Polls and rankings regarding the best for anything related to beer are never perfect for everyone, but they are usually entertaining and it is interesting to see the results. On an annual basis, the RateBeer administrators pour through ratings of beers and places and put together their RateBeer Best awards, which they bill as “The World’s Largest Beer Competition” since it uses data from over 2.47 million reviews. Yes, RateBeer ratings are biased towards certain styles and often certain areas of the country/world where there is a strong user presence, and this shows in the results. So, view these results as what they are: a reflection of RateBeer users and not a definitive ranking of what is really the best out there. But, like I said, it is still interesting and there are some great places and beers in the rankings. Just take it all with a grain of salt…
Below are links to their rankings, as well as some thoughts and call-outs for WA/OR businesses. You can read more about how they compile the ranking here.
Top 100 Beers in the World
The most ridiculous thing to note is that 17 of their top 20 beers of 2010 are Imperial Stouts. That is a direct reflection of the RateBeer users’ belief that beers with huge flavor profiles, regardless of how good they really are, should get higher scores. Somebody better tell Will Kemper at Chuckanut that he needs to make an Imperial Stout in order to really be successful…
Washington has no beers in the top 100. Oregon has six: Deschutes The Abyss (#18), Hair of the Dog Matt (#27), Hair of the Dog Adam (#47), Hair of the Dog Fred From the Wood (#72), Deschutes Black Butte XXI (#78), and Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws (#94).
Top 100 Breweries in the World
Elysian is the lone Washington brewery on the list coming in at #91. For Oregon, Hair of the Dog comes in at #14, Deschutes at #21, Rogue at #39, and Pelican at #66.
Top 50 Beer Bars in the World
Seattle had a good showing in this category, but a couple of Portland spots got the shaft. In Seattle, Brouwer’s Cafe came in at #7, Uber Tavern at #8, Beveridge Place Pub at #39, and Naked City Taphouse at #42. Special congrats to the guys at Naked City for making the list after just one year in business. Concordia Ale House was the only Portland beer bar to crack the top 50, leaving out the Horse Brass, Bailey’s, and others.
Top 50 Brewpubs in the World
Walking Man Brewing made the list for Washington at #15, and Oregon was represented by Pelican at #24, Cascade Brewing/Raccoon Lodge at #44, and the Deschutes Portland Public House at #48.
Top 50 Beer Retailers in the World
In Washington, Bottleworks ranks at #11 and Malt and Vine ranks at #14. In Oregon, The Bier Stein in Eugene ranks at #22 and Belmont Station ranks at #47. There are many great Seattle/Portland retailers left off of that list.
Top 50 Restaurants for Beer in the World
Not a single restaurant from Washington or Oregon made this list. That just ain’t right, especially when you’ve got places like Resi’s Bierstube in Chicago and the freaking Yard House in Phoenix on the list, both of which I’ve been to and can say they are nothing special. The most glaring omission to me is Higgins in Portland. Other places, such as Collins Pub, Brouwer’s, and Quinn’s, are categorized only as bars in the RateBeer database and don’t qualify for this category, despite having great food. Like I pointed out before though, I have to keep reminding myself that these rankings don’t really reflect real life, just the world of RateBeer.
Top 50 Breweries to Visit in the World
For Washington, Maritime Pacific’s old Jolly Roger Taproom made the list at #45, which is funny since it should probably be classified as a brewpub. For Oregon, Hair of the Dog made the list at #2, Hopworks is at #25 (brewpub?), Widmer is at #28, Bridgeport at #29, Rogue Newport at #34, and Full Sail at #42.