Mapping the Highest-Rated Beer in Each State Offers One Surprise Discovery

Turns out craft beer drinkers aren't necessarily hops-forward

Different types of beer in glasses and bottles on a table. A new map of favorite beers across America reveals a surprise beer style as a favorite.
The favorite beer in each state did have one thing in common: Extremely-high ABV percentages
Jack Andersen / Getty Images

Is America a bit over the IPA craze?

As part of coverage during its second annual American Beer Month, VinePair —using information and reviews gathered from Beer Advocate — figured out the highest-rated brew from each state and D.C.

While not necessarily scientific, it does represents thousands of ratings from beer aficionados across the country. And IPAs did well, but that category didn’t represent a majority of the states’ winners — and several top-rated brews were more likely to take on flavors of fruit or desserts.

The highest-rated brew on Beer Advocate’s list

Some findings:

  • Stout is the style of beer that tops state rankings the most (22 times). IPAs are second at 19.
  • The highest rated state beer overall is Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout, which BA users gave a 4.9/5. Oddly, given its name, the 12% ABV beer hails from Iowa’s Toppling Goliath Brewing Company and is described as “chocolate chip pancakes drenched with maple syrup served with espresso and a shot of bourbon, all in one sip.”
  • Vermont is the state with the most craft breweries per capita. The highest ranking beer there is Heady Topper, an IPA with a strong cult following.
  • Three of the country’s top beers feature coconut.
  • The highest ABV was the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Worldwide Stout from Delaware’s Dogfish Head, coming in at a whopping 18.3%. The lowest? Atrial Rubicite from Jester King in Texas — this unfiltered, unpasteurized, 100% bottle conditioned and raspberry-flavored wild ale has a 5.8% ABV.

The biggest non-surprise on the map? The unusual beer names, be it Disco Ninja, Hopulization or Fuzzy Baby Ducks.


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