The Best Breweries In The World, According To Beer Drinkers

Finding the best beer in the world or even the best brewery in the world is a bit of a fool’s errand. For one, there are so many different styles of beer that your personal taste is going to color any choice you make. Second, craft breweries have become so prevalent that choosing one outside of your local community almost seems pointless. Still, we travel for beer. We love beer. And, we drink a lot of beer. So, it’s natural that certain breweries will rise to the top and be, well, the best breweries in the world.

Ratebeer, which let’s beer drinkers rate and comment on their favorite beers and breweries, compiled a list of what serious beer drinkers consider the best breweries in the world. The list was created from literally tens-of-millions of reviews of tens-of-thousands of breweries. It’s very comprehensive is what we’re saying. That being said, the top ten that shook out were very U.S. centric unlike the ten best new breweries in the world which was almost exclusively international. But, hey, that’s good news. You can travel to most of these breweries without a passport.

The below ten breweries are killers and fairly accessible nationwide. That means you can likely find a lot of these beers at your local high-end beer shop and give them a try. So, let’s dive in and see which breweries beer drinkers consider to be the cream of the crop.

10. Firestone Walker Brewing (CA)

The Brewery:
Adam Firestone and David Walker created one of the West Coast’s most iconic craft breweries back in 1996. Alongside current head brewer Matt Brynildson, this California brewery has come to define West Coast beers with a distinctly European foundation (Walker is from the U.K.).

The Beer To Try: Parabola
ABV: 13.6%
Style: Imperial Stout
This bourbon barrel-aged beer is the gold standard of American imperial stouts. The hefty ABV — that suits sharing with your best friend — has a deep chocolate nature. Hints of dark cherries mingle with espresso beans, vanilla, and charred oak.

9. Sante Adairius Rustic Ales (CA)

The Brewery:
Sante Adairius Rustic Ales are renowned for their Belgian style saisons, farmhouse, and sours. The Californian brewery, run by Adair Paterno and Tim Clifford, takes the craft of great West Coast beers and filters it through a very Belgian lens, creating some of the best examples of the wild styles outside of Europe.

The Beer To Try: West Ashley
ABV: 8.5%
Style: Saison
This barrel-aged saison is spiked with apricot, giving it a fruity depth. Orange and apricot mix on the taste with a clear sense of grassy hops alongside an echo of the pinot noir wine barrel it was aged in. It’s dry, vinous, and fruity in all the right ways.

8. Cloudwater Brew Co (UK)

The Brewery:
The only foreign brewery to make the list hails from Manchester in the U.K. Cloudwater is renowned for its English take on very American interpretations of IPA (an old English standard). Their brews don’t stop there. They also serve some great takes on old English ale classics from their taproom that’ll help you fall in love with ales all over again.

The Beer To Try: Small Pale
ABV: 2.9%
Style: Pale Ale
This hoppy masterpiece leans into very quaffable and sessionable beer territory. The low ABV makes this beer a great day-drinking candidate with low calories to boot. Expect bright citrus leaning towards grapefruit. The soft nature of the brew has notes of orange next to pine resin which lurks in the background.

7. Founders Brewing Company (MI)

The Brewery:
Back in Michigan, Founders has continually delivered great American craft beer since 1997. Their beer has become a cornerstone of the craft community and delivers on the promise of great beer with each new brew.

The Beer To Try: Porter
ABV: 6.5%
Style: Porter
This dark beer is considered one of the best of the style. Dark chocolate, rich caramel, and red fruits dance together on the nose. Malt, chocolate, and dark fruit mingle on the palate with a sense of toasted wood, bitter coffee, and earthiness.

6. AleSmith Brewing Company (CA)

The Brewery:
San Diego’s AleSmith has become a powerhouse brew in the craft world. Their barrel-aged stouts are the stuff of legend. But the brewery doesn’t end there. They brew up classic lagers, great ales, and cool sours.

The Beer To Try: Sublime Mexican Lager
ABV: 5.2%
Style: Lager
This is a great summer sipper. The beer balances bready malts and earthy hops with neither element overpowering each other. This lager is crisp, refreshing, and very easy-drinking.

5. Cigar City Brewing (FL)

The Brewery:
Florida’s iconic craft brewer Cigar City is probably best known for its heavy-hitting and award-winning imperial stouts. Don’t sleep on their “Tampa-style” lager though. It’s summer in a can. Their tropical ale, pale, and brown ale are also worth tracking down and drinking down.

The Beer To Try: Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout
ABV: 11%
Style: Imperial Stout
This beer has become so iconic that it has its own release party every year. The event celebrates a seriously deep beer that’s flavored with cacao nibs, cinnamon, vanilla, and ancho and pasilla chiles. Spice, dark chocolate, coffee bitterness, and ale malts mingle to create a deeply satisfying bottle of suds.

4. Tree House Brewing Company (MA)

The Brewery:
Massachusett’s Tree House was instrumental in bringing the ultra hazy and juicy New England IPA to the wide world of beer. The haze lords, if you will, have become the touchstone of the hazy craze that’s taken over craft brewing over the last few years and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.

The Beer To Try: Julius
ABV: 6.8%
Style: American IPA
This beer bursts with character. Juicy hops lean into citrus, mango, passion fruit, and peach. Grassy hoppy bitterness underpins the juice as the haze helps create an almost creamy texture. This beer goes down almost too easily.

3. Trillium Brewing Company (MA)

The Brewery:
Sticking with New England craft, Trillium has also helped usher in the era of haze. The brewery has become synonymous with great American craft beer and continues to dominate the conversation on the East Coast.

The Beer To Try: Congress Street
ABV: 7.2%
Style: IPA
This double dry-hopped IPA is a flavor bomb in a glass. Juicy tropical fruit balances with deep and aromatic pine resins as citrus cuts through the palate. This is a beer that’s as tasty as it’s refreshing.

2. Side Project Brewing (MO)

The Brewery:
Missouri’s Side Project revels in a farm-to-glass experience that leans heavily on Belgian traditions. Their sours and saisons are the stuff of legend and 100 percent worth tracking down or traveling to Missouri to drink.

The Beer To Try: Saison du Fermier
ABV: 7%
Style: Saison
If you can track down a bottle of this, buy a case. The well-crafted beer was aged in pinot noir barrels for eight months, adding a marvelous depth to the sip. It’s vinous, grassy, dry, malty, and full of fruit and sour. It’s a masterclass in a bottle.

1. Hill Farmstead Brewery (VT)

The Brewery:
If you’re a beer lover, you’re probably not surprised to see Vermont’s Hill Farmstead in the number one position. The family-run brewery is the hallmark of great craft brewing and creates some of the most sought after bottles in the game.

The Beer To Try: Juicy
ABV: 7.4%
Style: Wild Ale
This wild ale spends ten months aging in old wine barrels that attract wild microflora from the Vermont farm air. The beer takes on a farmhouse sour note that mingles with the bold dry-hopped bitter nature. Oak, bright citrus, tart fruit, and a slight funk mingle on the palate and create an unforgettable sip of beer.