My top rated beers by style

Over the last few years I’ve rated dozens of beers from all over the US and beyond. Some were great and became instant classics, while others not so much. Below you’ll find a complete list of all the brews I rated an A or A- overall. I’ve listed them by style, but I’m sure you’ll notice I don’t venture far from the hop bombs. If I could have a constant supply of these beers I might even consider giving up tasting new beer and just revel… nah. Try more beer!!!

Double/Triple IPA

Victory DirtWolf Double IPA  – The aroma and taste are heady peppery hops with hints of pine resin. The malts and ABV nicely balance with the big bitterness. Almost too easy to drink.

Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey Mongo  – One of the original DIPAs and still my all time favorite. The aroma is pungent citrus with some slight tones of booze. The flavor is the same, big dank Cascade/Centennial/Simcoe hoppiness. If you find this beer, buy it

Sixpoint Resin  – A very dank herbal and resiny DIPA . The hop flavors are big and bold, and diverse.

Wormtown Buddha’s Juice – I’m a big fan of this newly released DIPA. The aroma is very floral with vague hints of citrus. The flavor is packed to the gills, dank resiny floral citrus grapefruit with a crisp bitter finish. It’s essential to let this warm in the glass for 10-15 minutes before enjoying. The only thing preventing a perfect score is the use of Chinook hops which unfortunately tends to exaggerate the illusion of dry pith.

Bear Republic Cafe Racer 15 – Resinous aroma with lots of pine & citrus. BIG bitter flavor is peppery, oniony with a nice bite and kick

Wormtown Hopulence – The aroma and flavor remind me a bit of Port’s High Tide IPA which I tend to hunt down every fall. This beer is monstrously bitter with notes of citrus dominating the hop profile. Very crisp and clean, there is no noticeable malt flavor and no harsh aftertaste.


Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey High Tide – The aroma is packed with citrus and floral notes, while the flavor is a nice balance of bitter and pleasantly grainy sweetness from the malts. At only 6.5% ABV this is almost too easy to drink. Buy this fresh in late October/ early November.

Maine Beer Lunch – Freshly bottled this beer is sublime. The aroma is very dank herbal and floral with subtle notes from the malt. The flavor has a lot going on. It’s spicy and herbal while also floral and earthy and finishes cleanly bitter. Over time on the shelf or in the cellar, if that’s ever allowed to happen, the hop flavors soften leaving a more pronounced sharp bitterness. This is a beer I’d love to see released in cans, adding additional stability to the flavors!

Boulevard Mid-Coast IPA – An epic blend of hops gives this IPA a world-class flavor. Currently only sold in a mixpack, this beer warrants individual release.

Wormtown Be Hoppy – Fresh bottles released nearly every month. Continues to impress and solidly holding a spot in my top five IPAs of all time.

Wasatch Beers Ghost Rider White IPA – Mild citrus aroma, creamy & refreshing with a hint of lemon/lime flavor. Nice bitter finish.

Sweet Stout

Wormtown Norm Chocolate Coconut Stout – Pronounced chocolate and coconut aromas and flavors dominate this oatmeal stout. Nicely rich and just shy of too sweet, the flavor is very comparable to a Mounds candy bar.

Samuel Smiths Organic Chocolate Stout – Bordering on perfection, this sweet stout is sublime. The aroma is strictly cocoa, sweet but not cloying. The flavor follows with added drinkability from notes of coffee and a vague but distinguishable bitterness.


Jack’s Abby Mass Rising – Hoppiest lager I’ve ever tasted and the best tasting Jack’s Abby brew I’ve had except for possibly Kiwi Rising. Fresh, there’s plenty of bitterness and a very pleasant aroma, but it’s the peppery hop flavor that really impresses. DMS flavoring is minimal. This beer is very bright, crisp and almost too easy to drink considering the ABV

Jack’s Abby Kiwi Rising – Another masterpiece DIPL from Jack’s Abby. The Kiwi hops add an absolutely delicious spicy pepper flavor. The palate and body are solid despite the beer looking very pale in the glass.

Sierra Nevada Hop Syndicate – This is a great tasting super hoppy lager… that’s right lager! Enjoy!

Light IPA

Wachusett Light IPA  – Best “light” beer ever??? I’d say! Lots of hoppy flavor, decent bitterness, lighter alcohol and body.

Fruit Beer

Westfield River Banana Bread – Fantastic aroma! Sweet but balanced, big spicy banana taste. Hope they bottle this beer


Otter Creek Stove Pipe  – Smoky malty goodness. Best served just below room temp. Sadly, this beer has been retired by their new brewmaster.

Smuttynose Satchmo Porter – My new favorite porter??? Perfect blend of smoky and chocolate flavors

Black Ale

Element Dark Element – Super smoky, malty, chocolaty, hoppy perfection. This is a must try


Green Jack Gone Fishing – Notably underrated, I found this to be very enjoyable. Mildly bitter & slightly sweet, very easy to drink

Harpoon Midsummer Fling – Light and refreshing, big lemon notes in the aroma and flavor, could be a summertime hit


About mrhopsbeertalk
Avid homebrewer and craft beer taster. I love all the hops I can get. #hops #ipa #iipa #ipl #porter #dipa #specialtyale #saison #craftbeer western mass ·

7 Responses to My top rated beers by style

  1. To those of you who read and enjoyed my list, I thank you. To those of you who found it lacking certain key breweries or beers I offer the following additional comments.

    With regards to Dogfish Head – I’m not a fan of #Bravo-centric IPAs. No disrespect, just not to my taste.

    Russian River/Hill Farmstead – Send me a few bottles of Pliny or Abner and I’d probably name my first-born son after you, even if you’re a lady lol. There are a lot of beers I have yet to try. Suggestions are always welcome.

    Lawson’s Finest Liquids/Treehouse – I like both these breweries, but I have failed to experience the exquisite euphoria many seem to get from their beer. I rate them highly, well above average but they are both still tweaking and changing and growing recipes and establishing themselves commercially. Stay tuned…

    [Insert your favorite Brewer/Beer here] – Cheers! Diversity of taste can only be good for the craft brew industry. Support your favorites!

    • It is just missing Canadian Breweries. Haha.

      • You raise an valid point. The European, Canadian and Australian market is not represented. My local bottle shop is continuously expanding their selection so with any luck I’ll get a chance to try more foreign beer. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

      • Well I would Recommend two British Columbia Canada breweries that are currently in talks to distribute to up to 30 states. One is Howe Sound Brewing who bottle all of their bottles in 1L pot stopper bottles currently and have won tons of awards in North America especially their Imperial Licorice Stout called Megadestroyer. The second is a start up brewery that has exploded named Parallel 49 Brewing they specialize in bending and breaking styles in the name of flavour. Back east in Ontario you may want to check out Mill Street Brewing for their seasonal bombers such as their Barleywine. Maybe even Muskoka Brewing Company also in Ontario also for their seasonal in Bombers.

  2. Pingback: Going Gonzo for Porters! | Proper_Pour

  3. My favorite ESB now is Texas Big Beer’s Working Stiff ale. Wonderful stuff. All their beers are delicious!

    I can’t get on board with fat tire. Although I quite like some of NB’s beers, I just haven’t really found something I like about fat tire. Ranger is tasty tho, as is 1554, and some of their other stuff.

    I like the SN torpedo, and occasionally grab a four of that for fishin’, since it’s in cans, and you can’t bring bottles to the lake. However, for SN, I just can’t quite get away from the regular ol’ pale ale. I love those bitter, yet very clean pales and IPAs. Now a clone of celebration was the first beer I brewed, with help on my first batch, and it came out really tasty. I”m always happy when that time of year comes around and they sell celebration again.

    Stouts, I’ve been really into them lately. Deschutes black butte porter (well, close enough to a stout), and deschutes obsidian are great, plus locally I get breckenridge oatmeal stout (I love it, slightlyu on the bitter/acrid end of the style, but still thick and chewy). Plus my homebrew of course, but my last oatmeal stout was more of a sweet stout, LOL.

    Oh, and anything Yeti. All the yetis kick ass, but my favs are the regular and the regular oaked, but it’s always a close call with them.



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