15 Brewers with the most beers in Top 250 list

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by AyatollahGold, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. AyatollahGold

    AyatollahGold Crusader (755) Nov 28, 2016 Indiana

    On this slow day of work* I have decided to come up with a list of the top 15 breweries that have the most brews in the top 250 list as of today. Just want to hear what people think and lead to discussion.

    *the reason I'm doing this instead of drinking a beer.

    The top 250 list is made up of beers from 82 breweries, but here are the top 15 that have the most beers on it.

    Hill Farmstead - 22
    Trillium - 19
    Treehouse - 18
    Toppling Goliath - 8
    Cantillon - 8
    Russian River - 7
    The Bruery - 7
    FFF - 6
    Prairie Artisan Ales - 6
    Perennial Artisan Ales - 6
    3 Fonteinen - 6
    Alpine - 5
    Cigar City - 5
    Fremont - 5
    Funky Buddha - 5

    Are there any you are surprised are/aren't on there, or any you think should/shouldn't be on there? How many have you had brews from?

    TylerJ, KevSal, SveNss0N and 4 others like this.
  2. insearchofhops

    insearchofhops Aspirant (234) Apr 3, 2014 Massachusetts

    It's crazy how top-heavy this list is with HF, Trillium, and TH all. When you consider how many breweries there are in the world the fact that just 3 are responsible for almost 25% of the top 250 is staggering.
  3. AyatollahGold

    AyatollahGold Crusader (755) Nov 28, 2016 Indiana

    I was surprised Alpine made it, not because they don't make solid beers but because all of these new breweries now and only hearing negative things since the Green Flash buyout.
  4. MNAle

    MNAle Meyvn (1,005) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    The beers from those three each represent a higher percentage of the Top 250 than they do of their own beer list (current + archived). Each of the top 3 have more than twice the number of beers in their past and present than does the #4 brewer (TG).

    I'm not sure what that means, if anything...
    AyatollahGold likes this.
  5. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,646) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I think that Hill Farmstead is the best brewery in the world.

    I recognize they obtain the most love for their hoppy beers but they make a number of outstanding beers of other styles. They make a number of Saison brands which are all outstanding IMO. They produce a German Pilsner (Mary) which is very, very good. They produce a Robust Porter (Everett) that I think is outstanding. And so on...

  6. islay

    islay Initiate (195) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    I think this list indicates that scarcity and reputation drive very high ratings more than the beers themselves. People are primed to give hard-to-attain beers from respected breweries particularly high ratings. That's something of which both raters of these beers and viewers of the Top 250 should be aware.
    sharpski, RMW66, LuskusDelph and 19 others like this.
  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,646) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    There is one post already about the scarcity hype aspect.

    From the OP:

    “Hill Farmstead - 22
    Trillium - 19
    Treehouse – 18”

    I have had numerous brands from Hill Farmstead and the majority of those brands were outstanding. The remaining beers were either excellent or a few ‘just’ very good.

    I have only had one brand from Trillium and Tree House but those beers were very good – excellent.

    From my perspective these breweries deserve the love they are getting simply based upon the products they make.

    tobelerone, TylerJ, pinyin and 6 others like this.
  8. kdb150

    kdb150 Devotee (453) Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Trillium I don't get at all. So many other Hazebrews blow them out of the water, and their range is not especially impressive either. I am probably being unfair to Toppling Goliath as I've only had one beer of theirs, but it was decidedly mediocre, so that may not be that well-deserved either, just a hype/rarity thing.

    Hill Farmstead and Tree House probably are trading on their rep for having that many top-250 brews, but they've mostly earned their rep. Though Hill Farmstead had a noticeable drop in quality when they expanded, and I don't know if they've really gotten back to what they used to be.
  9. JayORear

    JayORear Meyvn (1,005) Feb 22, 2012 New York
    Premium Trader

    Exactly. The hype/quality thing is a perennial chicken/egg question that can never be proven one way or the other, but you can't deny that the majority of these breweries make excellent beer. I'm slightly partial to Russian River myself, but I've visited HF twice and had many, many of their beers. I have no problem with them owning 22 beers of the top 250. The Alpine thing is problematic for reasons already noted . . .
  10. JayORear

    JayORear Meyvn (1,005) Feb 22, 2012 New York
    Premium Trader

    Curious about what you're basing this on.
  11. Sweatshirt

    Sweatshirt Disciple (314) Jan 27, 2014 New Hampshire

    Not really. The NE homerism was super strong already and when TH and Trill hit it reached a fever pitch.

    Everyone in NE wanted thier own Heady and finally they had it. DDH Fort point rated through the roof before it was the beer it became or even got good. Gotta get that trade value high.

    To this day waltz into the Tree House thread and say Julius isn't that good and watch what happens. I think the locals make good beer (besides Tree House mostly nowadays) but to make up this percentage of the top 250 is so fugazi it's laughable.
  12. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (444) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    HF got their act together about a year ago and all the IPAs/Pales etc are back in pre expansion form. Shawn Hill admitted when they expanded the new well/scale up completely F’d w his mojo. All is well again — and the selection of beers between bottles, cans and growlers has been absurd on a weekly basis.
  13. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Poo-Bah (1,625) Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire

    Actually, you waltzed into the TH thread and called Julius "garbage". Which is utterly stupid and trollish and you knew the reaction you would get.
    Korymiller and GuyFawkes like this.
  14. islay

    islay Initiate (195) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    I've had multiple beers from Trillium and Hill Farmstead, none from Tree House. I found the Trillium beers very good for what they are (which isn't exactly up my alley) but not quite outstanding. I'm a big fan of Hill Farmstead's work in the farmhouse ale space, but the best (and only the best) of what I can find locally in that arena can hang right with it (think Dave's BrewFarm, Olvalde, and Fair State on a good day). I've made the 2.5-hour drive to Toppling Goliath multiple times, and I think it's legitimately one of the top handful of breweries in the Upper Midwest, but, to my palate, tiny Sisyphus in Minneapolis if anything outperforms Toppling Goliath style-for-style with a similar (but more diverse and thus by my standards superior) slate of beers.

    For the record, I think that Minnesota and Wisconsin breweries on average are below-average. I'm not trying to say that what's available locally to me is special but rather that none of these breweries is particularly special, that there are obscure breweries all over the country doing equal or superior work to the craft breweries with the best reputations. Also, there are plenty of not-particularly-outstanding breweries that put out an amazing beer or two, but people will never give those beers their due because the reputations of the breweries that make them aren't strong enough for reviewers to be willing to go out on a limb.

    So I'll posit that these breweries may legitimately be quite good (with the caveat that some of them have built their reputations on silly NEIPAs for which I have little respect) but nowhere near as good as their domination of the Top 250 would indicate. More people need to be willing to say, "This is good, but I've had better." The problem is that when you're paying an arm and a leg in trades for these beers, fawning with fellow beer geeks over them during bottle shares, or flying half-way across the country to try them in person, it can be hard to admit that you wasted your time and money on merely good (not OMG GOAT) beers.

    One need only glance at the New England forum to see the hype train chugging for these breweries. If you don't think that hype influences ratings, you have your head in the sand. No matter how good beers from these breweries actually are, it's almost inevitable that they'll be overrated due to the social dynamics clearly at play.

    This is a related factor. For the most highly hyped breweries, DISSENT WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. It's hard to get a complete picture of how people feel about certain beers or breweries when anybody who doesn't try to one-up all others with exuberant praise (or worse, heaven forbid, express active dislike of a beer from one of the chosen breweries) is chased away by self-appointed guardians as a "troll."
  15. kdb150

    kdb150 Devotee (453) Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Tasting the beer. What else would I base it on?
    RobNewton and JayORear like this.
  16. Sweatshirt

    Sweatshirt Disciple (314) Jan 27, 2014 New Hampshire

    Or I gave my opinion that I am fully allowed to give. One of the two. I had also given much softer opinions in those threads that were dismissed as trollish as well.

    When you can sit back and put away your rabid fanboyism that won't tolerate any opinion that isn't yours...let me know and we can talk about TH. Until then jusy remember to wash your undies everytime they announce a subpar silent.

    This ladies and gentlemen is why the TH hivemind has flourished. Any other opinion other than "OMG amazing" is "stupid and trollish".

    Can't sell beer you can't hype so anything that doesn't follow that narrative is mocked to oblivion.
  17. leantom

    leantom Champion (844) Nov 20, 2011 Indiana

    Combination of scarcity (i.e., only people from the geographic area get to try certain beers on a regular basis) and a significant plurality of BAs being from the northeast.

    I'm from NJ, but I have to admit that a lot of beers out in the Midwest are just as good as, if not better than, many Northeastern beers (I recently moved to Chicago).
  18. Kavinci

    Kavinci Aspirant (231) Apr 20, 2016 California

    Why no Monkish in the top 250?
    TheeWarPig and AyatollahGold like this.
  19. AyatollahGold

    AyatollahGold Crusader (755) Nov 28, 2016 Indiana

    Nice one I didn't even think about. From a quick glance it looks like their highest rated brews don't have the amount of ratings it would take.
    mkh012 likes this.
  20. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,646) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    And I will posit that you are not quite correct here.


    P.S. Drink some Tree House beers and get back.
  21. Kavinci

    Kavinci Aspirant (231) Apr 20, 2016 California

    I suspect that Monkish drinkers are not fans of Beer Advocate, for example Foggier Window has 122 BA reviews, on untappd it has 6,581
    RobNewton and AyatollahGold like this.
  22. JayORear

    JayORear Meyvn (1,005) Feb 22, 2012 New York
    Premium Trader


    In all seriousness, I was wondering if you’d tasted a lot pre and post expansion. I have, and haven’t noticed it. Along with RR, I’ve found them to be incredibly consistent.
    TheeWarPig and GOBLIN like this.
  23. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (444) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    Your a troll...no you’re a fanboy....you’re a troll...no you’re a fanboy...you’re a troll...no you’re a fanboy.
  24. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Champion (827) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    I’m a troll boy who’s a fan of trolls.
  25. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,531) Sep 24, 2007 Washington

    Reviews, or Hads? Plus, it's likely true that almost every beer will have more UT ticks than reviews or Hads here.
  26. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,608) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    I definately agree, every beer I've had has been simply outstanding. I have to admit that Abner is my favorite, followed by Susan.
    JackHorzempa and AyatollahGold like this.
  27. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (444) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    Edward, Susan, Abner — many/most of the staple hoppy ales got muddy after the expansion ...2015-16. I stopped making the trek to Geeensboro Bend for awhile then had a couple of pints at Armsby Abbey early 17 and at that point was convinced to add HF back to the circuit. Not many folks talked about it -- but it was discussed and acknowledged by more than a few people (yes...the fanboy/troll/fanboy/troll dialogue was in play during those discussions from what I remember...:grin:). As I mentioned above - in a podcast interview last year Shaun talked in surprising detail about a lot of things including the growth phase and all of the variables in play -- including a new well that played a part in changing the flavor profile of his hoppy ales. He also talked about yeast pitching rates and how the recommended amounts were making his beers "taste like shit" or something to that effect. It's a great listen if you haven't heard it - lots of brewing detail from a notoriosuly guarded brewmaster - I will find it and post a link. Cheers.
    #27 chipawayboy, Jul 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
  28. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,608) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Expansion isn't easy, all of mine were pre. But dialing it back in is a skill within itself perhaps. We've so many other failed attempts.
    hopsputin likes this.
  29. Scottsbeer

    Scottsbeer Aspirant (232) Nov 3, 2017 Florida

    They all make great beer. That is all that matters.
    TheeWarPig and flaskman like this.
  30. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Poo-Bah (1,625) Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire

    None of that has anything to do with me, but that was a pretty cool rant.

    You literally called it "unbalanced garbage", which to me is a stupid opinion and you only gave it to elicit a reaction. I mean come on, it's what you do in that thread.

    If people who defend beer they like are "fanboys", so be it. But I didn't call you a troll because you don't like the beer. I couldn't give any less of a shit. I simply pointed out that you didn't say "Julius isnt that good".
  31. kdb150

    kdb150 Devotee (453) Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Some beers were fine. Edward and the other lower ABV pales were pretty consistent. But Abner and the Doubles were a mess, and Everett was a shell of its former self.

    I haven't had much lately, so it's quite possible they sorted it all out. And their saisons have also always been right on point. But some of their beers were not dialed in after the expansion. It seems to happen to every brewer when they move to a larger system.
    JayORear likes this.
  32. AyatollahGold

    AyatollahGold Crusader (755) Nov 28, 2016 Indiana

    I wonder what this list will look like in 10 years, considering that the top 4 breweries on here haven't even been in business for 10 years themselves right now.
  33. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,634) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    The picture is not so black and white as you seem to want it to be.

    The issue is not toleration of dissent, but rather the manner in which that dissent is expressed. There is a big difference between saying that one perseonally didn't care for a particular beer and telling other people that they are, or enjoy, drinking "swill" or "garbage." One is a matter of personal taste. The other is also an indirect expression of contempt for the personal taste of others.

    Similarly, keep in mind that what folks around here call the "hype train" doesn't happen for all locally brewed beers. It only happens for a very small subset of such beers. There are lots of examples on this site of beers that started off with a few very favorable reviews/ratings from locals but then went belly up when others get a chance to review/rate them. So I suggest there is more going on than just the naive expression of unthinking support.
  34. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Champion (827) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts


    Trillium for example is not difficult to obtain. Their highest rated beers can be had by the case in Boston without waiting in a line, and they last for days, if not over a week. There’s nothing rare about it, with the exception that their beers don’t see regional/national distribution.

    But as you mention, there’s plenty of local breweries that are rare and difficult to obtain that don’t attain the ratings that those three breweries do.

    They’re highly rated because those three breweries make popular styles, and they do them well. Rarity and hype play a role, but it’s a much smaller role than people think.
  35. Zorro

    Zorro Poo-Bah (4,272) Dec 25, 2003 California

    Strangely lacking in West Coast breweries.

    Would expect Firestone Walker and Stone to be on the list.
  36. AyatollahGold

    AyatollahGold Crusader (755) Nov 28, 2016 Indiana

    Firestone Walker had 4.
    Stone had 2.
    HopsAreDaMan likes this.
  37. mjw2808

    mjw2808 Aspirant (297) Oct 6, 2009 Maryland

    I think this is why Sam Adams gets much worse reviews on some of their beers then they should. They’re a big brewery and easy to get.
    But yeah sometimes I get a hard to find beer, like it a lot, but then see other people have rated it world class. And although I think it’s very great, it’s just not quite that great.
    eldoctorador likes this.
  38. mjw2808

    mjw2808 Aspirant (297) Oct 6, 2009 Maryland

  39. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth Poo-Bah (2,433) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio

    I think there are plenty that should be on there (Ayinger for example), but I am not surprised by what is. Hard to acquire, or NEIPA = better with most people.
  40. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (7,485) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Premium Trader

    Agreed - the Top 250 definitely has style-bias... There are examples of World Class beers in non-IPA/non-Stout/non-Sour styles that have no representation and probably should.