RateBeer Best 2014

RateBeer Top 100 Brewers in the World Announced; Midwest Well Represented

In Beer News by Karl

Three of the world’s Top Ten breweries are within a half-day’s drive from Chicago.

RateBeer Best 2014

This morning, RateBeer released their list of the Top 100 Brewers in the World, as defined by the ratings of their users.

Right behind top-ranked Hill Farmstead of Vermont is Toppling Goliath of Decorah, IA; Three Floyds in Munster ranked fourth in the world and Bells Beer in Kalamazoo clocked in at number six.

The rest of the Great Lakes and Plains states are very well represented — of the hundred listed breweries, a full fifth of them are close to Chicago.

There were a few surprises in the list — for example, just one Wisconsin brewery made the list and it wasn’t New Glarus. (Central Waters earned an inclusion, however.) Goose Island didn’t make the cut either, despite being included on last year’s Top Brewers list.

The list is extremely weighted towards American breweries, as it’s compiled from “reviews taken last year and weighted by performance within and outside of style, balanced by indicators of depth” and “reflect the top performing brewers of over 19,000 listed at RateBeer.” Over three-fourths of the list calls the USA home.

Here’s the rundown of the world’s best breweries in the Midwest as listed by the Ratebeer Top 100 of 2014:


Half Acre Beer Company

Pipeworks Brewing Company

Revolution Brewing


Three Floyds Brewing Company (#4 in the World)


Toppling Goliath


Boulevard Brewing Company

Perennial Artisan Ales

Side Project Brewing


Surly Brewing Company


Bells Brewery (#6 in the world)

B.Nektar Meadery

Dark Horse Brewing Company

Founders Brewing Company

Oddside Ales

Schramm’s Mead


Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon

Great Lakes Brewing Company

Hoppin’ Frog Brewery

Jackie-O’s Pub & Brewery

Thirsty Dog Brewing Company


Central Waters Brewing Company 

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Karl has written about food, travel and beer for Chicago Magazine, Draft Magazine, Thrillist, Time Out Chicago and more. His book, Beer Lovers Chicago, comes out in early 2017, and if you're buying, he's likely having a porter or a pale ale.