29. Craig Allan Yigarcheffe
Named by RateBeer as the No. 1 beer in France Yigarcheffe is a limited-edition brew that beer geeks will be hunting down for years to come. With a rich chocolate flavour that’s accompanied by just the right amount of roasted coffee flavour, this imperial stout is strong yet balanced, a true accomplishment.
28. Cloudwater Brew Co. NW DIPA Citra
Cloudwater Brew Co. was recently named the No. 2 brewery in the world by RateBeer, and its signature beer NW DIPA Citra proves why it deserves that distinction. With a hazy golden colour and a fierce hop flavour with hints of tropical fruit and grass, this beer proves IPAs aren’t just for Americans.
27. Bell’s Black Note Stout
Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.
ABV: 11.2 %
A mix of their Expedition Stout and Double Cream Stout, Bells highly sought-after Black Note Stout is complex, with notes of coffee bourbon, and plums. The smooth, velvety texture and flavour is everything you want your bourbon barrel-aged stout to be.
26. Dieu du Ciel Péché Mortel
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
French for “mortal sin,” Péché Mortel is infused with coffee during the brewing process, creating an intense, dense black imperial stout with the aroma of roasted beans and a slightly astringent finish. Savour this beer; its coffee flavour is not understated but instead boldly and powerfully bitter.
25. Weihenstephan Hefeweissbier
A traditional-style hefeweizen, this classic German brew is medium-bodied with an earthy forest aroma and is well-balanced, fruity, and dry. It’s a crisp, refreshing beer that exemplifies the idea that perfectly-executed wheat beer is just as good as more experimental styles.
24. St. Bernardus Brouwerij Abt 12
This Belgian beer is big, rich, spicy, creamy, malty, and potent — like drinking high-proof fruitcake with chocolate and caramel thrown in. St. Bernardus is considered among the beer community to be one of the best beers in the worlds and it’s far more accessible than some of its contemporaries.
23. Funky Buddha Morning Wood
Oakland Park, Florida, U.S.
Most breakfast stouts leave out tasting notes of one of the most important breakfast foods: bacon. But not Morning Wood. Along with expected flavours such as maple syrup and freshly roasted coffee, this beer has a surprising element of smoke that makes it stand out in the crowded breakfast stout market.
22. 7 Seven Island Brewery Citra Blast
Named by RateBeer as the No. 1 beer in Greece, 7 Seven Island’s Citra Blast is a hop lover’s dream come true. Don’t let the level of hops freak you out, this beer is insanely smooth, with hints of pine, tropical fruit, and citrus.
21. Three Floyds Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout
Munster, Indiana, U.S.
One of the most sought-after beers in America, those lucky enough to try Dark Lord will find a bold, caramel-y imperial stout, with suggestions of chocolate and coffee in the nose, and dried fruit and brown sugar on the palate. It’s available at the brewery only one day a year, Dark Lord Day.
20. Founders CBS
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
Founders KNS seem to get all the love on “best beers” list because it’s released annually, but in late 2017, beer geeks were blessed with a surprise release of a more elusive Founders breakfast stout: Canadian Breakfast Stout, better known as CBS. Made with the same base and ageing process as KBS but with the addition of maple syrup as a nod to their neighbours up north, this brew is rich and velvety, and the hint of syrup adds the most astounding sweet flavour.
19. Schneider Weisse G. Schneider & Sohn Aventinus Eisbock
This beer is legendary, with a nose of bananas and flavours of dark fruit, cocoa, and clove. This is a strong beer, clocking in at 12% ABV, but its taste is pleasantly sweet and smooth complimented by the syrupy mouthfeel.
18. AleSmith Speedway Stout
San Diego, California, U.S.
Alesmith’s speedway stout earns its name with its opaque black colour. The intensity follows with waves of chocolate and licorice aroma with a smoky roasted coffee flavour. Creamy and lush, this beer ages extremely well, and received a perfect score of 100 from RateBeer and a solid 4.21 on Untapped.
17. Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen Zenne y Frontera
ABV: 7 percent%
With Zenne y Frontera 3 Fonteinen sought to bridge the gap between the worlds of beer and wine. The result is this remarkable lambic brew, which was aged for 12 months in 40-year-old wine casks. The taste is layered and complex, with nutty, floral, and tangy notes. This beer has earned a perfect 100 score on RateBeer.
16. Tree House King Julius
Charlton, Massachusetts, U.S.
Tropical fruits such as pineapple, mango, and papaya are at the front of this insanely juicy IPA from the highly-regarded brewery Tree House. King Julius is thick and hazy and filled with hoppy flavours. However, it goes down so smooth, barely hinting at its 8.2% ABV.
15. Brauerei Aying Celebrator
Doppelbock, a strong, malty lager, is an outlier among German styles, and this one is powerful but not overpowering and has a frothy head. Its malty taste is a favourite among fans of the style; this beer has a perfect 100 score on RateBeer and is distinguished as “outstanding” on Beer Advocate. Celebrator is aged for half a year, leading to a full taste with hints of coffee.
14. Perennial Abraxas
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
It’s not often that a beer is branded as “challenging,” but with ingredients like ancho chile peppers, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and cinnamon sticks, Perennial imperial stout Abraxas really makes you think. The spice is the most thrilling tasting note here.
13. Bottle Logic Fundamental Observation
Anaheim, California, U.S.
Oh, your beer is aged in one bourbon barrel? That’s cute. Bottle logic’s imperial vanilla stout Fundamental Observation is aged in four different bourbon barrels and blended with Madagascar vanilla beans. If it sounds like it’s full of delicious vanilla flavour, that’s because it is. But don’t think that it’s overly sweet; this limited-edition release has a beautiful bitter note to it, adding much-needed balance.
12. Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel
This imperial stout is brewed with some of the world’s most expensive coffee, which happens to be made from coffee beans that have passed through the digestive systems of civet cats, the notoriously picky Southeast Asian mammals that eat only the ripest and finest coffee berries. Don’t think about the “poo” in this beer. It lends Beer Geek Brunch Weasel an intense, smoky profile, with notes of toasted bread and roasted vanilla. It’s the perfect thing for true beer geeks to sip on a cold winter evening.
11. Hill Farmstead Ann
Greensboro Bend, Vermont, U.S.
Hill Farmstead was recently named the best brewery’s in the world by RateBeer.com, and everything they make is masterful. However, Ann, the barrel-aged version of their brewery’s honey saison, Anna, is their finest creation yet. Anna is aged in French oak wine barrels over many months in the presence of microflora to become Ann. Naturally carbonated, Ann showcases a complex, lemony tartness with hints of green apple.
10. Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
One of the OGs of limited-release bourbon barrel-aged beers, Goose Island’s signature Bourbon County Brand Stout still holds up after all these years ,this 14% beer pours a thick, oily black. Despite the intimidating colour, this stout is insanely balanced with rich notes of dark chocolates, raisins, and dates. Just a little finish of smoky flavour makes this beer one of the true best in the world.
9. Brasserie Cantillon Fou’ Foune
It’s not every day you hear of a beer that tastes exactly like apricot jam, but that’s what Fou’ Foune from Brasserie Cantillon is. This bold, slightly tart and tangy lambic proves that a beer doesn’t have to be hopped to high heaven or aged in bourbon barrels to be among the best in the world. It earns its top 10 distinction from its soft, fresh flavour and can easily stand up to the bigger, bolder brews.
8. Omnipollo/Siren Lorelei
Based on a recipe submitted by home brewer Dave Strachan, Swedish brewery Omnipollo and English microbrewery Siren collaborated for Lorelei, a booming toasted coconut porter. It has an intoxicating aroma of sweet maple syrup, fudge, vanilla, and a bit of coconut. The accompanying taste is just as scrumptious with the added bonus of a smooth, creamy mouthfeel.
7. Cigar City Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout – Double Barrel-Aged
Tampa, Florida, U.S.
Tickets for $200 to $370 go on sale every December for Hunahpu’s Day, Cigar city brewing craft beer festival in March that gives fans first access to taste the newest incarnation of this perennial favourite. If you’re lucky enough to score a ticket, you’ll be able to procure this rich imperial stout that’s aged 50% in rum barrels, 50% in apple brandy barrels.
6. Szałpiw Buba Extreme Whiskey Barrel Aged
A true oily black quad, this Polish beer has a full body and even fuller flavour. Pour a glass of this smooth beer, and your nose will be instantly hit with hints of whiskey, toasted caramel, dates, and dark sugars. This is a rich brew with a beautiful balance of booze from the Jack Daniels barrels it’s aged in. Simply put, it’s an extraordinary beer and has earned the elusive perfect 100 on RateBeer and an impressive 4.71 rating on Untappd.
5. Brasserie de Rochefort Trappistes Rochefort 10
A traditional Belgian quadrupel, the Rochefort “blue cap” is one of the few remaining true Trappist beers. At 11.3%, this beer is malty and dark, with hints of plum and apricot at colder temperatures, and a complexity that only expands the closer this beer gets to true cellar temperature. A slow-sipping beer with the complexity of a fine scotch or wine, this beer has scored a perfect 100 on Rate Beer and is deemed “world class” by Beer Advocate.
4. Russian River Pliny the Younger
Santa Rosa, California, U.S.
This true triple IPA is extremely difficult, expensive, and time-consuming to make. Thus, it’s available in pubs draft only and is released at the brewery on the first Friday in February for two weeks only. It has a lot of hype, but it’s well deserved. There have been many imitators since Pliny the Younger first debuted in 2005, but no other triple IPA has bested the balanced, medium bitterness and a beautiful copper colour of this brew.
3. The Alchemist Heady Topper
Waterbury, Vermont, U.S.
The double IPA is a divisive beer type; oftentimes, the battle for getting the dankest, hoppiest brew overrides any hint of complementary flavours. This is not the case for The alchemists flagship brew, Heady Topper. Incredibly difficult to procure (unless you live within 20 miles of the brewery), this Vermont double IPA is beloved by beer enthusiasts around the world thanks to its intoxicating aroma and pure hop flavour that comes in waves of oranges, pine, and spice.
2. Brouwerij De Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren Westvleteren 12 (XII)
A true Trappist beer, brewed by Trappist monks on the grounds of the Saint Sixtus Abbey, this Belgian quad is a rich chestnut brown colour with a nose of dark fruit and brown sugar. Complex and spicy, this brew is full of lively carbonation. What makes this beer so special is not only its taste but its rarity. Procuring a bottle is notoriously difficult; the monks are only allowed to make enough beer each month to support themselves and no more.
1. Toppling Goliath Brewing Company Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout
Decorah, Iowa, U.S.
If you can get your hands on this beer, you’re one lucky person. A barrel-aged imperial stout brewed with coffee, this beer is only released once a year, 300 to 400 bottles at a time, and only at the brewery. If you manage to nab a beer, you will taste a massive maple aroma, followed by hints of chocolate and hazelnut. This iconic beer is not just hype; it’s been consistently rated the top beer in the world by Beer Advocate, RateBeer, and of course, The Daily Meal. And if you’re looking for even more great beers, check out our list of the best beers in the states.