What’s wrong with this picture?

Breaking out of American Macro Week for a moment because this strikes me as very interesting: the RateBeer Best 2008 is out. I’m a sucker for "Top X" lists as I’ve mentioned before, so this is a no-brainer.

In regards to my admittedly slightly-incendiary title, look at their "The Top 100 Beers In The World: 2008" and tell me what’s "wrong" with the picture.

(Okay, trick question, there’s nothing actually "wrong" with it because it’s entirely subjective. But I want to stimulate some thought.)

Almost all of the beers on that list are "Imperial" somethings, barleywines, strong Belgians (Quadrupel!), and such. It’s like the ultimate extreme beer list. Now I know much has been said already about the tendency of the beer rating sites to skew towards the stronger, darker, hoppier beers… but sometime I’d really like to see a "Top 100" beer list that’s a little more normalized… or better yet, for only beers under 8% alcohol. Or only session beers…

(Sounds like a good topic for a Beer Hacker article.)

Also, at a quick count, 19% of those beers are barrel-aged. Interesting because that fits right in with my 2008 predictions. I expect we’ll see that number go up even more next year.

Hmmm on second thought this post could fit in with American Macro Week because I could point to how no beers from any of the macrobrewers show up on this list, or ever could… it’s the antithesis of the macro movement.


  1. I love Ratebeer for information on individual beers, but as you said, they really need to find a way to balance rating system so that less extreme beers get some representation.

  2. Not only is a bit top heavy, but also very light on Pacific NW beers and breweries. That’s a bigger issue.

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