Craft beer is an acquire taste. The bitterness of an over-hopped IPA or the coffee and vanilla hints of a brash porter don’t lend themselves to guzzling, like shot-gun-able cans of Natty Ice or Beast. They’re for savoring, pairing with food, and, yes, drinking for breakfast. Their respective merits are matters of opinion and ranking them is an onerous task.
Still, someone had to do it, so Ranker decided to ask their user base to rank 149 craft beers currently available in the US market. Some 18,000 votes were cast (pretty much evenly split between male and female respondents) — making this far broader of a survey than any of the front-page election polls you read last year.
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I take malt sniffing very seriously, obviously. Enjoyed an informative #brewerytour yesterday at @FremontBrewing's new production facility. I wish it was @WashingtonBeer Open House every weekend! 📷: @wfstr #seattlebeer #seattlebrew #drinklocal #wabeer #fremontbrewing #becausebeermatters #beernerd #brewbeer #simplybeeresistible #beeringredients
In case you’re new to beer, an IPA is a pale malted beer that’s hopped during the boil. That means hops or hop pellets are added while the malt is boiling. Then more hops can be added in every day while the beer ferments, depending on how much hoppyness you want. Hence the hoppy-ness of the IPA the Double IPA, etc. Brewers measure how much hoppy-ness there is by IBUs (international bitterness unit). Pabst Blue Ribbon has an IBU of around 10 — that’s barely hoppy at all. The Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA has an IBU of 90. That’s enough bitterness to make you wince.
With that little preamble out of the way, let’s have a quick look at what 18,000 Americans thought were the ten best craft beers out there.