Brewers Association Top 10 Craft Beer Picks

Man drawing beer from tap in an plastic cup. Isolated in a black background

In today’s article we’re going to list Brewers Association top 10 craft beer picks, except the brewers association, being a non-profit objective organization does not pool data on the best craft beers because in general, it’s subjective and experiential. The Brewers Association focuses on HARD data (sales volume, production, distribution, etc.), not subjective data (beer taste, quality, aroma, experience, etc.)

To counter we’re pooling valuable sources from the world-renowned as handy go-to guide for this comprehensive list.

We’ve decided to set the minimum number of user reviews at 500 so there’s enough data to give the craft beverage enough of a field taste amongst drinkers.

The greater the sampling size the more reliable the rating across a broad range of craft drinkers with various tastes. Too few drinkers and a handful of reviews could unfairly skew the results heavily in favor or against a particular beer in one direction or the other. Thus, we believe 500 user reviews to be a fairly good sample size and factor that into the following review process.

Before we begin check out line of craft beer-related offerings and visit our website to learn more about the various delicious drinks we have to offer you.

Now without further ado…


Number #1

Heady Topper – The Alchemist

If you’ve been blessed by the God’s of Craft to get your hands on a single can of this $5 – $8 16 ounce can, congratulations, you’ve hit the jackpot. You’ve struck gold. You’re officially a member of the Beer High Club. Because its limited production sells clean out in a matter of minutes following release to the public. Every. Single. Week. It’s even well known internationally in New England…

…by craft beer enthusiasts who have yet to taste the beer!

They hear stories. Rumors. And many go out of their way, leaving family behind to travel halfway across the globe for a sip of this double India Pale Ale brewed in Waterbury, Vermont.

So what is this stuff made of?

Glad you asked.

Heady Topper is unfiltered and unpasteurized at 8% ABV with subtle hints of citrus flavors, fresh cut grass and grapefruit; big, BIG flavors! It pours a hazy golden straw color with a beautiful foamy white head. Mild bitter finish that stays on the tongue but non-intrusive.

If you can score one of these bad boys in your lifetime, with enough patience (and possibly bribes if you must), it’s worth every last cent.


Number #2

Founders CBS Imperial Stout – Founders Brewing Company

According to a series of user reviews, appearance is a jet black, nice tan head with great lacing down the glass. Smells of bourbon, and lots of it! More coffee and chocolate near the finish. Remarkably smooth taste. Barrel is beautifully blended. Bourbon, coffee bitterness, a tad of chocolate sweetness and a bit of Michigan maple syrup. Very well balanced stout. Finish is quite smooth. It’s certainly “thick” but not sticky.

Overall this is a smooth, well-balanced stout. Fantastic beer. Not to be missed. 10.60% ABV.


Number #3

Julius – Tree House Brewing Company

Company describes it as loaded with notes of passionfruit, mango and citrus at 6.5% alcohol. Refreshing and freakishly drinkable.

According to a conglomerate of user reviews, pours hazy orange in color with a fluffy white head. Surprisingly, aroma is reserved yet features tropical fruits and a light crackery malt. Loaded with flavor, tons of tropical and citrus fruits (peach, tangy, mango and some melon). Easy to drink.


Number #4

Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)

~ ~ A Rare Beer That Lives Up To It’s Hype ~ ~

According to a series of user reviews, appealing 330mL bottle poured into a chalice. Very pleasant smell. Sweet. Yeasty bread. Molasses and fig. Very nice taste of sweet raisins, figs, and rich brioche bread; toasted caramel flavor. Creamy, coating and sinfully smooth. Perfectly balanced from beginning to end. Certainly a treat to try. So good you won’t want the experience to end. Frustration may set in as you ponder over why you didn’t grab a second bottle when given half a chance.


Number #5

Good Morning – Tree House Brewing Company

~ ~ The #1 BEST CRAFT BEER in the WORLD ~ ~

Produced only twice a year with a one bottle limit per person through the growler line, “Good Morning” certainly has what it takes to get your morning off on the right foot!

Smells like chocolate chip pancakes with syrup. Taste is chocolate, coffee, and maple syrup and the feel is a thick, mouth coating whole milk type.

According to a conglomerate of user reviews, one commenter said, “Easily one of the best beers I’ve ever had opening my eyes to what one of the best beers in the world would taste like and it’s quality”. “Overall one of the best stouts I’ve ever had” said another reviewer. We could go on for pages but we’d rather let you experience the best craft beer in the world instead of salivating for it.

A great offering if you’re lucky enough to find this well rounded and balanced stout anywhere.

Want to learn more about Blake’s Hard Cider and our products? Click here.


Number #6

Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout – Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

~ ~ Near IMPOSSIBLE To Catch ~ ~

According to it’s commercial description, this beer is the REAL DEAL. Barrel aged and crammed with coffee, none other will stand in its way. Notoriously difficult to find and catch like Bonnie and Clyde the Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout is wanted in your belly – dead or alive.

According to a combination of reviews, this is THE perfect beer next to the number #1 contender, “Good Morning”. “A TRUE whale if you love your stouts”. “This beer has not a SINGLE flaw aside from that the bottle is only 12 oz and you could fall into a mild depression when it’s gone. Unreal mouthfeel. Insane nose maple and vanilla. Taste exceeds the hype.”

Whet your appetite? Good. You’re going to need $1250 for the privilege to purchase a single bottle. A bit outside your price range? Make good friends and connections and you could go a long ways.


Number #7

Mornin’ Delight – Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

According to it’s commercial description, if you’re a coffee drinker, this delicious coffee stout will make you chuck out all your creamers and low-fat vanilla cream latte’s. Not the greatest foam design, but what it lacks in ‘foam’ it makes up for in a satisfying coffee-esque pick-me-up.

According to a conglomerate of user reviews, “I can’t believe this isn’t barrel aged!”, “rich and authentic roasted coffee and cocoa depths of the malt”, “Wave after wave of flavor”, “Chocolate cake and cocoa are prominent”


Number #8

King Julius – Tree House Brewing Company

According to it’s commercial description, King Julius as an American Double IPA brewed to exceptional flavor, juiciness, and hop saturation while never tiring the palate. It’s vivid citrus aromas give way to flavors of orange creamsicle, mango smoothie and a bounty of fresh tropical fruit. Supremely soft in the midst of an onslaught of flavors. 8.30% ABV

According to a series of user reviews, “Take everything in the companies description of this offering and DOUBLE IT. This is a very special treat. A love offering if you will.”, “One of only five beers I’ve had I give an absolute perfect score.


Number #9

Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout – Double Barrel Aged – Cigar City Brewing

According to it’s commercial description, Stout aged on Peruvian cacao nibs, ancho and pasilla chiles, cinnamon and Madagascar vanilla beans aged in apple brandy and rum barrels before being blended together.

According to a conglomerate of user reviews, “Even after 2 years, this beer remains perfect”, “a top-notch drink and so smooth and tasty. Drink em if you got em!”, “This beer is hands down one of the all-time greats.”, “So much complexity going on in this beer the words are difficult to find. A definite experience for Huna fans.”


Number #10

Marshmallow Handjee (Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord) – 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

According to it’s commercial description, Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout aged in a variety of Bourbon barrels with vanilla beans.

According to a series of user reviews, “Great smell of cake, barrel, vanilla and bourbon. Taste is very sweet, barrel, hint of pepper, loads of vanilla and marshmallow. Smooth and sweet. Glad to have finally tasted this.”, “Finally got to try this and wow. It does in fact live up to the hype. 2016 vintage.



This concludes this comprehensive of the best craft beer picks. There are certainly many more (200+) that would be quite fun to track down, purchase and enjoy over a nice meal. Although you will likely spend a pretty penny to get your hands on even a single bottle of these elixirs of life, it’s worth it and then some. They say you only live once so why not drink your way to eternal bliss?

If you’re around our neck of the woods stop on buy and say “Howdy” at 17985 Armada Center Rd. Armada, MI 48005, give us a call at 586-784-9463 or shoot us an email at for questions or inquiries.

You can also visit us at Blake’s Hard Cider  to learn more about our latest products and exciting upcoming events.

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