Top 50 Most Rated Breweries on BeerAdvocate for 2020

Discussion in 'Article Comments' started by BeerAdvocate, Apr 2, 2021.

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  1. BeerAdvocate

    BeerAdvocate Admin (17,075) Aug 23, 1996 California
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  2. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,781) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    Interesting, and not many (if any) true surprises.
     
    ChicagoJ likes this.
  3. mmmbeerNY

    mmmbeerNY Devotee (482) Mar 5, 2014 New York

    I'm surprised to see Stone in top 10

    Shows power of big cities if not wide distro, couple Chicagoland breweries that I may have heard name at some point but do know anything about
     
  4. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,781) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
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    Also, it will be interesting to compare this list with the BA production list when it's released in a couple months. 2020 numbers and all, but it's not surprising that larger breweries, with more production capability and wider distro, would top this.
     
    ChicagoJ likes this.
  5. BillAfromSoCal

    BillAfromSoCal Devotee (486) Aug 24, 2020 California

    Very interesting and fun to read. The next related fun thing to do would be for someone to figure out which location has the most breweries on the list within something like a 50, 75 or 100 mile diameter circle (perfect for someone hoping to make a day trip to the most talked-about breweries). You can sort of see potential locations on the map, but the resolution isn't that good to get very quantitative.
     
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  6. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,421) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    My initial observation: conspicuous by its absence is Anchor. :thinking_face:
     
  7. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,421) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Phase Three? Very small brewery and distribution radius. Surprising.
    @FBarber
     
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  8. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Poo-Bah (1,864) Apr 21, 2014 Canada (ON)
    Society Trader

    To compound the lack of international flavour, I’m pretty sure Collective Arts has the largest distribution footprint in the US of any Canadian craft brewery. I wonder how many of the Collective Arts ratings/reviews were made by US based users?
     
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  9. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (6,165) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    Eh, they're very popular here in IL and seem to have a decent reputation in the trading community thanks to their stouts, NEIPAs and various sour/milkshake beers. Plus their head Brewer has had his own following since all the way back when he was at RAM in Rosemont so that helps their reputation as well.

    I'm honestly surprised Pipeworks is still that high.
     
    AlcahueteJ, ChicagoJ, mschrei and 2 others like this.
  10. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    No surprises here, if HF wasn’t 50 miles from nowhere they’d be higher on any list. Even if your in central VT it’s still a haul to get there, the last few miles on a gravel road.
     
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  11. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,421) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Still, I'm pretty sure they self distribute and if it's illinoisans and traders rating -- that's a lot of work. Or ticks. :wink:

    Who's the brewmaster? Tighthead's BM got his start at Ram in Wheeling -- must have been good learning experiences.
     
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  12. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (6,165) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    Ya know, I'm not 100% sure they're still self distributing or not. I'll check next time I'm at Binnys.

    Shaun Berns
     
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  13. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,421) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Not sure how current their website is, but it has contact info for retailers who want to carry their beers.

    They're also hiring truck drivers for delivery. :wink:
     
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  14. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (6,165) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    They do direct to home delivery on Saturday/Sunday. you should get yourself some of their milkshake IPAs! I know you love them. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
     
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  15. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,421) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    They have a distribution map at their website -- looks like they get into Wisconsin too.
    Um. No. :wink:
    Actually, I've never expressed any disdain for anything other than their appearance (:nauseated_face:), the couple I've tried tasted pretty good.
     
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  16. Sheppard

    Sheppard Poo-Bah (2,193) Mar 16, 2013 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    @Todd, found the list interesting. Can you share the actual number of reviews for those breweries? Thank you.
     
  17. free2scour

    free2scour Initiate (65) Dec 19, 2011 North Carolina
    Trader

    Surprised that there is not one in North Carolina.......
     
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  18. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,422) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
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    This may be a disturbing answer to many on these forums but when I see a lot of the larger distribution Brewers that moved up in 2020, those seem to be a lot of the same brewers we complain about for switching their portfolio to IPA heavy and eliminating style variety. Ugh! That’s all I can say. I’m assuming that is the reason.
     
  19. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,422) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Evil Twin and Single Cut really fell big time from 2019. Guessing high shelf price and added competition on shelves in 2020 during Covid lockdowns was primary reason?
     
  20. brentk56

    brentk56 Poo-Bah (11,262) May 13, 2004 North Carolina
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    It strikes me that the list is highly correlated to population centers and the activity of BAs in those areas. Size matters, too. Breweries outside of the population centers are those which have had a long term reputation on this site - Hill Farmstead, Toppling Goliath, Cigar City and Anchorage (likely rests on ADWTD).

    Great to see a newer brewery like Phase Three make the list but, again, that's because of geography and the number of BAs active in Chicagoland. What I have struggled with on this site for quite a while is how to find the great newer breweries in markets that don't have a lot of BAs posting about them. I wonder if there is a way to combine the data from Untappd and Beer Advocate to make such identification possible.
     
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  21. SteelersX

    SteelersX Disciple (335) Jan 30, 2011 New York
    Trader

    I'm surprised a little by a few:
    Stone
    Clown Shoes
    Singlecut
    Surprised anyone can afford Equilibrium at 30 a four-pack. Charge it and they will come.

    I just love the old faithful mid-west breweries that never disappoint or overcharge, for example, Bells, Founders, and Three Floyds. The best of the best. And I'm a New Yorker.
     
  22. marksocal

    marksocal Initiate (84) Mar 23, 2009 California

    Agreed! I guess I need to encourage my friends to leave a review! :beers:
     
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  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,473) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    I can find four-packs in the $20's at my local Retail Beer Distributor but that is more than I am willing to pay for these beers; I have to drink an Equilibrium beer.

    I would imagine some folks equate these prices as meaning these beers have just gotta be da bomb!?!

    Cheers!
     
    HopHunterCL likes this.
  24. diacad

    diacad Initiate (35) Apr 6, 2017 New Hampshire

    There was only one listing of a non-US beer on the list, and that was Canadian! Given the many excellent beers produced elsewhere in the world, I cannot see any further value in this list, except for tallying the number of ratings given by Beer Advocate readers. Who are probably mostly in the US or Canada. At that, it might be a good list to consult when faced with a choice between one fairly obscure US brand or another. However, maybe the list is literally "most-rated" rather than "best-rated". Could Todd clarify?
     
    Sigmund likes this.
  25. bruindre

    bruindre Defender (640) Jun 20, 2009 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Nice summary - all 50 in North America (49 in US).

    Any chance we can see international data? IOW, what are the top (10, 25, 50) checked in beers outside of N. America? Or per continent?

    Geeking out a minute on the data here...
     
  26. rugene

    rugene Aspirant (289) Mar 2, 2015 Canada (QC)

    US is still bigger and better than our little Canadian craft beer world. It's sad that I can't taste those US beers without losing all my savings!:wink:
     
  27. TexSpence

    TexSpence Initiate (90) Mar 31, 2007 Texas

    Despite the fact #28 does not belong on this list, the fact there are no Texas breweries here is criminal at best.
     
    mschrei likes this.
  28. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Poo-Bah (10,136) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Moderator Society Trader

    I agree that I was initially surprised but then I was trying to think of which NC brewery would be on the list... Maybe Heist? Maybe Burial?
     
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  29. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,422) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    . Agree. I’m finding Midwest to really nail classic IPAs quite well. Columbus and Fat Heads are great IPA makers as well. List could go on and on.
     
    SteelersX likes this.
  30. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,422) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    I think with regard to some brewers like Equilibrium and Aslin and others that rose in 2020 that sell expensive 4 packs, the review surge is mostly due to they really distributed their beers in a wide net to retail where before Covid lockdowns it was most on site purchasing. If you cast your net wide you’ll find more people willing to pay the high prices, easpecially if it’s the new shiny toy in the store that you have heard great things about but could never travel to the source (or trade) to acquire. With time these beers will get old on the shelves at the high prices and the newness has worn off. Happens all the time. Even large distribution brewers, their sales volume only goes up when they enter new markets. Not as much in existing markets.
     
  31. meefmoff

    meefmoff Zealot (503) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Trader

    Yeah I was very surprised to see Clown Shoes on the list - I always think of them as a local/small-regional niche sort of brewery. I guess it must speak to the popularity of their big flavored stouts.

    Glad their deal with Harpoon seems to have worked out.
     
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  32. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Poo-Bah (8,260) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Society

    It's really odd, when I look at ratings of breweries from other sources, typically those ratings come from places that are not beer centric, everything is rated really high!

    Here there is some degree of fan centric quality, but also has I think a good deal of follow the crowd because of a giant snowball effect.

    The mix seems to reflect that in the listings showing good old standards and a sprinkling of highly amped up recent places that get people currently excited.
     
  33. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,781) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
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    Well, remember that 2020 saw a lot of smaller breweries have very reduced production, especially the ones that rely heavily on in-house sales. The larger breweries that already had distro set up were able to switch from kegged to packaged beer quickly. smaller brewers were at the mercy of either the schedules of mobile packagers, or the production schedules of the packaging equipment manufacturers.
     
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  34. roan22

    roan22 Zealot (510) Jun 30, 2004 New Jersey

    Happy to see Kane on the list as the only NJ Brewery.
     
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  35. brentk56

    brentk56 Poo-Bah (11,262) May 13, 2004 North Carolina
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    I note that there are no MD breweries on the list though I would put Burley Oak above several that do appear. Again, not enough BAs in the market when you look at the number of ratings on their beers.
     
  36. brentk56

    brentk56 Poo-Bah (11,262) May 13, 2004 North Carolina
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    Because there are not enough active BAs in North Carolina. Perhaps none would qualify if there was a fair ranking but since IPAs and big Stouts are really what drives reputation on this list, I would put New Anthem's IPAs and Incendiary's BA stouts up against anybody's.
     
    free2scour likes this.
  37. mcd432

    mcd432 Initiate (64) Jul 23, 2015 North Carolina

    Agreed. Seems insane that Burial didn’t make the list.
     
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  38. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Poo-Bah (8,260) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Society

    There's lots of good breweries all over, I could rave about several of them... but I do agree sort of what @brentk56 was mentioning that certain BAs focus on only certain breweries for the most part. That goes for beer styles as well, which has been discussed quite a lot already.
     
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  39. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,365) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
    Society

    Let's not forget, people, this is a list of the breweries with the most ratings/reviews on BA. It is not a quality-driven list, but a quantity-driven list. Large distribution, large population centers, and trading favorites drive the list.

    And even then, it is a quantity of first reviews, since BA does not have the concept of a "check-in" like Untapped. Each beer is a one-and-done for each rater/reviewer.

    IOW, I can only review a given beer once, even if it is a beer I always have in my refrigerator. Whereas with Untapped (were I daft enough to participate) I could check-in with the beer each time I opened one.
     
  40. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,473) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."

    - Mark Twain (Samuel Clemons)

    Cheers!
     
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