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Top 100 Beers of 2018

Each year, we collect the highest-scoring beers evaluated in the Official Review and combine them into a list of the finest examples. In 2018, the rise of hazy American IPAs was evident, as many of the most well-brewed American IPAs and Double IPAs were unfiltered.

Once again this year, we witnessed Specialty Wood-Aged Beers aged in a variety of bourbon, gin, rum, wine and other barrels featured in every style bracket. Our judges loved the complexity and wide range of flavors that aging beers in barrels provided.

Many exemplary German styles are present, such as flavorful Festbiers and easy-drinking Pilsners, and big Belgian beers are also well represented such as Tripels, Quadrupels and Saisons. Additionally, multiple varieties of sour and wild beers were reviewed such as American Wild Ales, Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beers, Wild Specialty Beers and Brettanomyces Beers. We hope you enjoy reading about the Top 100 Beers of 2018 and that you use this list to help navigate the vast expanse of beers available today.

ABOUT
The Official Review is conducted in a single blind tasting format that adheres to the Beer Judge Certification Program 2015 Style Guidelines. This method provides the best opportunity to rely on facts and to avoid favoritism, ensuring a level playing field for all brewers. It serves both the industry and the consumer to have unbiased and objective scores from qualified experts.

In effort to provide the most credible evaluations, The Beer Connoisseur hand-selects judges with a minimum BJCP ranking of “National” or Master Cicerone®. Judges are required to work with an assistant that handles beer prior to evaluation, and breweries are not allowed to solicit judges directly.

In the single blind tasting format, judges are presented with a chilled, properly poured beer and given its style category. Scoring is then done on the following basis using a 100-point scale: Aroma (24 points), Appearance (6 points), Flavor (40 points), Mouthfeel (10 points) and Overall Impression (20 points).

The score breakdown is as follows:

100 to 96: World Class – You need this beer in your life.
95 to 91: Exceptional – Don’t hesitate.
90 to 86: Very Good – A brew to savor.
85 to 75: Average – Somewhat unimpressive.
74 and below: Not Recommended – Just walk away.


#100


93
by Michael Heniff
Saddleback
Uinta Brewing

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#99

93
by Joseph Formanek
Fire Iron
Urban Artifact

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#98

93
by Tracy Hensley
Buffalo Bill's Black Pumpkin Stout
Buffalo Bill's Brewery

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#97

93
by John C. Tull
Four Seasons - Summer '18
Mother Earth Brew Co.

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#96

93
by John C. Tull
Shared Waters
Coronado Brewing Co.

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#95

93
by Michael Heniff
Pêche
Alesong Brewing & Blending

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#94

93
by Rodney A. Tillinghast
Ante Meridiem
Monday Night Brewing

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#93

93
by Jason Johnson
Licher Weizen
Licher Privatbrauerei

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#92

93
by Rick Franckhauser
Starr Hill Amber Ale
Starr Hill Brewery

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#91

93
by Sean Coughlin
Oak & Rosé
Upland Brewing Co.

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#90

93
by Pat Mulloy
Wine Barrel-Aged Magic Trait
Speciation Artisan Ales

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