American Brewers Dominate List Of World's Best Beers

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RateBeer names world's best beers, brewers and places in the world's most comprehensive survey of beer. announced the results of its seventh semi-annual craft beer competition Ratebeer Best today, Thursday, January 27, 2006. The website posted awards for the top beers, brewers, awards by beer style and also listed top places for craft beer in the United States and seven countries abroad.

The award for World's Best Brewer went to AleSmith Brewing Company of San Diego, California. Despite being a small brewery with limited distribution, AleSmith was widely recognized for several excellent releases in the past year. The World's Best Beer award went to Belgian beer, Westvleteren 12, which is made in very limited quantities by a brewing community of Trappist monks.


  • Beers from nine different countries were honored on the Top 100 Beers in the World list, including Poland, France, Denmark, Canada and Sweden in addition to beer titans such as the United States, Germany, England and Belgium.
  • Relatively unknown in beer circles ten years ago, the San Diego area is now home to three of the top ten brewers in the world.
  • Three Belgian Trappist ales checked into the top 25
  • The top 5 beer bars in America are San Francisco’s Toronado, Brooklyn’s Spuyten Duyvil, The Brickskeller in D.C., Monk’s Café (Philadelphia) and Brouwer’s Café (Seattle).

A complete list of winners is available at

About RateBeer Best

RateBeer Best was once again the world's largest beer competition -- over 48,000 different beers from over 5800 brewers in 120 different countries were eligible for awards. RateBeer's total archive includes over a three-quarters of a million beer reviews collected on its internet servers from tasters worldwide. An emphasis was placed on beer and brewer performance over the last 9 months for this event's judging.

Unlike other beer festival events, the judging was performed by thousands of beer enthusiasts from 65 countries around the world and with commercial samples -- not special festival editions. Several of the world's most avid amateur beer enthusiasts participated in the contest with many of the judges with over 3,000 documented tastings.

“Why So Many American Breweries and Beers?!”

Put very simply, it’s the “Wow Factor”. Ratebeer’s Vancouver-based Editor Josh Oakes explains. “In places like England, Germany and the Czech Republic, they make some truly outstanding beers. But you tend to see a lot of the same few types of beer – creativity and experimentation are minimal. American brewers – and we’re starting to see Scandinavian and Canadian brewers do this as well – have embraced new technologies and new ingredients. They’re creating flavor and aroma sensations entirely new to the beer world. The members of Ratebeer are very sophisticated and have a deep appreciation for many of the Old World beers, but when asked to choose between a brilliantly-made example of a very common beer style and a beer that is equally well-made but shows them things they never imagined possible in a beer, the latter will win out more often than not. It is American brewers who are blowing minds right now, expanding on the very concept of beer, and that’s why you see so many of those at the top of our Ratebeer Best list.”

Chris White from White Labs which supplies brewers yeast adds, “American brewers are interested in yeast and what yeast can do for beer.” This strong interest and one-on-one interaction between suppliers and brewers results in new supply innovation. White Labs now offer 35 strains to American brewers. “We export a smaller range of yeasts internationally -- mostly lager yeast.”

“The marked improvement in quality we’ve seen over the last few years is the craft beer industry maturing to a point where there are fewer shots in the dark,” adds Joe Tucker, RateBeer’s executive director, himself an American. “The brewers are much more experienced now and know what areas of experimentation are likely to yield desired results. We’ve listed 500 U.S. beer awards and all have received gold or silver. Not one of those beers can be said to be anything less than phenomenal. Our eyes went straight to the bottom of that list to see how good it was and we collectively salivated. It’s a truly great time for craft beer.”

About RateBeer

RateBeer was created in April 2000 as a place for beer enthusiasts to share beer notes, trade and rate craft beer. The site has expanded into one of the largest worldwide community information sources on any subject. RateBeer, currently based in Northern California.


Joseph Tucker

Executive Director

Fulton, California

phone: 646 257 3872

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