01/02/20184 min of reading

Beer of the Year - The RateBeer Best Awards

Birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries - the Battle of Agincourt for example - there are some things that come around once a year that are absolutely unforgettable, unmissable. The highlight of every Beer Geek’s year must surely be RateBeer’s beer of the year awards. Essential reading for fans of Craft Beer, the RateBeer Best Awards are a definitive list of everything that’s hot in the world of Craft Beer right now. Join us as we don tuxedos and/or little black dresses to mingle with craft beer glitterati at the awards-show of the year! No photos, please!!!

The first thing to say is a hearty ‘congratulations’ to all of the breweries that made it into the RateBeer Best Awards. With competition this stiff, even placing in the top 100 is an achievement, so we think each and every one of those breweries can be justly proud of their achievement. That said, when those breweries break into the Top-10 worldwide, then it’s really time to pop a few corks!

Craft Beer firebrands

At Hopt we’re proud of our range of Craft Beers from Craft Breweries literally all over the world, many of whom consistently feature in RateBeer’s list of the World’s Top-100 Craft and Artisanal Breweries. Some are established names, while some are up-and-coming brewing talent with everything to prove, and it’s especially pleasing when these young firebrands get the recognition they so clearly deserve.

"…to compare newer and older, larger and smaller brewers under a single method of processing.”

The great thing about RateBeer’s ratings for both beers and breweries alike, is that they are totally democratic. The people who can make or break a brewery are the most important asset we have – our customers. If you think a beer is great – or not – then you’re keen to tell the world what you’re thinking. And it’s these ratings that make up the list. The same is true for the annual awards. According to RateBeer “The summarization is based on ten different weighted scales that place an emphasis on reviews of the past year… …to compare newer and older, larger and smaller brewers under a single method of processing.”

Not too shabby!

So how do we shape up? Well, with an impressive 7-out-of-10 Top-10-Rated breweries featured in our catalogue, not too shabby apparently.  We thought we’d take this opportunity to pay tribute to the cream of the Craft Beer world, while basking in their reflected glory.

The first in our run-down is Evil Twin Brewing. This Danish-American gypsy brewery’s raison d’être is to shake up the status quo with a truly unforgettable range of beers. Based in Brooklyn, the brewery was founded in 2010 by Dane Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso, a true enthusiast with a love of great flavours. With a hardcore of signature brews, Evil Twin produces a profusion of strictly-limited-edition beers that demand attention by combining must-drink brewing with a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it nature.

"Sheer mind-blowing quality that gets every self-respecting Beer Geek’s heart racing!"

The next on our list is another Danish entry, Mikkeller. Maybe it’s a Danish thing, or maybe it’s in the blood, but Mikkeller, is the brainchild of Jeppe’s twin-brother Mikkel. Driven by a certain sibling rivalry that borders on antipathy, Mikkeller has the same flair for adventurous flavours coupled with sheer mind-blowing quality that gets every self-respecting Beer Geek’s heart racing. Based in Copenhagen, Mikkeller is a rising star with a particular talent for spontaneous fermentation beers that would leave many more established breweries in the dust.

Leaving Scandinavia for a moment, let’s check in with Cigar City Brewing, the first All-American Craft Brewery on the list. Based in Tampa, Florida, Cigar City’s philosophy is that “quality is achieved by giving first rate ingredients to first rate people in a space where they are free to pursue their passion”. And with a range of classic beer styles like their Jai Alai IPA or Florida Cracker Belgian White who are we to argue.

Where fine art meets brewing genius

Our next port of call is closer to home, and a return to Scandinavia, this time to Sweden and the place where fine art meets brewing genius, Omnipollo. There’s very little to say about these Swedish visionaries that hasn’t already been said, but their continued presence in this honour-role of Craft Beer excellence is testament to their ingenuity.

One honourable mention on the list, and another American brewery that we know by reputation thanks to its collaboration with Sweden’s masters of the fruity IPA, Brewski, is Cycle Brewing, another Florida brewery and one that we hope to welcome in the year ahead.

"That’s the beauty of Craft Beer – the friendly competition, the collaborative brews and the camaraderie"

The final brewer, and one name we’re very familiar with, is the inestimable AleSmith Brewing Company, literally the ABC of Craft Beer. Famed for its big, bold, adventurous Barrel-Aged brews, AleSmith brings a certain freewheeling, easy-going Californian cool to Craft Brewing. With its sumptuous flavours like Horny Devil IPA, Speedway Stout and the truly remarkable Private Stock Ale, San Diego’s finest missed the top-spot by just a few places, but hey they did GREAT, and there’s always next year.

Driving the Craft Beer revolution

That’s the beauty of Craft Beer – the friendly competition, the collaborative brews and the camaraderie all drive the Craft Beer revolution to achieve great new things year on year. Just think how many great beers and amazing new beer styles 2018 has in store. And who knows what next year’s Top-10 line-up will look like…





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