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The Top 10 Breweries in the World: Founders, Bell’s, Ballast Point, Stone, Port/Lost Abbey

founders breakfaststout 11111 The Top 10 Breweries in the World: Founders, Bells, Ballast Point, Stone, Port/Lost AbbeyBy Jeremy Thompson, Don Corino, Pat Smith, Tim Rodgers, Paul Reiter and Matt Goldstein

 1.  Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids, MI: 

The Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout is a shoe in to be our #1 overall beer on our next Top 100 beer list.  The seasonal Breakfast Stout was already on our top 10 list and the Founders Porter was our Philadelphia Beer Week Champion.  Have you ever tasted the Centennial IPA or the Curmudgeon?  Please.  Founders Brewing Company is the #1 Brewery in the world!   

2.  Bell’s Brewing Inc, Kalamazoo, MI: 

 It’s hard putting Bell’s at #2 on this list because these guys have taken the art of beer making to perfection.  From the Bell’s Expedition Stout to the Consecrator Dopplebock and the Hopslam are 3 of the best beers in the world hands down.  Add the Kalamazoo Stout, Oberon Ale and the Two Hearted Ale and you have a magnum opus in beer making. 

3.  Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, San Diego, CA: 

The Ballast Point Sculpin IPA is largely considered to be the best India Pale Ale in the world.  The Sculpin also won a gold medal at the 2010 World Beer Cup.  The Calico Amber Ale is made like an English ESB but this American brew is also a gold medal winner.  The Big Eye IPA and the Victory at Sea Imperial Vanilla Coffee Porter are entirely world class.

stone brewing company 300x284 The Top 10 Breweries in the World: Founders, Bells, Ballast Point, Stone, Port/Lost Abbey4.  Stone Brewing Company, Escondido, CA: 

Stone’s Ruination IPA, Imperial Russian Stout, Smoked Porter and Arrogant Bastard Ale are staples of the craft beer world, while their Anniversary Ale is one of the highest rated beers ever.

5.  Port/Lost Abbey Brewing Company, San Marcos, CA: 

The Lost Abbey Avant-Garde, Devotion and Yellow Bus along with the Port Old Viscosity, High Tide IPA and Santa’s Little Helper Stout put the Port/Lost Abbey Brewing at #5.  Throw in the Hop 15 and Port/Lost Abbey competes with any brewery in the world.   

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6.  Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA: 

Victory’s Hopdevil, Prima Pils, and Golden Monkey are almost mainstream craft beers at this point but the Storm King Imperial Stout, Hopwallop, Baltic Thunder Porter, and V-12 are all world class while the Saison du Buff might be the best Saison in the world. 

7.  Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales, Milton, DE: 

The 60 Minute, 90 Minute and 120 Minute IPA’s are some of the best IPA’s being brewed today.  At the same time, the Old School Barley Wine and the Bitches Brew are some of the best beers in their class.  Dogfish also collaborated with Victory on the Saison du Buff.    

8.  Russian River, Santa Rosa, CA.

9.  Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, CA. 

rogue beers 285x300 The Top 10 Breweries in the World: Founders, Bells, Ballast Point, Stone, Port/Lost Abbey10.  Rogue Ales, Newport, OR.  

11.  Fuller’s Ales, London, UK. 

12.  Weyerbacher Brewing Company, Easton, PA.

13.  Troegs Craft Brewery, Harrisburg, PA. 

14.  Westmalle Trappist, Westmalle, Belgium.

15.  Westvleteren,  Belgium.  

16.  Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma, CA.

17.  Southern Tier Brewing Company, Lakewood, NY.

18.  Moonlight Brewing Company, Fulton, CA.

19.  Sam Smith Old Brewery, North Yorkshire, UK.

20.  Flying Fish, Cherry Hill, NJ.

21.  Hacker Pschorr, Munich, Germany.

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The Top 25 Beers in a Can: Oscar Blues, Sly Fox, Maui Brewing, Young’s Double Chocolate, Caldera, 21st Amendment

Pennsylvania Crushes Germany in the Top 10 Pilsners: Pilzilla, Prima Pils, Stoudt’s Pils, Pikeland Pils, Troegs Sunshine Pils

The Best Beer under $20 a Case: Yuengling Lager, Bitburger, Leinenkugels, Shiner Bock, Lionshead and more…

The Top 25 Stouts: Founders KBS, Breakfast Stout, Bell’s Kalamazoo, Rogue Shakespear Oatmeal, Goose Island Black Cat Bourbon, Deschutes the Abyss

The Top 10 Oktoberfest Beers: Ayinger, Beck’s, Hacker Pschorr, Flying Fish, Hofbrau, Stoudt’s, Lefthand, Magic Hat, Spaten

The Top Ten Belgian White Ales from a Taste Test: Blanche de Bruxelles, Hoegaarden, Ommengangs Witte, Victory Wirlwind, St. Brnardis Blanche, Allagash White, Blue Moon and more…

The Top 10 Mexican Beers: Bohemia, Negra Modela, Dos Equis, Corona, Carta Blanca, Tecate, Sol and more…

Top 50 Pound for Pound Beer List: Chimay, Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Bells’, Victory, Founders, Hacker-Pschorr, Weyerbacher and more…

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35 comments to The Top 10 Breweries in the World: Founders, Bell’s, Ballast Point, Stone, Port/Lost Abbey

  • […] and New Jersey area.  We searched 7-8 locations and tasted every Oktoberfest beer available..The Top 10 Breweries in the World: Founders, Bell’s, Ballast Point, Stone, Port/Lost Abbey The Top 25 Beers in a Can: Oscar Blues, Sly Fox, Maui Brewing, Young’s Double Chocolate, […]

  • gentle vickies

    pls which is the world’s leading brewery

    [Reply]

    Matt Goldstein Reply:

    The #1 selling beer in the world is Bud Light but I think the #1 selling Brewery is Stella Artois which actually owns Bud, among a lot of other breweries. I am not 100%, but I think Stella Artois has been the #1 brewery for a while now.

    [Reply]

  • David D

    With so much great craft beer being brewed in Colorado it’s a bummer to see not a one made the list. I do enjoy many of the breweries listed, but I’d like to see some others for sure. No Oskar Blues? Is it because they can their beers? Anyways, lists are fun, thanks for sharing.

    [Reply]

  • […] discovering this list of the Top 10 Breweries in the World from Whiskey Goldmine, I was inspired to share some of my current personal favorite breweries and […]

  • pete

    lists are fun but you need to put in some more “beer time” before you start claiming the who is who . . . very amateur list

    [Reply]

  • ButtMunch

    You’ve obviously never had a New Glarus.

    [Reply]

  • Denny

    How can you even think of including Westmalle and not St. Bernardus!!! Please!

    [Reply]

  • Allen

    If Russian River was too expensive to put up higher, than why was Lost Abbey up so high. Also, there is a reason both Lost Abbey and Russian River have some expensive beers. The sours and belgians they make are incredibly expensive and time consuming to make. Russian River makes those beers because the Vinnie loves them. He has said in an interview he could make more Pliny the Elder and distribute a lot more if he didn’t make those other beers. I will put it this way, he can make as much Pliny the Elder to be ready in month as it would take to make that same amount of those sours which take anywhere from 6 to 18 months.

    [Reply]

  • boutros

    Love my Ballast Point and usually have a growler of somethin’ from em in the fridge! Stone is pretty good, especially at marketing. Actually prefer a couple other San Diego County area brewers over them though, Alpine Beer Co. puts out some quality stuff and really dig Green Flash up in Vista. Can’t get enough of their West Coast IPA’s and Hop Head Red these days.

    [Reply]

  • Matt Goldstein

    Let the hate out! Hate! Hate! Hate!

    [Reply]

  • Uncle Pauly

    Rogue all the way!!! Ftw, bitches! Full Sail is #2. you can’t fuck with an employee owned brewery thatcloses early to ski/snowboard/kiteboard right on the Columbia gorge Lewis and Clark trail with Mt. hood 10 mins away…

    [Reply]

  • Jeff

    Cantillon, that is all.

    [Reply]

  • mdolemite

    I can’t really put much stock into a list put together by someone that rated Blue Moon and Shock Top as #6 and #8 Top Belgian White Ales, respectively. the fact that you actually rated Russian River as #14 and then try to explain it away by stating a $30 bottle of Consecration is “…not so impressive. Honestly. It may be the best beer but that doesn’t mean they are the best brewery in the world. Sorry…” Ignorance rears it’s ugly head. Did you use a dart board to pick these? Please stick to whiskey and spirits, we have enough misinformation on craft beer being put out there by the macro brewers.

    [Reply]

    Matt goldstein Reply:

    If you actually read the Belgian White article correctly, you would know that those were the beers that were available and were tasted that day.

    And yes, price matters. 100%!

    [Reply]

    Jeff Reply:

    Price shouldn’t matter, this is the best breweries. Price that some bar dictates, totally independent from the brewery itself, should be less of an issue. For whatever it’s worth, those 375 ml bottles of Consecration (close to 12 oz, but let’s call it what it is) run about $15 in stores.

    [Reply]

    Tizzle Reply:

    Totally disagree. Looking at breweries invokes the production, manufacturing, and distrubtion of the product. Not necessarily (but mostly) the product itself. If there is a break or disconnect in one facet of the operation, then it is flawed. If they have distribution problems, manufacturing inefficiencies, or they have high cost margins of materials which cause their product to increase in price; There’s a f*kin problem. When analyzing breweries, it is who can produce the best beer, get it to the consumer, at a reasonable cost. If they can’t, then they are simply not the best brewery. If I have to travel to your f*kin garage in the mountains of Colorado to try what you claim is the most flavorful, hoppy, robust brew, yeah you made a good beer brah, but you’re not the best brewery. I’m thirsty. Peace.

  • Berg

    Bear Republic deserves to be on this list…high on this list. They’re better than Russian River IMHO.

    [Reply]

    Don Reply:

    While I agree bear republic may have made the list, stating they are better than RR is downright wrong.

    [Reply]

    Jeremy Thomson Reply:

    Bear Republic does make some very quality brews. Racer X, Racer 5, Big Black Bear, and of course Hop Rod all messages up.

    [Reply]

  • Silvia

    Sierra Nevada is located in CHICO, not Chino.

    [Reply]

    Matt goldstein Reply:

    OK Chico!

    [Reply]

  • CW Grizwold

    Fantastic, I think that is great that San Diego got 3,4,5 as far as rankings; however if they cannot get Chico right as the birthplace of Sierra Nevada (even as a typo, who proofread this?) then there must be some sort of problem.
    They are right about the Sculpin from Ballast being a hell of a good beer. The beers from Stone should be a bit higher up, and who is this #1? Must be an east coast thing…..

    [Reply]

    Jeremy Thomson Reply:

    If you don’t know about Founders, you better ask somebody.
    Good talk, Russ.

    [Reply]

  • XjncoguyX

    Stick to whiskey, you suck at beer

    [Reply]

    Tizzle Reply:

    It’s good to see such passion compounded with substance. This list is supposed to be encourage debate. CHEERS!

    [Reply]

  • WTF

    This list is ridiculous. First, Russian River should be ranked #1. Nobody is brewing better beer more consistently than Vinnie Cilurzo. Second, Stone, Lagunitas, Weyerbacher, Southern Tier, and Lost Abbey shouldn’t be on this list at all – all 5 of those breweries are inferior not only to the others on this list, but to numerous breweries that didn’t make this list at all.

    How can you have Westvleteren and Westmalle but not Rochefort? Where is De Glazen Toren? Where is Orval? Where is Chimay?

    Where is Weihenstephaner? Scheider? Fantome? Brasserie Dupont? Unibroue? Ayinger?

    [Reply]

    Jeremy Thomson Reply:

    Russian River makes great beer. Period. If I don’t want a sour beer that’s been aged in Cabernet barrels, am I wrong? Maybe I’ll run into you somewhere waiting in line for an hour to wait in line again to get one glass of Younger & we can discuss this further.

    [Reply]

    Matt goldstein Reply:

    I’m actually filling out my online application right now to get a ticket for the line. I had to give them my SS# just to apply for the application. Hopefully they don’t find out about my credit history.

    [Reply]

  • scott bennett

    Founders might be good, as is Bell’s, but I think most craft beer aficionados would probably agree that Russian River is the best brewery in the world hands down. I don’t know who compiled this and how.

    [Reply]

    Matt goldstein Reply:

    I was at the bar last night and Russian River Consecration was $30 for a 12 ounce bottle. That’s not so impressive. Honestly. It may be the best beer but that doesn’t mean they are the best brewery in the world. Sorry…

    [Reply]

    Jeff Reply:

    discarding a brewery because some bar doubled their price? you gotta be fist cranking me.

    [Reply]

    Mikey Reply:

    These lists are always fun, mainly because people like to bitch.

    I agree with several breweries, not so much on others.

    But to say that “most craft beer aficionados would probably agree that” Russian River (or any brewery really) “is the best brewery in the world hands down” is a pretty preposterous statement.

    I think you’d be lucky to find any brewery that more than 10% of craft beer aficionados could agree on, especially when you’re talking about “IN THE WORLD”.

    [Reply]

  • Tizzle

    No breweries from Germany? Hacker Pschorr or Andechs Monastary doesn’t make the cut? Was I included on the email list regarding this discussion. You guys suck!

    [Reply]

    Matt goldstein Reply:

    I’m pretty sure you were included in all 86 emails. LOL I just added Hacker Pschorr.

    [Reply]

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