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Winter 2022, Issue 58

The 2021 Beer in Review

It’s that time again: In your hands you’re holding the annual print edition of The Beer Connoisseur magazine and, in this case, our 58th issue. 2021 was a year that saw the continued prevalence of COVID19, but with people getting sick of being cooped up indoors with naught to do, many businesses (and governments) opted to open back up in meaningful ways.

That means that brewery taprooms were reopened, and breweries got back to doing what they do best: producing high-quality brews for their devoted patrons. With that in mind, we delved into a variety of interesting topics in this issue – both looking backward on the year that was, as well as into 2022 for what the future may bring to the industry.

As always, our section devoted to the top-rated beers and breweries of the year is the reason for the season, and this year’s Top 150 Beers of the Year is of particular note. We received a record 13 beer submissions that achieved World Class scores of 96 or above, including a staggering eight beers that notched ratings of at least a 97 – that’s truly incredible work from this year’s brewers, and these beers should be sought out above all others in the new year (if they’re still available, that is).

Our Best Breweries of the Year section also features an unprecedented achievement: For the first time in our history, a brewery has submitted a staggering three beers that received World Class ratings of 96 or above – making them our runaway Brewery of the Year for 2021. Who is it, you ask? You’ll have to read on to find out!

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Willamette Valley Hops


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From the Editor

Industry News



2022 Consumer Trends
An exploration of IRI Worldwide sales data, which tracks some of the most popular beers by brewery and by sales category, including the impact of Imports.

2022 Brewery & Restaurant Trends
We analyze what happened in 2021 in craft beer and forecast where the industry is headed in the new year.



Top 100 Beers of 2021
The best of the Official Review in 2021, including a whopping 13 World Class beers as evaluated by our judges.

The Best Beers of 2021 by Style Category
The year’s best beer categorized by the most populated beer styles in the 2021 Official Review. A one-stop shopping list of the best brews on shelves today.

The Best Breweries of 2021
The breweries that submitted the highest-scoring beers collectively in 2021. These brewers demonstrated mastery of their craft.





Top Emerging Beer Styles for 2022
Every year sees new styles rise and older ones fall by the wayside, and 2022 will be no different.

The Hop Report: Trending Hops for 2022
Without hops, beer would be far less interesting. Owen Ogletree outlines some of the trendiest hops to keep an eye on in 2022.



Official Review
Single-blind reviews from our panel of experts. Featuring Church Street Righteous Red Ale, Evil Genius There's No Crying in Baseball, Wild Leap Buffalo Trace Barrel Aged Stout and more!

Brewer Q & A
Brewers share secrets of their highest-scoring beers.

Table of Contents