Craft beers continue to grab market share of the overall beer market in America, as total U.S. beer volume sales declined 3% in 2022, according to the Brewers Association. Craft-brewer volume sales edged up 0.1%, and the small and independent brewers’ share of the U.S. beer market by volume now stands at 13.2%. Retail dollar sales of craft beer rose 5%, to $28.4 billion, accounting for 24.6% of the $115 billion U.S. beer market.
In 1985, there were only 110 breweries of any kind in the U.S. As of 2022, there were 9,709, some 9,552 of them classified as craft breweries – an all-time high – and they are well-represented in every state.
To compile a list of the best craft beer from every state, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the “Top 250 Rated Beers” on BeerAdvocate, as judged by its readers. The site asks reviewers to score beers on a scale of 1.00 to 5.00 in 0.25-point increments on five ratable attributes: appearance, aroma, taste, mouthfeel, and overall impressions. The site then calculates ratings by weighting attributes differently (most important is taste, weighted at 40%). The weighting accounts for the fact that in the ranking here, the highest placed beers don’t necessarily have the highest reader scores. Scores are current as of mid-May 2023.
As alcoholic beverages go, beer is the least powerful of potent potables. The average alcohol by volume for beer is around 4.5%. The craft beers on our list pack a greater wallop, with ABVs ranging from 4.8% to 17.3% – the latter in Utopias Barrel-Aged World Wide Stout, made by the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Delaware. (On the other hand, here are 25 things you might not know about non-alcoholic beer.)
Craft beers range from hoppy double IPAs to inky-black imperial stouts to English-style barleywines. American imperial stout is the preferred style in 19 states, followed by New England IPA with nine. This is indicative of the popularity of these beers as well as their experimental potential by their brewers. (See where some of these beers place on our list of the 30 best beers in America.)
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