names of the people who formulated each recipe, etc.); the top 25 “Places to Have a Pint” (which includes Maine’s own Ebenezer’s Pub (1) in Lovell, and Novare Res Bier Cafe (21) here in Portland); and lastly, the “Alstrom Bros’ Top Beers” which “made us stop, think and drink in 2009”. Six of which were brewed in New England, and two of which here in Maine (Vagabond from Allagash and surprisingly, Local Harvest from Sebago).

Cross-checking the lists with my own drinking experiences, I’ve personally had more than half (14, if my count is right) of the “All-Time Top 24 Beers on Planet Earth” and 8 of the “25 Most-Wanted Beers”, including the top 3. Not bad since probably 80% of the beers and the breweries on all of these lists (except the list of swill) aren’t available in Maine. Here are the All-Time Top 25 and the 25 Most-Wanted (after the jump… just click it). How many have you had?


All-Time Top Beers on Planet Earth:

  1. Trappist Westvleteren 12 (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
  2. Pliney the Elder (Russian River Brewing Co)
  3. The Abyss (Deschutes Brewing Co)
  4. Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout (Founders Brewing Co)
  5. Pliny The Younger (Russian River)
  6. Trappistes Rouchefort 10 (Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy)
  7. Dark Lord Imperial Stout (Three Floyds)
  8. Founders Breakfast Stout (Founders)
  9. Trappist Westvleteren 8 (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
  10. Stone Imperial Russian Stout (Stone Brewing Co)
  11. St. Bernardus Abt 12 (Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV)
  12. AleSmith Speedway Stout (AleSmith Brewing Co)
  13. Peche Mortel Imperial Stout Au Cafe (Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel)
  14. Dreadnaught IPA (Three Floyds)
  15. Bell’s HopSlam Ale (Bells Brewery)
  16. Sculpin India Pale Ale (Ballast Point Brewing Co)
  17. Masala Mama India Pale Ale (Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery)
  18. Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier (Brauerei Weihenstephan)
  19. Troegs Nugget Nectar (Troegs Brewing Co)
  20. Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock (Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG / Brauerei Aying)
  21. Bourbon County Stout (Goose Island)
  22. Supplication (Russian River)
  23. Portsmouth Kate the Great (Portsmouth Brewing Co)
  24. Darkness (Surly Brewing Co)
  25. Duvel (Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV)

Top 25 Most-Wanted Beers:

  1. Portsmouth Kate the Great (Portsmouth Brewing Co)
  2. Dark Lord Imperial Stout (Three Floyds)
  3. Trappist Westvleteren 12 (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
  4. Pliny the Younger (Russian River)
  5. Pliny the Elder (Russian River)
  6. Darkness (Surly Brewing Co)
  7. The Abyss (Deschutes Brewing Co)
  8. Sexual Chocolate (Foothills Brewing Co)
  9. Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout (Founders)
  10. Supplication (Russian River)
  11. Black Tuesday (The Bruery)
  12. Dreadnaught IPA (Three Floyds)
  13. Cable Car (The Lost Abbey)
  14. The Angel’s Share – Bourbon-barrel Aged (The Lost Abbey)
  15. AleSmith Speedway Stout – Barrel Aged (AleSmith)
  16. Furious (Surly Brewing Co)
  17. Temptation (Russian River)
  18. Trappist Westvleteren 8 (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
  19. Beatification (Russian River)
  20. Sanctification (Russian River)
  21. Sculpin India Pale Ale (Ballast Point)
  22. Masala Mama India Pale Ale (Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery)
  23. Bell’s HopSlam Ale (Bell’s Brewery)
  24. Older Viscosity (Port Brewing Co/Pizza Port)
  25. Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout (Great Lakes Brewing Co)

No surprise I guess that a whole lot of those beers show up on both lists. Discuss…

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9 comments

  1. Only problem with Beer Advocate – and yes, I was actually a charter subscriber – is that the Alström brothers seem to regard anything less than a Double Imperial Russian IPA as a beer to be ignored. I’m as much of a hophead as the next guy – but there’s something to be said for a great bitter, a perfect little pilsner, or an Anchor Steam, too. Seriously – how can you put out a list of ‘All time great beers’ and not include, say, Bass, SNPA, Guinness?

  2. This brings up a good question tho. Where in the US is the best place to buy beer? As in, has the most distributor connections so if it’s brewed, you can buy it. Is it safe to assume NYC and Cali?

  3. The list of “All-Time Top Beers on Planet Earth” was “pulled from over one million BeerAdvocate member reviews of tens of thousands of listings….”, so it was not a list created by the Alström brothers, it was a list “created” by the contributors to BeerAdvocate. These lists always tend to skew to the large side of the beer world. Rate Beer’s “THE BEST BEERS IN THE WORLD – OVERALL” is also just a list of really big beers (with the third best beer in the world being rated by a grand total of 22 people… which I just found odd).

    As for the “Alstrom Bros’ Top Beers” (which are beers that made them think in 2009), which is not listed on this page, I do not find it skewed towards big beers. Yes, there are big beers in the list, but I do not find it to be a dominating factor of the list.

    @Luke: Just curious on why you would never pay for a subscription to BA?

  4. Saw this amazing valentine day special PINK BEER video on http://www.videocrux.com/video/19859/Czechs-sip-pink-beer-for-Valentine-Day Honey flavored beers hmm looks interesting

  5. I think these lists are great, but the main problem is availability. Quite a few aren’t available in every state, seasonal or uber limited. You can almost forget about finding most of the beers on the “Most Wanted” list. I don’t even think I’ve heard of half of them.

  6. I’ve had the good luck to try a small portion of these, but most are not available in my area (Central Illinois).

    I was surprised to see Founder’s Breakfast Stout at No.8. I just had this draft the other day and it was pretty fantastic. Hopslam is no surprise and thankfully I’ve still got three bottles left.

    I’ve got 2 years left to age my 2006 Bourbon County Stout the full 5 years, and it gets better EVERY year.

    Sadly, more than 50% of these aren’t available in my area, but it makes me thankful for the ones I can get!

    Feel free to check out my beer blog too!

  7. After hearing that Ebs was number one I decided I had to try it. I love that place. Chris, the owner, is so nice. As is Hannah(I think that’s her name), the bartender. I did a review of my own. thegreatbeeradventure.blogspot.com
    P.S. I am the girl version of you. I am in Portland as well. Do we have any beer drinkers/brewers associations?

  8. After hearing that Ebs was number one I decided I had to try it. I love that place. Chris, the owner, is so nice. As is Hannah(I think that’s her name), the bartender. I did a review of my own. thegreatbeeradventure.blogspot.com
    P.S. I am the girl version of you. I am in Portland as well. Do we have any beer drinkers/brewers associations?

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