The world of beer is vast, exciting, and unpredictable at times. Everyone has their favorites and most have a go-to, making the idea of the “best beer” a tough one. Some choose to look at sales while others limit their categories to lagers or sours.
This article focuses on high-quality crafting, brews that come from those who have honed their skills and have an intense passion for beer that sets their products apart from the rest. These are the top five best brews from around the globe.
5. Brasserie de Rochefort – Trappistes Rochefort 10
It’s a mouthful, but this brew from Rochefort, Belgium is one of the last surviving true Trappist beers. Coming in at 11.3 percent ABV, you’ll experience a dark and malty taste with deep complexity. Serve it chilled and notes of apricot and plum are present.
This bottle also comes with a World Class rating by Beer Advocate and a perfect score of 100 from Rate Beer. Trappistes Rochefort 10 is a slow sipper, so take your time and enjoy it. Few beers are as complex as a glass of fine scotch.
4. Russian River – Pliny the Younger
A triple IPA, this one is only available in a pub draft due to the daunting task it is to make a triple. While they’re not for everyone, Russian River excels in them to the point where imitators have tried to mimic Pliny the Younger since it debuted in 2005. None have come close to the medium bitterness, the balance, or the exceptional copper color this beer has to offer.
This one sits at 10.25 ABV. Despite that higher percentage, it goes down smooth and is incredibly easy to drink. Watch out for Pliny the Younger more than you would other brews. This one might cause you to hire a repeat DUI attorney if you’re not careful.
3. The Alchemist – Heady Topper
An 8% double IPA, Heady Topper diverts from the usual challenge of creating a dank and hoppy monstrosity to create something more complex. Pure hop flavor combines with oranges, pine, and spice that hits the palette in waves. It’s a rebel in the realm of double IPAs, but you’ll need to head to Vermont to try it.
2. Brouwerij De Sint-Sixtusabdij cab Westvleteren – Westvleteran XII
Another from Belgium, home to brew legends, this is also a true trappiest beer created by monks at Saint Sixtus Abbey. It features a rich, chestnut brown color boasting dark fruit and brown sugar on the nose.
Highly carbonated, it’s also a complex and spicy concoction. While the craftsmanship earns it a place on the list, its notoriously hard-to-acquire nature adds to the special nature of this brew. The monks are only permitted to make enough beer per month to support themselves. You can snag a bottle of this 10.2% delicacy, but it isn’t easy.
1. Toppling Goliath Brewing Company – Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout
Coming in at 12 ABV, this barrel-aged imperial stout is brewed with coffee in limited batches of 300-400 bottles once per year. Exclusivity matters, but the craftsmanship is what sets this brew apart. The experience starts with a strong maple aroma and flavor, slowly opening to chocolate and hazelnut hints.
The experience is true to the name, brunch stout, for the breakfast yet desert style flavors. Rate Beer, Beer Advocate, and The Daily Meal all praise its creation. If you’re ever in Iowa or are lucky enough to find this one online, you absolutely have to try it.