This list is not the top 25 beers of all time, but our annual ranking of the best-reviewed selections from the past 12 months. Culled from our monthly Beer Buying Guide, these represent the most dynamic and exciting beers reviewed this year. They exhibit extraordinary craftsmanship, innovation and quality at prices that still represent affordable luxury.
Continuing the previous year’s trend, the majority of beers submitted and reviewed in 2013 were domestic selections (IPAs being the most popular style), with a handful of European samples adding international perspective. But, for this list, we ultimately strive for overall balance—of countries, brands, styles, prices and production sizes. Numeric scores and pricing play a role, but industry buzz, category trends and ingenuity are key considerations as well.
As a result, you’ll find that this is not just a list of top-scoring selections, but a ranking that includes selections from numerous states and countries, of varying styles, with assorted price tags and distribution areas. There are some that are available from coast to coast, while others might not be readily available in your area or are extremely limited in production. They’re all beer treasures worth the hunt.