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Is there a ranking of beers (maybe by country) you can actually find in a supermarket?

I know the BeerAdvocate one, but it seems I would need to sell my soul to get any beer in the top 250.

  • 2
    A lot of these are seasonal or limited brewery-only releases. Others are simply hard to find, even though they may be distributed officially in a given state. IMO the Beers of Fame list is better - I can get 32 of the top 100 beers within 10 miles or so of where I live (maybe more, those were just the ones I remember seeing). – user505255 Oct 22 '14 at 3:38
  • I've had at least 15 on that list (as of this comment's typing). And I recognize many more from either specialty beer/liquor stores, or some of the more generous grocery stores I've been to. Some are only available from the brewpubs, sadly – warren Oct 24 '14 at 18:46
  • I've seen bottle shops that post the Beer Advocate ratings with various beers. – Wayne In Yak Dec 26 '14 at 15:18
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You can check out the top rated beers at the user ratings site Untappd.

You can filter by style and country, and the app is very easy to use. I'll bring it up on my phone when I'm at a restaurant or grocery store and I want more info about a beer I haven't seen before or to check out the ratings.

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There actually are a lot of really high-quality beers that are extremely well-distributed. The Trappists aside from Westvleteren and the new ones from the past couple years are available all over the place as well as a lot of classics like Weihenstephaner or Schneider. You would be surprised at just how well you can do simply trying out anything you haven't seen a commercial for.

You also need to keep in mind personal taste. The BeerAdvocate list is NOTORIOUSLY skewed towards IPAs, Stouts, Sours, Seasonals, Limited Releases and overall big beer. If you find yourself mostly enjoying things outside those categories then their list is certainly not for you. Furthermore there is certainly some inflation to a lot of the ratings, if there is a beer fewer people can get then there are fewer ratings and the law of averages loses some influence. Plus there's the beer hipster effect where people feel safer about having strong opinions on beers nobody else has had.

My advice would be to simply get a couple of friends, buy a bunch of 6-packs and share the beer and try different styles from whatever is available locally. Figure out what style your favorite beers are and then go into some research about the best beers of that style and see what you can do from there. Even if you do find a top 100 beers available in the exact town you live in it won't be catered to your tastes.

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If you're looking on the fly, check out NextGlass. It's a craft beer (and wine) discovery app that works by scanning labels.

  • Does the app provide a ranking as the OP asks? (If not, I may convert this answer into a comment.) In any case, interesting app—thanks, and welcome! – Andrew Cheong Jan 12 '15 at 2:16
  • Yes, in most cases depending on the obscurity of the beer. (e.g. Many reviews for Sierra Nevada beers, but only one of five Jester King beers are reviewed.) – Grafton C. Jan 13 '15 at 15:43
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you can find a rank-list country by country.

Italy

you can find a list with score of italian beers.

England

you can find a list with score of english beers.

Germany

you can find a list with score of german beers.

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I think a lot depends on where you live and what is currently distributed in your local supermarkets. This reflects the local "beer culture". it is, as always, a matter of supply and demand. Industrial beer is very often just bad beer (because it is pasteurized, thus it kills all the bacteria and such that make craft beer so good and different). It is very difficult for a heavily distributed (thus cheap) beer to be good enough to compete with really good, local craft beers. Very good beer is expensive to make, and often made in small or mid-size breweries.

In Italy in the last years we have seen a huge leap in beer culture (a "Beernaissance", if you will). We have hundreds of microbreweries, a lot of good breweries, a handful of excellent and internationally praised ones. People is drinking much more good beer (meaning, craft), so now you can find a lot of craft beer in bars, restaurants and finally supermarket.

Until few years ago, supermarkets had just industrial beer, and the occasional Leffe Blonde bottle. Now you can find a lot more.

At the end of the day, I think it is much better that you reverse your approach: find some non trivial beers in your local supermarkets, and query them on apps or http://ratebeer.com.

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