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 3 million reviews. 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. These are not professional beer judges, and the results are definitely skewed. But, the lists are still interesting and there are some great places and beers in the rankings. Just take it all with a grain of salt…
If you don’t like the results, sign up for RateBeer (basic membership is free) and start rating your favorite local places. If you would like to get your hands on some of the beers mentioned from outside of our local area, I’d suggest visiting the RateBeer trading forum.
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
Once again, Imperial Stouts are the dominant preference for RateBeer users. 20 out of the top 30 beers are imperial stouts, and the large majority of the top 100 would fall into the general “strong beer” category. A lot of people might say that these results right here are exactly what is wrong with the type of beer geeks that frequent RateBeer and BeerAdvocate. It’s a result of users rewarding beers with stronger flavor profiles more points in their ratings.
Washington has no beers in the top 100. Oregon has three: Deschutes The Abyss (#17), Hair of the Dog Adam (#60) and Hair of the Dog Matt (#98).
Top 100 Breweries in the World
Elysian is the lone Washington brewery on the list coming in at #93. For Oregon, Rogue comes in at #21, Hair of the Dog at #24, Deschutes at #49, Cascade at #57 and Upright at #92.
Top 50 Beer Bars in the World
For Washington, Uber Tavern placed at #14 and Brouwer’s Cafe placed at #22. Beveridge Place Pub and Naked City Taphouse both made the list in 2010, but they dropped off the list for this year. Not a single bar from Portland ranked on the list, which just seems wrong.
Top 50 Brewpubs in the World
Walking Man Brewing made the list for Washington at #10, and Oregon was represented by the Deschutes Bend Brewpub at #18, Pelican at #26 and Cascade/Racoon Lodge at #48.
Top 50 Beer Retailers in the World
In Washington, Malt & Vine ranks at #27 and Bottleworks at #29. In Oregon, The Bier Stein in Eugene ranks at #33 and Belmont Station in Portland ranks at #44. There are many great Seattle/Portland retailers left off of that list.
Top 50 Restaurants for Beer in the World
For at least the second year in a row, not a single restaurant from Washington or Oregon made this list. That just ain’t right. 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
Washington did not have any breweries make this list. For Oregon, Hair of the Dog was #2, Upright #14, Hopworks #18, Bridgeport #43 and Rogue #46.