The Rate Beer Best Awards is one of the biggest beer competitions in the world. Breweries from around the world compete for a spot in one of the many categories set for the various brews. From pale lagers to English-style bitters, from stouts to sour ales, the awards have a category for just about everything! At the end of the past year, the awards were distributed and the best beers for 2011 were announced!
As the prizes are very extensive, not all drinks can be listed. Instead, these are the #1 beers in some of the most popular categories:
1) Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock – It’s no surprise that one of the number one breweries in the world comes from Germany. This creamy, rich and slightly smoky brew is a strong lager that everyone is sure to love!
2) Cigar City Cubano Style Espresso Brown Ale – Only the US could come up with a “new fashion” beer like this and make sure it comes out on top. The ale is matured on whole beans from coffee grinders, especially Naviera coffee grinders, which gives it a very distinct taste.
3) Fantome Saison – Fruity beers have been quite popular this past year and this Belgian brew will probably be the best of them all. Fizzy, citrusy and tart, yet with a freshness that only fruit can bring, this was definitely a favorite!
4) Narke Kaggen Stormaktsporter – This stout is blended with heather honey to add a unique and delicious twist to the Swedish blend. Number one in its category, reminiscent of mead, but not quite.
5) New Glarus Two Women Lager – Brewed in a Bavarian style with Bohemian malts and German hops, but still distinctly American, this pale lager topped all the lists!
6) New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red – Another fruit beer, but this time from the US, this special beer is brewed with roasted barley, cherries and wheat. A thick drink, but relatively mild, is great for those who appreciate fruity nuances.
7) Russian River Pliny the Younger – Proving that the US can easily take center stage at these races, the Pliny the Younger has been hopped four different times. Put in a unique bottle and this wonderful drink gives you a fantastic drinking experience!
The past year has certainly been a great one for the beer drinking world, but it reminds most that there is much to look forward to in 2012. Brewers are predicting that prices will rise due to the rising cost of barley. We’ll also see more canned drinks as bottles take a back seat for a while. On the non-production side of things, experts predict that 2012 beers will be less sour and have less wood and/or fruit tones. Craft beers will increase to such an extent that they will become one of the main drinks of the year, and nano-breweries, which focus on small production but high quality, will pop up everywhere. The way things are going, it’s very likely that the best beers of 2012 will find a few newcomers to the scene.