Special Report

The Best Dark Beer in the World

urbazon / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Americans prefer light beers, according to a recent survey by YouGov, a global public opinion and data analytics website. All but one of the 15 most popular beers in the U.S. are light. The only dark beer to make the top 15 list is Guinness. The Irish beer is one of the most famous beers globally, but it’s only one of hundreds of dark beers produced all over the world.

To compile a list of the best dark beers in the world, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the 2020 World Beer Awards, presented by TheDrinksReport.com, an online resource for drinks professionals. 

One major difference between dark and light beers is the ingredient used. Dark beers are usually made using barley, while light beers use hops. Another major difference is taste – dark beers tend to have more complex flavors and strong taste.

The countries with the most entries on the list of best dark beers in the world, perhaps surprisingly to some, are Canada and Brazil, with six different beers each winning awards in four categories. Belgium is second with five wins, followed by France with three, and the Netherlands with two.

The U.S. made the list of the best dark beers with one entry – a Belgian style beer. The U.S. also has a few winners in the world’s best IPA category. These are the best Indian Pale Ale Beers in the world.

Click here to see the best dark beer in the world

To compile a list of the best dark beers in the world, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the 2020 World Beer Awards, presented by TheDrinksReport.com, an online resource for drinks professionals. We looked all awards given. We selected the beers that were awarded a gold medal, were declared a country winner, or won the title of the world’s best dark in several special categories. Information on alcohol by volume and international bitterness units, a gauge of beer’s bitterness, came from Untappd, a beer rating app. IBU is a scale that goes from 1 to 100, with 100 being the most bitter.

Buckskin Altbier
> Beer type: Altbier
> Medal(s): World’s Best Dark Altbier and Country Winner
> Brewery: King Car
> Country of origin: Taiwan
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.2%
> Bitterness: No IBU

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Source: Courtesy of Moulins d'Ascq

Ambrée
> Beer type: Belgian Style Dubbel
> Medal(s): Country Winner
> Brewery: Moulins d’Ascq
> Country of origin: France
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.6%
> Bitterness: No IBU

Source: Courtesy of Beers Around The World via Facebook

Aroeira
> Beer type: Barley Wine
> Medal(s): World’s Best Dark Beer, World’s Best Dark Barley Wine, and Country Winner
> Brewery: Wäls
> Country of origin: Brazil
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.8%
> Bitterness: 66 IBU

Source: Courtesy of Cap d'Ona l'officiel via Facebook

Barley Wine Brune Millésime 2019
> Beer type: Belgian Style Strong
> Medal(s): Gold
> Brewery: Cap d’Ona
> Country of origin: France
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.0%
> Bitterness: No IBU

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Novice Black
> Beer type: Belgian Style Dubbel
> Medal(s): Country Winner
> Brewery: Brouwerij Malheur
> Country of origin: Belgium
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.5%
> Bitterness: 35 IBU

Source: urbazon / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Black Tusk
> Beer type: Mild
> Medal(s): Country Winner
> Brewery: Whistler Brewing Co.
> Country of origin: Canada
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.0%
> Bitterness: 17 IBU

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Gouden Carolus Classic
> Beer type: Belgian Style Strong
> Medal(s): Country Winner
> Brewery: Brouwerij Het Anker
> Country of origin: Belgium
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.5%
> Bitterness: 25 IBU

Source: Shaun Taylor / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Dark Coffee break
> Beer type: Mild
> Medal(s): World’s Best Dark Mild and Country Winner
> Brewery: Wäls
> Country of origin: Brazil
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.6%
> Bitterness: 25 IBU

Source: Courtesy of Huisbrouwerij De Vliet via Facebook

Vliet Dubbel
> Beer type: Belgian Style Dubbel
> Medal(s): Gold
> Brewery: Huisbrouwerij De Vliet
> Country of origin: Belgium
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.5%
> Bitterness: 23 IBU

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Source: Courtesy of Cervejaria Wals via Facebook

Dubbel
> Beer type: Belgian Style Dubbel
> Medal(s): Country Winner
> Brewery: Wäls
> Country of origin: Brazil
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.5%
> Bitterness: 26 IBU

Dubbel
> Beer type: Belgian Style Dubbel
> Medal(s): Country Winner
> Brewery: Hertog Jan
> Country of origin: Netherlands
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.3%
> Bitterness: 19 IBU

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Grand Prestige
> Beer type: Barley Wine
> Medal(s): Country Winner
> Brewery: Hertog Jan
> Country of origin: Netherlands
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.0%
> Bitterness: 25 IBU

Source: Courtesy of Brouwerij Het Anker via Facebook

Gouden Carolus Cuvée van de Keizer Imperial Dark
> Beer type: Belgian Style Strong
> Medal(s): Gold
> Brewery: Brouwerij Het Anker
> Country of origin: Belgium
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.0%
> Bitterness: 15 IBU

King Goblin
> Beer type: Strong
> Medal(s): Country Winner
> Brewery: Wychwood Brewery
> Country of origin: United Kingdom
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.6%
> Bitterness: 23 IBU

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Source: zmurciuk_k / iStock

La Résolution
> Beer type: Belgian Style Strong
> Medal(s): Gold
> Brewery: Unibroue
> Country of origin: Canada
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.0%
> Bitterness: 22 IBU

Source: mikedabell / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Major Ale
> Beer type: Barley Wine
> Medal(s): Country Winner
> Brewery: Brasseurs du Monde
> Country of origin: Canada
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.5%
> Bitterness: No IBU

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Source: bhofack2 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Maudite
> Beer type: Belgian Style Dubbel
> Medal(s): World’s Best Dark Belgian Style Dubbel and Country Winner
> Brewery: Unibroue
> Country of origin: Canada
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.0%
> Bitterness: 22 IBU

Source: Courtesy of Restaurant Brauwerk via Facebook

Quadrupel
> Beer type: Belgian Style Strong
> Medal(s): Country Winner
> Brewery: Brauwerk 1779
> Country of origin: Switzerland
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.8%
> Bitterness: 29 IBU

Source: Courtesy of Nachtraaf via Facebook

Nachtraaf Quadrupel-Donker
> Beer type: Barley Wine
> Medal(s): Country Winner
> Brewery: De Nachtraafbrouwers
> Country of origin: Belgium
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.5%
> Bitterness: 15 IBU

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Source: Courtesy of Ninkasi (St Paul) via Facebook

Quadruple
> Beer type: Belgian Style Strong
> Medal(s): Country Winner
> Brewery: Ninkasi
> Country of origin: France
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.0%
> Bitterness: No IBU

Source: Courtesy of Cervejaria Wäls via Facebook

Quadruppel
> Beer type: Belgian Style Strong
> Medal(s): Country Winner
> Brewery: Wäls
> Country of origin: Brazil
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.0%
> Bitterness: 35 IBU

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Source: Courtesy of Taxman Brewing Company via Facebook

Qualified
> Beer type: Belgian Style Strong
> Medal(s): World’s Best Dark Belgian Style Strong and Country Winner
> Brewery: Taxman Brewing Company
> Country of origin: United States
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.5%
> Bitterness: 20 IBU

Source: Courtesy of Tenute Collesi via Facebook

Rossa
> Beer type: Belgian Style Dubbel
> Medal(s): Country Winner
> Brewery: Collesi
> Country of origin: Italy
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.0%
> Bitterness: No IBU

Source: Courtesy of Cervejaria Walfänger via Facebook

Sebastian
> Beer type: Altbier
> Medal(s): Country Winner
> Brewery: Walfänger
> Country of origin: Brazil
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.2%
> Bitterness: 33 IBU

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Source: Thurtell / iStock via Getty Images

Terrible
> Beer type: Belgian Style Strong
> Medal(s): Country Winner
> Brewery: Unibroue
> Country of origin: Canada
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.5%
> Bitterness: 15 IBU

Source: Photo by Natnael W. via Yelp

La Volpe
> Beer type: Altbier
> Medal(s): Country Winner
> Brewery: Birroteca Eataly (Toronto)
> Country of origin: Canada
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.5%
> Bitterness: No IBU

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Source: Courtesy of Bohemian Brewery & Grill via Facebook

Wee Heavy
> Beer type: Strong
> Medal(s): Country Winner
> Brewery: Bohemia
> Country of origin: Brazil
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.0%
> Bitterness: 40 IBU

Wodan
> Beer type: Strong
> Medal(s): World’s Best Dark Strong and Country Winner
> Brewery: Ganter
> Country of origin: Germany
> Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.5%
> Bitterness: 23 IBU

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