Benjamin Franklin may have never actually uttered the phrase “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy,” but we’ll be darned if that doesn’t feel true. Is there anything that is more refreshing and soothing at the end of the day than a high-quality beer, whether it be on your couch, at the bar, or with dinner? We don’t think so. And so to honor the wonderful invention that is beer, we’ve put together out list of the world’s 50 best brews.
As could be expected, the United States dominated our list thanks to its massive craft beer movement, earning 25 entries. Distinctively American brews like the double IPA and imperial stout prove that, while ancient cultures may have invented beer, Americans innovated it. Of course, we had to give our tip of the hat to the OGs of flawless beers, with Belgium and Germany each faring well with eight and three entries on our top 50, respectively. But there are quite a few other countries where you can find a world-class beer. France, Canada, Sweden, Poland, Greece, England, Denmark, and Norway also make appearances here.
Because beer boils down to personal preference at the end of the day, there can be no perfect method of arriving at a roster of the very best, and many gems — including some of our own personal favorites — did not make our ranking. To arrive at our consensus for 2018’s best beers, we informally polled beer authorities of our acquaintance and scoured the internet, combing through the reviews, ratings, and top lists from RateBeer.com, Beer Advocate, Untappd, and The Great American Beer Festival, among others.
For our ranking of the world’s 50 best beers, we not only honor beers that have been brewed by monks exactly the same way for hundreds of years, we also honor experimental beers that are never brewed quite the same way twice. Many of these beers are once-in-a-lifetime drinking experiences that beer geeks wait in line for days and pay $400 just to get a taste of. Others you can find at any local grocery store. Great beer does not have to be pretentious, after all. Don’t believe us? Click here for this year’s ranking of the world’s 50 best beers.
Shannon Darnall contributed to this report.