Special Report

30 Best Beers in America

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Pliny. Heady Topper. King Julius. If you’re a beer nerd, these names can automatically trigger some serious longing. In the past decade or so, a golden age of American beer has seen hundreds of simply spectacular (and often imaginatively named) new beers hit the market. Some are common, some are rare; some are imperial IPAs and some are imperial stouts. We’re glad they all exist. 

It wasn’t too long ago that if you wanted a beer, your options were limited to the mass-produced classics like Bud or Coors and perhaps a handful of imports. But over the past couple decades, craft brewing has exploded the world over, with 716 craft breweries opening just in the U.S. in 2020 alone, according to the Brewers Association. (Speaking of mass-produced, these are America’s top-selling beer brands).

To compile a list of the best beers in America, 24/7 Tempo reviewed “Top 250 Rated Beers” on BeerAdvocate, as judged by its readers. (Information on beer type and alcohol by volume – ABV – also came from BeerAdvocate.) The site asks reviewers to score beers on a scale of 1.00 to 5.00 in 0.25-point increments on five ratable attributes: appearance, aroma, taste, mouthfeel, and overall impressions. The site then calculates ratings by weighting attributes differently (most important is taste, weighted at 40%). The weighting accounts for the fact that in the ranking here, the highest placed beers don’t necessarily have the highest reader scores. Scores are current as of mid-April 2022.

Click here to see the 30 best beers in America

You’ll notice that while major brewing states like California are well-represented, Iowa’s Toppling Goliath Brewing Company makes several appearances, as well as do Tree House Brewing Company from Massachusetts and Alaska’s Anchorage Brewing Company. Florida is also well-represented. Clearly, there’s great beer coming from every corner of the country these days, and these are the best. (These, on the other hand, are America’s least favorite beers.)

30. Pliny The Elder
> Average score: 4.6 (15,526 votes)
> Style: IPA – Imperial
> ABV: 8.0%
> Brewery: Russian River Brewing Company
> Location: California

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Source: Courtesy of AleSmith Brewing Company

29. Speedway Stout – Vietnamese Coffee – Bourbon-Barrel Aged
> Average score: 4.7 (990 votes)
> Style: Stout – American Imperial
> ABV: 14%
> Brewery: AleSmith Brewing Company
> Location: California

Source: Courtesy of Sante Adairius Rustic Ales

28. Westly
> Average score: 4.7 (432 votes)
> Style: Farmhouse Ale – Saison
> ABV: 8.5%
> Brewery: Sante Adairius Rustic Ales
> Location: California

Source: Courtesy of Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

27. Assassin
> Average score: 4.7 (1,473 votes)
> Style: Stout – American Imperial
> ABV: 12%
> Brewery: Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
> Location: Iowa

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Source: via Facebook / courtesy of J. Wakefield Brewing

26. It Was All A Dream
> Average score: 4.7 (181 votes)
> Style: Stout – American Imperial
> ABV: 17%
> Brewery: J. Wakefield Brewing
> Location: Florida

Source: Courtesy of Treehouse brewing

25. Julius
> Average score: 4.7 (4,989 votes)
> Style: IPA – New England
> ABV: 6.8%
> Brewery: Tree House Brewing Company
> Location: Massachusetts

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Source: via Facebook / courtesy of Side Project Brewing

24. Anabasis
> Average score: 4.7 (247 votes)
> Style: Barleywine – American
> ABV: 14%
> Brewery: Side Project Brewing
> Location: Missouri

Source: Courtesy of Tree House Brewing Company

23. Juice Machine
> Average score: 4.7 (1,255 votes)
> Style: IPA – New England
> ABV: 8.2%
> Brewery: Tree House Brewing Company
> Location: Massachusetts

Source: courtesy of Revolution Brewing via Facebook

22. V.S.O.J.
> Average score: 4.7 (298 votes)
> Style: Barleywine – English
> ABV: 14%
> Brewery: Revolution Brewing
> Location: Illinois

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Source: Courtesy of Don P. via Yelp

21. Very Green
> Average score: 4.7 (1,601 votes)
> Style: IPA – New England
> ABV: 8.6%
> Brewery: Tree House Brewing Company
> Location: Massachusetts

Source: Courtesy of Anchorage Brewing Company

20. A Deal With The Devil – Double Oak-Aged
> Average score: 4.7 (186 votes)
> Style: Barleywine – American
> ABV: 17%
> Brewery: Anchorage Brewing Company
> Location: Alaska

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Source: Courtesy of 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

19. Chemtrailmix – Rye (2018-2020)
> Average score: 4.7 (246 votes)
> Style: Stout – Russian Imperial
> ABV: 15%
> Brewery: 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
> Location: Indiana

Source: Courtesy of Anchorage Brewing Company

18. A Deal With The Devil – Triple Oak-Aged
> Average score: 4.8 (89 votes)
> Style: Barleywine – American
> ABV: 17%
> Brewery: Anchorage Brewing Company
> Location: Alaska

17. Very GGGreennn
> Average score: 4.7 (377 votes)
> Style: IPA – New England
> ABV: 8.3%
> Brewery: Tree House Brewing Company
> Location: Massachusetts

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Source: Courtesy of Cigar City Brewing

16. Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout – Laird’s Apple Brandy Barrel
> Average score: 4.7 (389 votes)
> Style: Stout – American Imperial
> ABV: 11.5%
> Brewery: Cigar City Brewing
> Location: Florida

Source: Courtesy of Bottle Logic Brewing

15. Fundamental Observation
> Average score: 4.7 (1,517 votes)
> Style: Stout – American Imperial
> ABV: 14.3%
> Brewery: Bottle Logic Brewing
> Location: California

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14. Very Hazy
> Average score: 4.7 (1,239 votes)
> Style: IPA – New England
> ABV: 8.6%
> Brewery: Tree House Brewing Company
> Location: Massachusetts

Source: Courtesy of Angry Chair Brewing

13. Barrel Aged Imperial German Chocolate Cupcake Stout
> Average score: 4.7 (352 votes)
> Style: Stout – American Imperial
> ABV: 11%
> Brewery: Angry Chair Brewing
> Location: Florida

Source: Courtesy of Russian River Brewing Company

12. Pliny The Younger
> Average score: 4.7 (3,495 votes)
> Style: IPA – Imperial
> ABV: 10.25%
> Brewery: Russian River Brewing Company
> Location: California

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Source: Courtesy of Tree House Brewing Company

11. King Julius
> Average score: 4.7 (1,504 votes)
> Style: IPA – New England
> ABV: 8.3%
> Brewery: Tree House Brewing Company
> Location: Massachusetts

Source: Courtesy of Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.

10. Mornin’ Delight
> Average score: 4.7 (1,730 votes)
> Style: Stout – American Imperial
> ABV: 12.8%
> Brewery: Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
> Location: Iowa

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Source: Courtesy of Tree House Brewing Company

9. King JJJuliusss
> Average score: 4.7 (817 votes)
> Style: IPA – New England
> ABV: 8.4%
> Brewery: Tree House Brewing Company
> Location: Massachusetts

Source: Courtesy of Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

8. SR-71
> Average score: 4.7 (546 votes)
> Style: Stout – American Imperial
> ABV: 14%
> Brewery: Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
> Location: Iowa

Source: Courtesy of The Alchemist

7. Heady Topper
> Average score: 4.7 (15,079 votes)
> Style: IPA – Imperial
> ABV: 8%
> Brewery: The Alchemist
> Location: Vermont

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Source: via Facebook / courtesy of Anchorage Brewing Company

6. Blessed
> Average score: 4.8 (213 votes)
> Style: Stout – American Imperial
> ABV: 14%
> Brewery: Anchorage Brewing Company
> Location: Alaska

Source: Courtesy of Cigar City Brewing

5. Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout – Double Barrel Aged
> Average score: 4.7 (1,658 votes)
> Style: Stout – American Imperial
> ABV: 11%
> Brewery: Cigar City Brewing
> Location: Florida

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Source: via Yelp / Courtesy of Rod S.

4. Perennial Artisan Ales
> Average score: 4.8 (105 votes)
> Style: Stout – American Imperial
> ABV: 12.8%
> Brewery: Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
> Location: Iowa

Source: Courtesy of Perennial Artisan Ales

3. Abraxas – Barrel-Aged
> Average score: 4.7 (1,641 votes)
> Style: Stout – American Imperial
> ABV: 11%
> Brewery: Perennial Artisan Ales
> Location: Missouri

2. Marshmallow Handjee
> Average score: 4.7 (1,782 votes)
> Style: Stout – Russian Imperial
> ABV: 15%
> Brewery: 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
> Location: Indiana

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Source: Courtesy of Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

1. Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout
> Average score: 4.8 (894 votes)
> Style: Stout – American Imperial
> ABV: 12%
> Brewery: Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
> Location: Iowa

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