An Experiment with Beer Advocate’s Best: A Beer So American, You Could Salute It

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All week we’ve been sorting through the beers that drinkers go crazy for, but we’ve been focusing on the final product – what we pop open and quickly make us flock to Beer Advocate to sing a brew’s praises.

But today, we take a look inside the glass.

While we might have found the best beers from every state, I wanted to take it a step further and try to figure out how we might be able to create the “best Best Beer.” By using the list of each state’s best beers from yesterday and a little help from Friend of the Program Allen, I can offer you insight into the ultimate U.S. beer.

Can you hear that? The bellowing sound coming our way? Over Purple Mountains Majesty and above the enameled plain?

With an aroma of freedom with an aftertaste of exceptionalism, today we unleash the True American Patriot IPA.

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Here’s the Best Beer from Every State. Hold onto Your Livers.

bottle_Flag_new“The price of greatness is responsibility.”
– Winston Churchill

“All right, brain. You don’t like me and I don’t like you, but let’s just do this and I can get back to killing you with beer.”
– Homer Simpson

Looking for something great to drink? Start with the ABV.

Just kidding. Sort of.

As we continue to look at data from Beer Advocate’s best beers state-by-state, it seems two things are clear: people like high ABV styles and rate high-alcohol beers well.

But what does that mean when looking for a top-notch, truly great beer? While we’ve so far kept these rankings in a vacuum, I wanted to put see what would happen with our “best” beers if we put them in more of a head-to-head scenario.

Which is why today we look at the best of the “best” beers from every state and what particular aspects reinforce the belief that to enjoy a great beer, you may not be drinking responsibly.

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Are RateBeer’s “Best Beer” Rankings Destined to be Dominated by America?


“Here’s the deal. I’m the best there is. Plain and simple. I wake up in the morning and I piss excellence.”
– Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights

This week, RateBeer releases its annual “best beer” compilation, spanning individual beers, beers by style and more. It culminates on Friday with the “top brewers in the world.”

Curiously, RateBeer decided not to rank their “best beers” in order from top to bottom – as far as I can tell the first time they’ve ever decided to go this route. The only other change over the years has been switching between ranking the top 50 and top 100.

So while we may not get to find out which imperial stout undoubtedly gave Westy 12 a run for its money in 2013, we at least have an idea of what RateBeer voters liked the most. No surprise, it’s a lot of big stouts and IPAs, with the occasional quad and barleywine thrown in for good measure. However, if you recall, there is a changing palate for beers of lesser heft, including some saisons, lambics and more.

This year’s list got me thinking, courtesy of a post over on Fuj on Tap, where The Fuj ponders Upstate New York’s place among the list. Or rather in this year’s iteration, it’s lack thereof despite the presence of many US-based brews.

As a native of that region I had particular interest and it got me to thinking … is it the manifest destiny of American breweries to become a hegemony of the RateBeer “best beer” lists?
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A Whole New World? The Geography of RateBeer Rankings


Today we take a break from Monday’s RateBeer number crunching, but don’t worry, it’s back on Friday.

From part one of this series on our beer-related behavior,’s rankings showed us how much beer nerds from around the world LOVE imperial stouts. Especially well-made rare ones.

Then again, don’t just take my word for it:

While limited-release imperial stouts will likely always end up high on beer rankings, that trend may be slowly changing. In the last couple years, other styles have been clawing their way toward top spots thanks to an increase of innovative breweries like Vermont’s Hill Farmstead and Florida’s Cigar City.

These tasty brews are important for changing the way we think about beer and what we like, but just as important is the geographical location. When we talk about global beer production – especially that of the top-ranked beers in the world – it’s increasingly becoming something of an “Old World” vs. “New World” situation.
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Excuse Me, But There’s Red, White and Blue in My Beer … ‘The Session’ Sept. 2013

chuck_norris_beer_america_american_chuck norris

It’s every beer blogger’s favorite time of the month – The Session has arrived. It’s a time when bloggers from around the world write on one predetermined topic and share their thoughts on the discussion of the day.

session_logo_all_text_300This month’s installment comes from Adrian Dingle – better known as “D_I_N_G” online. He writes over at Ding’s Beer Blog and asks, in so many words, “OH MY GOD … AMERICANS DID WHAT TO BEER!?” Because apparently the USA stole beer from the UK and Europe and went all Michael Bay on it and shit just got real. How real? Real real.

Here’s how he explains:

Anyone with any inkling of my online, in-person and blogging presence in the American beer world since 2000, will know that the whole of my beer experience in that time has been colored by, sits against the backdrop of, and forms the awkward juxtaposition to, my English beer heritage and what has been happening the USA in the last few years. Everyone knows that I have been very vocal about this for a very long time, so when it came to thinking about what would be a great ‘Session’ topic, outside of session beer, it seemed like that there could be only one topic; ‘What the hell has America done to beer?‘, AKA, ‘USA versus Old World Beer Culture‘.

So with that in mind, I’ve once again turned to multimedia to tell my story.
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