What’s the best beer in the world? That’s a loaded question right there. After accounting for personal palates, marketing propaganda, and the fact that there are 3,000 freaking breweries in America alone — who’s to say, really? Yet, we all have favorites. We all have those beers we’ll stand up for and argue over. We all have beers we just absolutely love. As the world becomes a more globalized place, we have access to more beer now than ever before. But, which are the best?
Well, the masses have spoken. Over at Ranker, they asked what beers really are the best in the world. They got a cool 140,000 votes in reply and these are the ten beers that landed in the top ten.
10. ST. BERNARDUS ABT 12
Pro tip — if a Belgian beer has a monk on it, it’s in the Trappist style and not an actual Trappist Beer. That being said, St. Bernardus is a classic Abbey ale brewed in the ‘quadrupel’ style. That means four times the malts were used to make this deliciously smooth Belgian beer — balancing malt, bitter, and sweetness with aplomb.
9. CHIMAY BLUE
This dark ale is brewed within the walls of a Trappist monastery (note the lack of a monk on the label). Chimay Blue is a powerhouse ale with a nine percent ABV punch, accented by hints of sweetness, caramel, toast, and cocoa beans.
8. HOEGAARDEN WITBIER
Hoegaarden is a classic macro beer that serves as a good entry point if you want to go deeper in the Belgian style. Overall, this wheat beer is very inoffensive to drink with hints of citrus and dry wheat fields.
Oh, Heineken. This is the export macro lager of the masses. So it’s no surprise it landed on any top ten list of beers. It’s a perfectly serviceable and quaffable lager and, generally, it’s cheap enough to drink all day without breaking the bank. Plus, mini-kegs are cool.
6. SIERRA NEVADA PALE ALE
The first American entry is a pretty strong contender. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is one of the granddaddies of the American craft scene and still holds up well as a very drinkable, well-balanced pale ale with plenty of hoppiness and California sun locked into every bottle.
5. BLUE MOON
This Colorado craft beer got its start in 1995, with a Valencia orange twist on the classic Belgian Witbier style. Over the last 20 years, Blue Moon has become world-renowned as fore-runner of the craft scene and is regarded as a solid take on an old world classic. Plus it made our Day Drinking Power Ranking.
4. NEWCASTLE BROWN ALE
Good ol’ Newkie Brown, or ‘Broon’ if you’re in Newcastle. This is a pretty inoffensive brown ale that loses most of the hoppy bitterness found in similar ales and leans into a sweet malty flavor.
3. CHIMAY WHITE
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Chimay Blanche is one of the latest innovations over at Chimay. This blonde-hued triple malted ale leans heavy into florals, citrus, barley, and nice bitterness.
2. STELLA ARTOIS
Is anyone else surprised to see Stella here? Let’s just chalk up this Belgian lager’s high spot on the list to the massive amounts of international marketing it enjoys. This list is starting to show the effects of populism at work.
Finally, we have the stout of stouts. Guinness is an international juggernaut of beers — you can seriously get it in every corner of the world. A nitro-infused smooth pint of the black stuff is a creamy dream in a glass. The balance of malt and sweet is accented by hints of coffee, toast, chocolate, and vanilla making this one of the easiest beers to love in the world.