Everywhere you look on the internet, you’ll notice that people absolutely love lists. We are being bombarded with “top 10 of this” and “7 best of that”, and yet they are so dang addicting you want to click to see if you agree.
It’s no different in the beer world where you will see lists such as “15 Best IPAs” and “The Worlds 7 Greatest Stouts”.
I have nothing against these types of posts at all as they aim to celebrate some amazing beers. However saying that any beer is “the best” of any category doesn’t make sense to me.
First off, beer is subjective. What is best to me isn’t the best to you. All of us have different tastes and what I might find appealing about a beer, you might detest. Plus the more beer you drink, the more your tastes start to change.
I remember back when I was fresh out of college and still drinking Coors Light. One day I tried my first IPA. Having to work hard to drink my glass, I realized it was way to bitter for me. If you had given me a bottle of Russian River’s Pliny the Elder I probably couldn’t have finished it and wouldn’t have appreciated it. Years later my palate has changed considerably. Today you can’t really get too hoppy for my liking (or get me to drink Coors light again).
Years ago a beer on my top beers list probably wouldn’t even make it into today’s top 50 list , even though the beer itself hasn’t changed.
Aside from beer being subjective, there are just too many beers worldwide to consider any of them the best.
Just this week the Brewers Association announced that at the end of 2013, over 2700 breweries where operating in the US alone, with more being added daily.
How could anyone tell you what the best IPA produced in the US is? Between every breweries regular offerings and seasonal releases, I’m guessing there are easily over 5000 American IPAs being produced yearly by US based breweries. Of those, a majority aren’t bottled so you’d have to do a lot of traveling and a ton of drinking to try all of them. While it might be a fun challenge for some, it would be impossible as you’d probably be too drunk at the end of the day to accurately compare all of them.
While these lists are made just for fun, better more informative lists might include excellent beers that people need to try. One of my blog posts from about 4 years ago (which needs some updating) listed 10 Oregon beers people needed to try. It’s not the 10 best beers in Oregon, it’s just 10 that I enjoyed at the time.
The Absolute Definitive Top 5 Beers In The World List
However, since this post is titled “The Top 5 Beers in the World”, I better give you my list or there might be a revolt. Here we go:
1. The Beer That’s In Your Hand
If you have a beer in your hand, you are doing pretty good. Sure, it might not be the best beer you’ve ever had, but it beats having no beer in your hand.
When people ask me my favorite beer, this is generally always my answer. I love drinking new beers all the time and if I have one in hand, I’m happy. You should be too.
2. The Beer You’re Having Next
What’s better than the beer you’re drinking? The one that’s coming next of course. When you have a beer that’s about to be finished and you have the knowledge of what you’ll be drinking after, it’s a beautiful feeling.
3. The Best Beer You Can Remember
Everyone has a handful of beers that give them a happy feeling when thinking back on it. It might not exactly be the best technically crafted beer in the world, but to you it makes you happy. For me Boneyard Hop Venom Double IPA is one of my favorites. It’s an amazing beer, yet it isn’t sitting on the top of Beer Advocate. Regardless of that, every time I drink it I smile. I remember back to the delight of my first sip and how excited I was with that first taste of its floral goodness.
4. The Beer That’s Free
Admit it, free beer just tastes good. Maybe you received a gift from a friend of an amazing beer or an invite to a party where there is plenty of tasty craft beer flowing freely. In my opinion that is generally some of the best beer in the world. Sure, sometimes it sucks (like when I got invited to a private suite at a Chicago Cubs game and the unlimited beer consisted of Bud, Miller, and Coors), but you don’t have to pay for it. Most the time if you’re a craft beer fan, the free beer is a lot better quality than that.
5. The Beer You Made
I believe everyone who loves craft beer should brew at least one beer to help appreciate the craft. I can’t think of any better hobby than homebrewing. What other hobby can even come close to drinking beer at the same time you’re making beer. While not every beer you brew will turn into a top 5 beer in the world, the fact that you made it makes it pretty awesome. Plus the more practice you get brewing the better your beers will become.
So there you have it, my top 5 beers.