All About Beer Magazine - Volume 32, Issue 2
May 1, 2011 By - -

In 2010, the Beverage Testing Institute/Tastings in Chicago evaluated almost 400 beers and ciders in nearly 80 style categories. For each style, here are the top three entries (more in the case of tied scores) of those that scored in the platinum (96-100 points) or gold (90-95) ranges.

Every beer listed here is worth seeking out as an individual example of the best of its style. Each year, however, we look at the breweries that deserve mention for producing outstanding beers in a number of categories: this year, Boston Beer topped the rankings with 12 medals, with Rogue Ales and Deschutes just behind with 10 and nine, respectively.

American micros Full Sail and Goose Island each took seven medals, competing in a wide range of brewing traditions. Yorkshire brewery Samuel Smith and Quebec’s Unibroue, both with seven, each specialize in particular brewing traditions, and have clearly mastered their areas of concentration.

The Brooklyn Brewery won five medals by demonstrating skill in a range of styles, as did Capital, with four medals. By contrast, Munich’s Hofbräuhaus submitted five traditional German beers for evaluating, and made this “Best of” list with four of them.

Warmest congratulations to all these outstanding breweries.

British Style Pale Ale

Pendle Witches Brew, Moorhouse’s Brewery (England). 5.1% ABV (93)
Pale Ale, Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery (England). 5% ABV (90)

American Style Pale Ale

Track Town Triple Jump Pale Ale, Eugene City Brewery (OR). 5.5% ABV (93)
Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Deschutes Brewery (OR). 5% ABV (92)
Red Chair NWPA, Deschutes Brewery (OR). 6.4% ABV (91)
Piper’s Pale Ale, Vancouver Island Brewery (Canada). 5% ABV (91)
Full Sail Pale Ale, Full Sail Brewing Co. (OR). 5.4% ABV (91)
Dale’s Pale Ale, Oskar Blues Brewery (CO). 6.5% ABV (91)

India Pale Ale

IPA, Goose Island Brewing Co. (IL). 5.9% ABV (94)
Full Sail IPA, Full Sail Brewing Co. (OR). 6% ABV (94)
Yellow Snow Ale IPA, Rogue Ales (OR). 6.5% ABV (93)
India Ale, Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery (England). 5% ABV (93)

Imperial IPA

Hop Henge Experimental IPA, Deschutes Brewery (OR). 8.75% ABV (96)
Imperial I.P.A., Garrison Brewing Company (Canada). 7% ABV (92)
I2PA Imperial India Pale Ale, Rogue Ales (OR). 9.5% ABV (92)

Amber Ale

Irish Red Ale, Garrison Brewing Company (Canada). 5% ABV (91)
Captain Sig’s Northwestern Ale, Rogue Ales (OR). 6.2% ABV (91)
Ripon Jewel Ale, Daleside Brewery (England). 5.8% ABV (90)
Green Lakes Organic Ale, Deschutes Brewery (OR). 5.2% ABV (90)
Blonde Bitch, Moorhouse’s Brewery (England). 4.5% ABV (90)

Scottish Style Ale

Traquair House Ale, Traquair House Brewery (Scotland). 7.2% ABV (94)
Old Chub Scottish Style Ale, Oskar Blues Brewery (CO). 8% ABV (94)
Samuel Adams Scotch Ale, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 5.4% ABV (93)
Red MacGregor Ale, Orkney Brewery (Scotland). 4% ABV (93)

English Style Brown Ale

Nut Brown Ale, Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery (England). 5% ABV (93)
Hazelnut Brown Nectar, Rogue Ales (OR). 6.2% ABV (92)
Nut Brown Ale, Goose Island Brewing Co. (IL). 5.3% ABV (90)
Monkey Wrench, Daleside Brewery (England). 5.3% ABV (90)

Flavored Ale

Alba Scots Pine Ale, Williams Bros. Brewing Co. (Scotland). 5% ABV (93)
Raisin Hell Ale, Bastone Brewery (MI). 6.5% ABV (92)
Kelpie Ale, Williams Bros. Brewing Co. (Scotland). 4.4% ABV (90)


Taddy Porter, Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery (England). 5% ABV (93)
Black Butte Porter, Deschutes Brewery (OR). 5.2% ABV (93)
Chelsea Moylan’s Porter, Moylan’s Brewing Co. (CA). 5.1% ABV (92)

Flavored Porter

Black Butte XXI, Deschutes Brewery (OR). 11% ABV (93)
Smoked Porter, Stone Brewing Co. (CA). 5.9% ABV (92)
Samuel Adams Honey Porter, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 5.5% ABV (91)

Imperial/Baltic Porter

Bourbon Barrel Baltic Porter, Browning’s Brewery (KY). 8% ABV (93)
Badder Elmer’s Baltic Porter, Upland Brewing (IN). 6.6% ABV (92)
Imperial Porter, Breckenridge Brewery (CO). 7.5% ABV (90)

Dry Stout

Kujukuri Ocean Beer Stout, Kankiku Meijyo Co. (Japan). 5% ABV (90)

Sweet Stout

Samuel Adams Cream Stout, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 4.85% ABV (91)
Lion Stout, Lion Brewery Ceylon PLC (Sri Lanka). 8% ABV (91)

Oatmeal Stout

Oatmeal Stout, Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery (England). 5% ABV (93)
Shakespeare Stout, Rogue Ales (OR). 6.5% ABV (90)

Flavored Stout

Brooklyn Black Ops Stout, The Brooklyn Brewery (NY). 10.7% ABV (97)

Strong Stout

Obsidian Stout, Deschutes Brewery (OR). 6.4% ABV (93)
San Quentin’s Breakout Stout, Marin Brewing Co. (CA). 7% ABV (92)

Imperial Stout

Siberian Night Imperial Stout, Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. (OH). 9.7% ABV (93)
Russian Imperial Stout, Rogue Ales (OR). 11% ABV (93)
Imperial Stout, Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery (England). 7% ABV (93)
Black Chocolate Stout, The Brooklyn Brewery (NY). 10% ABV (93)

Winter Ale

Weizen-Bock, Ayinger (Germany). 7.1% ABV (94)
Jolly Pumpkin-Nogne Ø-Stone Special Holiday Ale, Stone Brewing Co. (CA). 9% ABV (94)
2009 Festive Ale, Sweetwater Brewing Co. (GA). 7.56% ABV (94)

Strong Ale

Imperial Red Ale, Rogue Ales (OR). 9% ABV (94)
Gordon Imperial Red Ale, Oskar Blues Brewery (CO). 8.7% ABV (94)
Double Dead Guy, Rogue Ales (OR). 9% ABV (94)

Old Ale

English Owd Ale, Moorhouse’s Brewery (England). 5.9% ABV (94)

Barley Wine

Old Bawdy Barley Wine, 2007 Bottling, Pike Brewing Co. (WA). 10% ABV (94)
Old Crustacean Barley Wine, Rogue Ales (OR) 2006. 11.5% ABV (93)
Skullsplitter Barleywine, Orkney Brewery (Scotland). 8.5% ABV (92)


Samuel Adams Boston Ale, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 5.1% ABV (90)


Summertime, Goose Island Brewing Co. (IL). 4.7% ABV (90)

Bière de Garde

Terrible, Unibroue (Canada). 10.5% ABV (93)


Sofie, Goose Island Brewing Co. (IL) 2010. 6.5% ABV (93)
Le Merle, North Coast Brewing Co. (CA). 7.9% ABV (90)

Belgian Style Golden Ale

La Fin du Monde, Unibroue (Canada). 9% ABV (96)
Demolition, Goose Island Brewing Co. (IL). 7.2% ABV (92)

Belgian Style Amber Ale

Maudite, Unibroue (Canada). 8% ABV (93)
Matilda, Goose Island Brewing Co. (IL) 2010. 7% ABV (92)

Belgian Style Red Ale

Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 9% ABV (94)

Belgian Style Specialty Ale

Anniversary 17, Unibroue (Canada). 10% ABV (97)
Samuel Adams American Kriek, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 7% ABV (93)
He’Brew Rejewvenator Ale, Shmaltz Brewing Company (NY) 2009. 7.8% ABV (93)

Belgian Style Strong Ale

Local 1, The Brooklyn Brewery (NY). 9% ABV (94)

Abbey Single

Noire de Chambly, Unibroue (Canada). 6.2% ABV (91)

Abbey Dubbel

Pere Jacques, Goose Island Brewing Co. (IL) 2010. 8% ABV (94)

Abbey Tripel

Tripel Dipsea Belgian Style Ale, Marin Brewing Co. (CA). 9.2% ABV (92)

Pale Lager

Captain Fred Pale Lager, Grumpy Troll Brewery (WI). 4.5% ABV (92)


Organic Pilsner, Neumarkter Lammsbräu (Germany). 4.8% ABV (92)
Coldfoot Pilsner, Silver Gulch Brewing & Bottling Co. (AK). 5.8% ABV (92)
Premium Pilsener, Privat Brauerei Bischoff (Germany). 4.7% ABV (91)


Dortmunder Gold, Great Lakes Brewing Co. (OH). 5.8% ABV (92)

Flavored Lager

Black Giraffe Coffee Lager, Burleigh Brewing Co. (Australia). 5% ABV (94)
Coney Island Albino Python Lager, Shmaltz Brewing Company (NY). 6% ABV (90)

Munich Helles

LTD 03, Full Sail Brewing Co. (OR). 5.6% ABV (93)
Hell, Privatbrauerei Hofmühl (Germany). 4.9% ABV (93)
Hofbrau Original Lager, Hofbräuhaus München (Germany). 5.1% ABV (91)

Vienna Märzen

Volksfestbier, Privatbrauerei Hofmühl (Germany). 5.6% ABV (93)
Hofbräu Oktoberfest, Hofbräuhaus München (Germany). 6.3% ABV (93)
Vienna, Theresianer (Italy). 5.3% ABV (92)
Oktoberfest, Deschutes Brewery (OR). 5% ABV (92)
Brooklyn Oktoberfest, The Brooklyn Brewery (NY). 5.5% ABV (92)

Amber Lager

Samuel Adams Boston Lager, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 4.9% ABV (93)
Elliot Ness Lager, Great Lakes Brewing Co. (OH). 6.2% ABV (93)
Mañana Mexican Style Amber Lager, Del Norte Brewing Co. (CO). 5.2% ABV (90)
Brooklyn Lager, The Brooklyn Brewery (NY). 5.2% ABV (90)

Dark Lager/Dunkel

Hofbräu Dunkel, Hofbräuhaus München (Germany). 5.5% ABV (94)
Dunkel, Privatbrauerei Hofmühl (Germany). 4.9% ABV (93)

Black Beer/Schwarzbier

Premium Black Lager, Privat Brauerei Bischoff (Germany). 5.2% ABV (95)
Chatoe Dirtoir Black Lager, Rogue Ales (OR). 6% ABV (91)
Shiner Bohemian Black Lager, Spoetzl Brewery (TX). 4.9% ABV (90)
Samuel Adams Black Lager, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 4.9% ABV (90)


Samuel Adams Longshot Traditional Bock, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 6.8% ABV (92)
LTD 01, Full Sail Brewing Co. (OR). 6.4% ABV (92)
Sudworth Bock, Blue Tractor Brewery (MI). 6.7% ABV (91)
La Rossa, Birra Moretti (Italy). 7.2% ABV (91)


Hofbräu Maibock, Hofbräuhaus München (Germany). 7.2% ABV (95)
LTD 02, Full Sail Brewing Co. (OR). 6.4% ABV (92)
Maibock, Capital Brewery (WI). 6.2% ABV (91)


Blonde Doppelbock, Capital Brewery (WI). 7.8% ABV (98)
Celebrator Doppelbock, Privatbrauerei Aying (Germany). 6.7% ABV (97)
Imperial Doppelbock, Capital Brewery (WI). 9% ABV (94)


Capital Eisphyre, Capital Brewery (WI). 9.8% ABV (94)
Hermannator Ice Bock, Vancouver Island Brewery (Canada). 9.5% ABV (91)


Julius Echter Hefe-Weiss, Würzburger Hofbraü (Germany). 5.6% ABV (93)


Leavenworth Biers Boulder Bend Dunkelweizen, Fish Brewing Co. (WA). 4.7% ABV (90)

Weizen Bock

Weizen Bock, Bastone Brewery (MI). 7.75% ABV (93)

Wheat Ale

Point Horizon Wheat, Stevens Point Brewery (WI). 4.6% ABV (90)
Edelweiss, Hofbräu Kaltenhausen (Austria). 5.5% ABV (90)

Flavored Wheat Beer

Blue Ridge Blueberry Wheat, Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery (NC). 4.6% ABV (93)
Grozet Gooseberry & Wheat Ale, Williams Bros. Brewing (Scotland). 5% ABV (90)

White Beer

Samuel Adams Imperial White Ale, The Boston Beer Co. (MA). 10.3% ABV (94)
La Trappe Witte Trappist, Bierbrouwerij de Koningshoeren B.V. (Holland). 5.5% ABV (92)
Blanche de Chambly, Unibroue (Canada). 5% ABV (92)

Fruit Beer

Whole Hog Raspberry Saison, Stevens Point Brewery (WI). 7.2% ABV (92)
Raspberry Ale, Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. (OH). 3.9% ABV (92)
Quelque Chose, Unibroue (Canada). 8% ABV (91)

Fruit Lambic

Raspberry Lambic, Upland Brewing (IN). 6% ABV (91)

Specialty Beers

Samuel Adams Utopias, The Boston Beer Co. (MA) 2009. 27.5% ABV (93)
Samuel Adams Triple Bock, The Boston Beer Co. (MA) 1994. 18% ABV (92)
Ginger Beer, Granville Island Brewing Co. (Canada) 2010 Limited Release. 5% ABV (90)

Draft Cider

Wyder’s Dry Pear Cider, Wyder’s Cider Company (VT). 4% ABV (91)
Perronelle’s Blush Cider, Aspall (England). 5.7% ABV (90)
Organic Cider, Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery (England). 5% ABV (90)