Earlier this year, RateBeer published a Top 100 Breweries in the World list. To help out Beer Nerds planning their next trip overseas, I’ve created a Google Map of the Top Breweries, which pinpoints the locations of each of the breweries on the list (as accurately as I could anyway).
It may or may not come as a surprise that 68 of these top 100 breweries came from the United States. I read somewhere around half RateBeer reviewers come from the US, so some may see this as a case of homeland bias, but while the Belgians may still be the respected elders of great beer (sidenote: Belgium had the second highest number of breweries in the Top 100 with 9), it is clear that today those seeking the most experimental and complex beers look to the US of A.
Many of the American microbreweries’ beers however are not readily available outside of the US. With the main focus on producing for local consumption, American beers haven’t been pushed far and wide compared with say the great Danish brewery Mikkeller. And of those US beers that have made it to Australia, some have been ‘Grey Imports’ not authorised by the breweries themselves and some have been of questionable freshness.
With this in mind, I recently made a trip to the US to sample some of the great beers from these top breweries. I sampled approximately 157 beers in my six weeks across the States and I’ll be reflecting on my beer experiences there in upcoming posts.
The US microbrewery scene is certainly flourishing and yards ahead of the Australian scene at present in terms of how deep craft beer has permeated into society there. But while Australia has some catching up to do, there are some good signs, with the recent Good Beer Week in Melbourne just one example. Here’s hoping it won’t be too long before we see some Australian breweries cracking the Top 100 breweries list!