State by state representation in the Top 250 Rated Beers

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Eamonn-Cummings3, Oct 28, 2017.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Mindsculptor

    Mindsculptor (0) Dec 6, 2013 Texas

    I'm less than a two hour drive from the Kansas border and I have the privilege of having one of the best craft beer bars in Texas as my local watering hole, so that probably has something to do with it.
    ICTguy21 likes this.
  2. Mindsculptor

    Mindsculptor (0) Dec 6, 2013 Texas

    To be fair, that beer won Paste's most recent Hefeweisen competition, the first time that an American beer has done so. Also, there's a pretty strong German brewing heritage in Texas, so it's not really surprising.
    AlcahueteJ and Squire like this.
  3. Harrison8

    Harrison8 (1,649) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Society Trader

    That beer used to be my go-to extra when trading. It still manages to slip into some boxes these days, as does Old Backus. Then again, I have a hard time letting go of the latter.
    ICTguy21 likes this.
  4. Jugs_McGhee

    Jugs_McGhee (1,489) Aug 15, 2010 Australia
    Society Trader

    Ah yes, Paste Magazine, esteemed authority on all things beer...


    (I do love the hell out of Live Oak Hefeweizen, but let's be fair.)
    SFACRKnight likes this.
  5. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 (1,724) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    @Eamonn-Cummings3 here is your answer.

    I wasn't going to do this, but since I suggested a methodology in my earlier post above, and since no one did it, my curiosity was piqued to take a look, so I did it (and more). However, after doing all of the work I just realized that the original post specified the Top 250 List, but somehow I read that as the top 200 (as I defined above with a score > 4.43) so that is the cut-off for the data that I'm about to expunge, and I'm not going to do it over because of my error. I used each state's Top 100 list (AR, HI, MS, SD, WV and WY don't have 100 beers in their Top 100 List.) So here it is (plus more findings that are interesting). NOTE: I included DC in this data search.
    1. Eleven states have 0 beers in the top 200: DE, DC, HI, ID, KS, MT, NV, NM, SD, UT, and WV.
    2. Eight states have only 1 beer in the top 200: AL, AK, AZ, MD, MS, NE, NH and WY.
    3. Eighteen states need a beer to have a ration > 4.0 to make its list (CA is the highest at 4.30 to be in the top 200), and two states (AR, MS) have beer(s) with a rating < 3.0 on their list.
    4. It was mentioned in posts above that regional population density is a factor in how many make the list. Here are the rankings by region (as defined here on BA): New England 75; Pacific 49; South Atlantic 47; Great Lakes and Midwest (tie) 41; Northwest 28; Mid-Atlantic 23; South 11; and Mountain and Southwest (tie) 10. I don't know how those relate to population density - somebody else can figure that out.
    5. It was also mentioned in posts above that International beers are not adequately represented in the Top 200. Here are those numbers: Belgium 20; Canada and Scandinavia (tie) 3; Germany 1. All other countries represented here on BA have 0.
    6. FWIW, a beer rated at 2.05 made Mexico's Top 100 list. :slight_frown:

    That's all I got. I hope it makes sense.
  6. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ (916) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    They're BLIND tastings done by beer reps, professional beer writers, brewery owners, and brewmasters. That sounds about as unbiased as you can get.

    Live Oak Hefeweizen was mind blowing. I'd have to have it side by side with the German Hefeweizens, but it's definitely up there, if not at the top.

    But to be fair, that's the only American Hefeweizen I've had that compares to the Germans.
    AyatollahGold and BBThunderbolt like this.
  7. Mindsculptor

    Mindsculptor (0) Dec 6, 2013 Texas

    Okay, let's be fair. We do every other country's styles better than they do, why is Germany a sacred cow? There's nothing special about German ingredients; any brewery in America can get German yeast, German malt if they want to, and our hops are better.
  8. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ (916) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    The link above is to population density across the US. I believe the list below is the part of the table breaking it up by region. Obviously not all of the regions are labeled exactly the same. But for the ones that are the same, it doesn't appear there's a strong correlation to population density and ratings. For example Pacific is at #2 in terms of ratings, and in the bottom third in terms of population density. Mid-Atlantic is first in population density and in the bottom half for ratings. However New England, South Atlantic, and Mountain appear to fit the mold, so who knows.

    1 Mid Atlantic
    2    New England
    3    South Atlantic
    4    East North Central
    5    East South Central
    6    West South Central
    7    Pacific
    8    West North Central
    9    Mountain
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  9. wyoming

    wyoming (0) Sep 4, 2007 Wyoming

    By population wyo rules !
    Bitterbill likes this.
  10. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ (916) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    There's a lot more to brewing beer than just ingredients. Sure, some US brews may be on par with German beers in terms of German styles, but I don't feel they necessarily are better than the German beers.

    I also imagine a few hundred years of experience brewing a style may give someone the edge over someone who's been doing it just a few years.

    Finally, the truly top notch German beer is found locally, and doesn't reach the shelves here in the US. Which is no slight to some of the beers that hit the stores and bars here in the US. However, many of the beers that do hit liquor stores are oftentimes quite old, which gives a false impression of what they really taste like.
    bluejacket74 and scream like this.
  11. flyone

    flyone (0) Jan 5, 2008 California

    No one cares about Wyoming!! Haha joking.
    We're badass for as spread out as we are. We rep our little state.
    McGirt aka Head Donkey
    Melvin Brewing.
    wyoming, Bitterbill and SFACRKnight like this.
  12. Jugs_McGhee

    Jugs_McGhee (1,489) Aug 15, 2010 Australia
    Society Trader

    It took me a beat to realize your tone was one of seriousness, not dry sarcasm.

    Here's an idea for a drinking game: choose all your favourite American breweries and walk around in the back of them. Take a drink every time you see a bag of malt from Weyermann...

    I do agree with you in the sense that Germany is *not* a sacred cow; my key contention is that many countries brew better beers in their respective styles (and, indeed, some of the U.S.A.'s) than U.S. breweries do., and this website's membership's failure to travel (or, at least, to acknowledge that just because they can't or won't travel doesn't mean there aren't beers in the world that exceed the quality of what is available in their hometown) is doing the Top 250 a disservice in terms of accuracy.

    None of which is to say that there's a rigid separation between beers brewed in the United States and abroad. In fact, I think you'd agree the multinational, multicultural hybridity of ingredients and approaches to brewing is a key reason beer today is so damn good. And that the U.S. has embraced experimentation with ingredients and techniques regardless of origin whilst Germany has clung so tightly to tradition is a testament to what makes contemporary American brewing different, and yes - in the case of some beers in some beer styles - better.
    bluejacket74, sharpski and AlcahueteJ like this.
  13. Mindsculptor

    Mindsculptor (0) Dec 6, 2013 Texas

    Yes, I'm aware that the best beers from other countries don't reach American shores. The same is also true in reverse, but if you ask the average European, Americans can't brew "real beer".

    You won't catch me arguing that Germans don't know how to make technically great beer. The thing is, Germans pretty much refuse to experiment at all and won't acknowledge there might be a better way to do something. Reinheitsgabot is an excuse for intellectual laziness.
  14. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz (754) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Things are changing in Germany, it is slow, but noticeable.
  15. Eamonn-Cummings3

    Eamonn-Cummings3 (0) Jan 23, 2014 New York

    Wow that’s incredible info. Thanks so much. It’s interesting to see the distribution especially when factoring in density.

    again thanks.
    PapaGoose03 and AlcahueteJ like this.
  16. njcraftguy

    njcraftguy (0) Apr 6, 2015 New Jersey

    Kane has 2 in the top 100 - Sunday Brunch at 83 and Mexican Brunch at 100.
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  17. Mindsculptor

    Mindsculptor (0) Dec 6, 2013 Texas

    I probably wouldn't find any Wyermann, which is why I added the caveat "if they want to".

    I could name any number of beers in foreign styles that I regard as better than their foreign exemplars. I think both FW Stickee Monkee and SA Tetravis are better than Westy or St. Bernardus. I think Avery Samael's Ale is better than JW Lee's Harvest Ale. There's a local brewery that, while they produce fairly mediocre beers overall, has the best Hefeweisen I have ever had.

    Then again, taste is subjective.
  18. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ (916) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    That's not necessarily a similar comparison, as both Stickee Monkee and Tetravis are barrel-aged, and in the case of Tetravis, blended with another beer (Kosmic Mother Funk).
  19. TheEpeeist

    TheEpeeist (648) Nov 5, 2008 Maryland

  20. Mindsculptor

    Mindsculptor (0) Dec 6, 2013 Texas

    St. Bernardus does make a BA version, I have a bottle in my friend's beer cooler for the next share I'm able to attend.
  21. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz (754) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    A little playing with their web site virtual tour, and I found Weyermann super sacks at Live Oak.

    ABGB uses some Weyermann, as they list Carafa, which is a Weyermann trademark.

    I always see Weyermann specialty malts, maybe not big quantities, but bags stacked about.
  22. SinjaminBentek

    SinjaminBentek (0) May 14, 2014 Nebraska

    Any of you guys know how long retired beers stay on the Top 250 list??
  23. bubseymour

    bubseymour (1,264) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Maryland's best clocks in at 290 and its a collaboration beer (Stillwater/Westbrook Gose Gone Wild). Kinda sad considering Maryland is a heavy population state with lots of breweries. Most of the MD list is comprised of RAR, Burley Oak and Evolution (all on the eastern shore/ lower population areas which is odd).
    Best brewery in MD IMO may be Monocacy but most of their best stuff is small batch/taproom only. They can craft up so many crazy styles with excellence. Not just the NEIPA/BA Stout/kettle sour formulas either. .
  24. ThinBlueLine

    ThinBlueLine (0) Aug 23, 2014 New Jersey

    The list has got to be heavily skewed. I say this because I think people rate beers on how they THINK they should be rated. Heady Topper was good, but nothing fantastic. There are offerings at the local level that were just as good if not better.
    Scott17Taylor likes this.
  25. ben4unc

    ben4unc (0) Feb 28, 2013 North Carolina

    That's funny to say that about Heady when it started a whole new hazy IPA craze!
    jhavs and Realsambo like this.
  26. ThinBlueLine

    ThinBlueLine (0) Aug 23, 2014 New Jersey

    I completely understand that. But being the first, it is given a better rating that I think it may deserve. There are IPA's that are better IMO (and which many here would agree with)
    jhavs likes this.
  27. ben4unc

    ben4unc (0) Feb 28, 2013 North Carolina

    Heady Topper is a Fantastic Beer and deserves to be in the top 250.
    jhavs likes this.
  28. SinjaminBentek

    SinjaminBentek (0) May 14, 2014 Nebraska

    It's an antiquated recipe that no longer pleases the palate as it once did... It belonged on the Top 250 for the past 10 years. It does not belong on the current Top 250 list...
    jhavs and ypsifly like this.
  29. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt (1,880) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    No Melvin stuff? that's a bit surprising considering all the hype they get.
    jakecattleco and SFACRKnight like this.
  30. Dan_K

    Dan_K (0) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado

    It's because the only hype machine pimping Melvin beers is Colorado right now. Also, they are distributed, not brewery releases, and the actual taproom/brewery is far away from any decently sized population center.
    ManBearPat and SFACRKnight like this.
  31. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt (1,880) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    That is a huge pile of bullshit. Name the American Quad that can match St. Bernardus or Westy. What's the best American Tripel? Pilsener? Kolsch? Bitter? Mild?
  32. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt (1,880) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    They have a brewery in my town, located between Seattle and Vancouver B.C., are opening a separate taproom in my town, are opening a spot in Olympia WA, and are working on a spot in San Diego. They get plenty of hype.
    Dan_K likes this.
  33. drtth

    drtth (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Since the top 250 list is basically a popularity contest, you need to explain that to all those folks whose ratings are keeping it on the list.
  34. ben4unc

    ben4unc (0) Feb 28, 2013 North Carolina

    Remarkable statements from ThinBlueLine who just gave Heady Topper a 4.85 rating out of 5 on 12/26/17 on BA!
    Still see 4.5+ out of 5.0 consistently on recent ratings for HT. Don't understand the hate.
    jhavs and BBThunderbolt like this.
  35. Scott17Taylor

    Scott17Taylor (0) Oct 28, 2013 Iowa
    Society Trader

    I thought heady was an incredible beer. I will agree though that there are no shortage of awesome hoppy beers available locally in most markets, but heady is one of my favorites,
    jhavs likes this.
  36. ThinBlueLine

    ThinBlueLine (0) Aug 23, 2014 New Jersey

    I have numerous IPA's that would stand up very well to HT that should also be in the top 250..... but HT gets the nod because it's the first. The first gets the nod, and the rest get forgotten.
  37. ThinBlueLine

    ThinBlueLine (0) Aug 23, 2014 New Jersey

    It was a good beer. But my point is there are beers that don't have the amount of ratings that would stand side by side to it. Nowhere did I state Heady was horrible. I rated it as it warranted a good rating. You are not seeing my point. But well done, Inspector Gadget.
  38. ThinBlueLine

    ThinBlueLine (0) Aug 23, 2014 New Jersey

    Also, my one and only trade thus far on BA included HT. That did help, as I appreciated it more as I cannot find it in my area. A good beer that warrants a good rating. Alchemist definitely gets it right. But most people on here can go locally and find something that meets the same standards.
  39. TonyLema1

    TonyLema1 (0) Nov 19, 2008 South Carolina

    I saw one South Carolina beer, logging in at #242...Westbrook Mexican Cake
  40. jhavs

    jhavs (1,304) Apr 16, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    Just to throw my opinion into the fray. I try tons of brews via trade from all over the country and rarely find anything I would place in the same league as Heady Topper. Same could be said about Pliney the Elder.
    There are different style IPAs (e.g. tropical, hazy, "dank") but few ever get to the balance that a HT achieves. I think it sits in a good spot on the list of best beers. Everyone can have an opinion though.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.