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It’s official: These are the best beers in the world

Is your favorite beer one of the world's best beers?

Close-up of beer in a glass
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If you missed it, a big beer event just happened. And no, it wasn’t the release of an apricot and yuzu sour ale from your favorite local brewery. No, it was the 2024 World Beer Cup. If you’re a soccer fan, you can understand how important a “World Cup” is. Last Wednesday, the winners of one of the most prestigious beer awards in the world were announced.

The Brewers Association started the event in the 90s, well before the craft beer boom. Beer nerds often call it ‘The Olympics of Beer Competitions’. When it was first held, there were only hundreds of breweries in the US; now, there are over 9,000. Also, remember this is the World Beer Cup, so we can’t forget the countless breweries in other countries.

How is it judged?

Dark beer vs light beer
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Held at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, 272 judges (brewers, writers, suppliers, certified Cicerones, and others from the beer industry) from 26 different countries sampled and rated more than 10,000 beers from 2,376 breweries in 51 (yes, you read that right) countries. They rated the beers on how they fit the criteria for each style and how well they were made. They also judged the balance, the beer’s aroma, its appearance, and overall flavor profile. Like the actual Olympics, they are awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze.

What beer styles were judged?

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They judged various types of IPAs (American-style IPA, Experimental IPA, West Coast IPA, Imperial IPA, and more), pale ales, strong ales, sour ales, and more. So, if you haven’t figured it out already, these are the best beers in the world. They sampled way more beer than most humans can handle and figured out which beers were the absolute best in each style.

The best beers in the world

Beer foaming over the glass
engin akyurt / Unsplash

Now that we’ve explained the event and just how prestigious it is, it’s time to get into why you’re here. You want to know which beers are the “best beers in the world,” right? Keep scrolling to see them all.

Unsurprisingly, the largest category is IPAs. When it came to American-style IPAs, Highland Park High 6 took the Gold. Southern Brewing Koss IPA Pomelo took Gold in the Experimental IPA category. Green Cheek Chance Favors was the top Imperial IPA.

You might be wondering who came out on top in the West Coast IPA world. Well, that wasn’t Green Flash, Societe, Stone, or any of the other big-name San Diego breweries; it was Longbeach’s ISM Brewing with its Western Standard Time. Shred Micro Blaster took Gold in the Session IPA category. Swells Brewing’s cheekily named Jimmy Buffet Ruined My Life was the highest-rated Hazy Imperial IPA, and Old Irving Beezer won Gold for Hazy IPA.

Some of the other memorable Gold-medal winners include Phillips Brewing and Malting Co. Dinosaur Stone Fruit for American-style Sour Ale, Lewis & Clark Brewing Miner’s Gold Hefeweizen for American Wheat Beer, Golden Fox Furious Fox for American Imperial Stout, and Freetail Brewing 401K for American-style pilsner.

Gose beers

Bottom line

There are many more categories. Honestly, there are too many to list. But if you want to know who won every one, you can visit the World Beer Cup website and check out the list of current winners. Maybe you’ll even find one of your favorite beers listed.

Editors' Recommendations

Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
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