When it comes to craft beers everyone has a favorite, and when gauging popularity it helps to go to the source- the drinkers. According to the community of enthusiasts and professionals at Beer Advocate, here are the top 25 you should try.
Heady Topper – The Alchemist
Watch out. This American double IPA packs a punch with an eight percent alcohol by volume (ABV) content. Be sure to drink a couple glasses of water to counter this delicious, slightly citrus brew.
Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout – Goose Island Beer Co.
With coffee flavors, you might expect to wake up from this now Anheuser Busch owned beer. With a 13.4 percent ABV rating, you might be hitting the sack early instead.
Pliny The Younger – Russian River Brewing Company
Double IPAs are the rage and this one is one of the best. Fans had eagerly anticipated this hoppy Winter brew. It's safe to say it lived up to the hype.
Pliny The Elder – Russian River Brewing Company
The Elder is like The Younger. It's another double IPA that beer enthusiasts can't seem to forget. With an eight percent ABV you won't be feeling the effects as quickly as The Younger's 11 percent.
Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) – Founders Brewing Co.
It might taste like breakfast. but your day might be short if you start with this Spring stout. Hints of coffee and syrup won't keep you up after enough of this 11.2 percent ABV delight. Enjoy with some brew food for a nice taste contrast.
Double Sunshine IPA – Lawsons' Finest Liquids
Tropical fruits and herbal aromas abound in this eight percent ABV liquid. What else would you expect from a brew packed with sunshine?
Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord – Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
Anything Russian alcohol-related tends to pack a punch. At 15 percent, this Russian imperial stout lives up to the tradition. Vanilla flavors aged in a bourbon barrel? Sign me up every Spring.
Zombie Dust – Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
How citrus fits with zombies is a mystery. However, this 6.4 percent American pale ale will balance the flavors without having you shuffle off like the undead.
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) – Brouwerij Westvleteren
Bold fruit tastes are packed into this Belgium style brew. A brownish-red color fills the glass. Like most Belgian brews this packs a punch at 10.2 percent ABV.
Proprietor's Bourbon County Brand Stout – Goose Island Beer Co.
This 14.1 percent stout hits strong. Good luck finding this one. With a limited brew you may need some luck getting your hands on this one.
Parabola – Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Aged eight months, this strong (13 percent ABV) oatmeal stout can work wonders on you. Need a pick me up? You might be able to wake up from its espresso smell.
Cantillon Fou' Foune – Brasserie Cantillon
This lambic (fruity tasting) beer can be enjoyed much longer with a five percent ABV. Tarty and sweet apricots make this one of the most popular lambics out there.
Bourbon County Brand Stout – Goose Island Beer Co.
A strong (14.2 percent ABV) awaits in this strong winter stout. Be sure to sip this one. The words 'creamy' and 'sweet' are thrown around quite a bit when describing this brew.
Abner – Hill Farmstead Brewery
This caramel malt is named for the great grandfather of Hill Farmstead. Those looking for a strong yet refreshing double IPA should consider Abner. An 8.2 percent ABV put it at the lower end of the Imperial IPA spectrum.
Supplication – Russian River Brewing Company
Aged a year and packed with sour cherry flavors this one is tops among American Wild Ales. Pinot noir flavors even out oak tastes. A varying flavors puts you on a journey with each sip from this seven percent brew.
Mornin' Delight – Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
As the brewery says, “Just add pancakes” to this nearly 13 percent imperial stout. It's all the smells of breakfast in one glass.
Hunahpu's Imperial Stout - Double Barrel Aged – Cigar City Brewing
Tastes range from pepper to vanilla to apples in this 11 percent stout. With limited release you may have trouble finding this one. If you do, go lightly as it's a heavy brew.
Citra DIPA – Kern River Brewing Company
This light (eight percent ABV) citrus imperial IPA has been described as 'heaven' by some. No wonder it's considered one of the more refreshing beers on the list.
Duck Duck Gooze – The Lost Abbey
French barrel aging helps this seven percent wild ale a favorite. A medium body and lemon flavors make this one that you could drink quite a few of.
Bell's Black Note Stout – Bell's Brewery, Inc.
This nearly 12 percent stout is one of Bell's most popular brews. If you're a fan of strong tasting chocolate pick this one up.
Hunahpu's Imperial Stout – Cigar City Brewing
Another Cigar City brew named after the man that gave cocoa to the Mayans. This 11 percent cocoa imperial stout is one of Cigar City's top picks. Like a good piece of chocolate it is strong but smooth.
PseudoSue – Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
A lighter (5.8 percent) single hop pale ale awaits in this grapefruit brew. Not sold yet? There's a dinosaur on the tap handle. Doesn't do anything for the flavor but it's definitely awesome.
Founders Breakfast Stout – Founders Brewing Company
An autumn breakfast in a glass. Coffee flavors are cut with some sweetness in this 8.3 percent brew. Get some bacon, sit outside and watch the leaves change with every bottle.
The Abyss – Deschutes Brewery
This name fits perfectly for this flavorful 11 percent winter imperial stout. Bourbon and wine flavors compliment the dark, sweet brew. Its oily body might not suit everybody.
§ucaba (Abacus) – Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
The only English barleywine to crack the top 25, Abacus' flavor is hard to pinpoint. The alcohol flavor is well-hidden. Be careful with this dark brown beauty.