West Michigan ranks among best at RateBeer


Hopslam Ale by Bell's Brewery will be sold only in 12-oz cans and on draught in 2016. Photo via fb.com

Readers of an international website dedicated to rating beer think highly of the West Michigan beer industry.

Throughout the month of January, the beer website RateBeer.com released its various “Best” rankings, based on user feedback, including the world’s top-100 breweries.

Best breweries in the world

Galesburg-based Bell’s Brewery is the No. 9 brewery in the world and tops in Michigan.

Outside of the top 10, which are not ranked, Founders Brewing Co. and Grand Haven’s Odd Side Ales are included.

Dexter-based Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, Warren-based Kuhnhenn Brewing and Ferndale’s Schramm’s Mead are on the ranking of best breweries of the world.

The No. 1 brewery in the world is Vermont’s Hill Farmstead Brewery.

Other breweries round out the top 10: San Diego’s AleSmith Brewing; Belgium’s Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen; Munster, Indiana’s Three Floyd’s Brewing Co.; Tillamook, Oregon’s De Garde Brewing; San Diego’s Alpine Beer Co.; Capitola, California’s Sante Adairuius Rustic Ales; Saint Louis’ Side Project Brewing; and Santa Rosa, California’s Russian River Brewing.

California has 22 breweries in the top breweries ranking.

Best beers in the world

Bell’s has three beers show up in the top-100 beers in the world, including Black Note Stout, Expedition Stout and Hopslam.

Founders also has three in the ranking, with CBS, KBS and Breakfast Stout.

Best in Michigan

West Michigan stands at the top of the Michigan sub-region best brewery-related rankings: Top Beer, Founders Brewing Co.’s CBS; Best Brewery, Bell’s Brewery; and Best New Brewery, Muskegon’s Pigeon Hill Brewing Co.

Michigan’s top retailer rankings also include several Grand Rapids honorees, including HopCat as best brewpub. HopCat is also named one of the best brewpubs in the U.S.

Founders is named the state’s top brewer taproom.

Siciliano’s Specialty Market is named the top grocery. The state’s best bottle shop is Champane’s Wine Cellar in Warren.

Siciliano’s is also one of five grocers named for in the U.S. region for best retailers in the world.

And Detroit-based Slows Bar BQ, with a location at Grand Rapids’ Downtown Market, is named the top restaurant. Ann Arbor’s Ashelys is named the best bar.

Best beers by style

Michigan has 22 beers also show up in the rankings of best beers by style, including 11 from West Michigan.

Founders Dissenter Imperial IPA lands at No. 14 on the ranking of best strong lagers. CBS is No. 4 on the ranking of best strong stouts and KBS is No. 15.

Founders Porter is No. 4 on the ranking of best porters.

Bell’s Two Hearted is the No. 9 IPA, while Hopslam is No. 6 on Double IPA. Black Note Stout and Expedition stout are No. 9 and 11 on the ranking of top strong stouts.

Odd Side’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Mayan Mocha stands at No. 4 in best stouts.

New Holland Brewing Co.’s Incorrigible Reserve is No. 15 on the ranking of best Germanic-style sour ales.

Benton Harbor’s The Livery is No. 3 on the ranking for best wheat beer with its Bourbon Barrel Aged Wheat Trippelbock.

Best new releases

Perrin Brewing’s No Rules Vietnamese Porter is the lone representative from Michigan in the Best New Beers category.

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