It's no secret that craft beers are becoming more and more popular every year. There are tons of things to love and admire about the craft beer world. The flavor, the variety, the creativity—it's all amazing. With this in mind, we have come up with the list of the best craft beers of 2022.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall - Toppling Goliath Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout
Best Splurge - Cigar City Hunahpu's Imperial Stout
• Brewed once a year and only available at the brewery every March
Most Affordable - Victory Brewing Prima Pils
• Offers an ideal blend of herbal bitterness and creamy malt taste
1. Toppling Goliath Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout - Best Overall
This highly acclaimed craft beer is a masterfully crafted combination of the best of this Iowa brewery's barrel room has to offer. Kentucky Brunch requires time and care to develop, and those who get the chance to drink this fantastic brew will instantly understand it.
On the nose, there are intense aromatics of coffee and maple syrup that lead to flavors of bourbon-drenched maple and chocolate brownies. This is one of the rarest beers right now, so much so that you would have to be very dedicated or very lucky to have a taste of this.
2. Hill Farmstead Susan - Best American IPA
Susan's masterfully balanced use of the powerful, citrusy Riwaka hop, together with Citra and Simcoe, provides lovely aromas of orange, tangerine, and grapefruit, as well as an overall fruity and tropical notes.
The sweet citrus scent is matched by subtle floral and melon notes. All of that fruity, green sweetness lies on a silky, creamy texture. This is a really polished and well-crafted IPA with an incredible mouthfeel that makes it easy to drink.
3. Three Floyds Zombie Dust - Best American Pale Ale
Zombie Dust, a single-hop beer showcasing the Citra hop, was initially launched in 2010 and was among the first beers to utilize only Citra hops. This craft beer is an American Pale Ale that features Citra hops while maintaining pale ale qualities that balance the fruity aromas and bitterness.
Aside from being a fantastic brew, it has also received multiple awards. It has been in the top ten of Zymurgy magazine's list of the most outstanding beers in America every year since 2015, with its highest rating coming in 2017 when it climbed all the way to fourth place.
It has excellent fruity aromas of blackberry, peach, blueberry, mango, and pineapple, followed by a fruity hops flavor with a touch more citrusy. This is an excellent example of a pale ale with great hoppy quality but a tolerable bitterness that makes it very drinkable.
4. New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red - Best Fruit Beer
New Glarus' Belgian Red is a flavorful work of art. This beer is produced with Montmorency Cherries, Wisconsin farmed wheat, and Belgian roasted barleys, then lagered in oak tanks and balanced with Hallertau hops that have been aged for a whole year.
With tons of Door County Cherries in each bottle, this beer is unmistakably "Wisconsin." This beer is ruby red, with a medium body that is strongly carbonated. It features a robust cherry flavor with a subtle hint of tartness. Overall, a great sipping beer that would pair nicely with any dessert.
5. Maine Beer Company Zoe - Best Red/Amber Ale
Maine Beer labeled this their "happy, hoppy, amber ale." This is a fantastic amber ale, with a forward and pleasant hop character and an appropriate alcohol level. It has welcoming aromas of pine, raisins, caramel malt, toasted nuts, and toffee.
It features delightful citrus, black currant, cherry, and fig notes with a malty backbone of toasted bread, dark chocolate, and caramel. The balance between this brew's forward hop flavors, sweetness, and maltiness is superb. The full, round flavors are both bitter and decadent at once.
6. Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan “Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier” - Best Hefeweizen (Wheat Beer)
This is a restorative classic wheat beer with a delightful yeasty aroma and flavor. This golden-yellow wheat beer with fine-pored white froth smells like cloves and has a lovely banana flavor.
It has a robust body and a pleasant yeast flavor that you may sip at any time. It pairs beautifully with fish and shellfish, spicy cheese, and, of course, famous Bavarian veal sausage. This award-winning hefeweizen is brewed following the centuries-old Weihenstephan hill brewing tradition.
7. Stillwater Artisanal Gose Gone Wild - Best Sour Beer
Gose Gone Wild was a release in Stillwater's Remix series, a collection of beers in which Stillwater takes a well-known beer and elevates it by incorporating new ingredients to transform the original beer while preserving the traits that it initially has.
Founder Brian Strumke contacted Westbrook Brewing Co. in early 2014, intending to collaborate on one of Westbrook's most well-known beers, Gose, a traditional German-style sour wheat beer made with coriander and salt.
Strumke added Citra and Amarillo hops then fermented it with multiple strains of Brettanomyces to create a unique spin on the well-known beer.
This sour beer pours a hazy golden color with a sizable white, foamy head. The aroma from the glass is a powerful blend of lemongrass, coriander, wheat, and grapefruit. From the first taste, you'll discover an explosion of intense lemon and salt aromas that will make your mouth water. It has a tart flavor that significantly complements the yeasty note perfectly.
8. Cigar City Hunahpu's Imperial Stout - Best Stout
The narrative of the Hero Twins, twin brothers named Xbalanque and Hunahpu, is fundamental to Mayan mythology. After Xibalba's evil deities slew the Twins' father, his body became a cacao tree, giving birth to our two Heroes.
Epic adventures ensued, ending in a quest to Xibalba to avenge the death of their father. After easily defeating their foes, they soared to the sky and became the sun and moon.
Hunahpu's Imperial Stout is only produced once a year and is only available at the brewery every March. On the nose, aromas of dark chocolate, mocha, cinnamon, and molasses vie for attention, with a mild alcohol spiciness and dark fruit notes complementing.
This imperial stout is imposing and strong on the tongue, with notes of espresso, baker's chocolate, and plum that lead to cinnamon, caramel, and an earthy hop character. With each taste, the heat gradually increases, while a delicate bitterness and mild carbonation create a counterbalance to this nuanced brew.
9. Hill Farmstead Everett - Best Porter
Hill Farmstead Everett - Image by tenemu.com
This porter is made with American malted barley, English and German roasted malts, American hops, ale yeast, and Hill Farmstead well water. It's also unfiltered and carbonated naturally. Its depth is rich, with a strong base of chocolate, coffee, and malty sweetness.
Like any good porter, this pours a rich, dark brown with a fair amount of burned caramel head. The head swiftly dissipates, leaving only a trace of bubbles around the glass. Rich aromas of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, a bit of vanilla, cocoa, a touch of woodiness, and earthy hops distinguish this superb beer.
At first, it has a bit of alcoholic flavor but quickly transitions to a charred wood flavor with a deep coffee bitterness. There's also dark chocolate, caramel, and a deep earthy but bitter hop presence that lingers on your mouth long after you're done with this great beer.
10. Victory Brewing Prima Pils - Best German Pilsner
Prima! It's a joyous German exclamation. This is the gasp that will come out of your mouth the first time you sample this excellent pilsner. It offers an ideal blend of refreshing herbal bitterness and creamy malt taste thanks to gobs of whole flower European hops and quality German malts.
This is a crisp, unique Pilsner brewed with German hops that impart floral and spice aromas, as well as citrus and lemon. It features a modest bready malt sweetness on the tongue, followed by a robust and resinous hop character.
This German pilsner is remarkable in combining nuanced depth with smooth, easy sipping.
11. Huss Brewing Koffee Kölsch - Best Kölsch
This is a classic light-bodied Kölsch that has been cold steeped with freshly roasted caramel and hazelnut coffee beans. It's a beautiful, one-of-a-kind brew that's as light as any lager but carries a delightful coffee punch.
This is a fantastic beer that will revel in confusing your senses. Though it pours pretty light in color, the scent contains hazelnut and coffee notes more characteristic of a darker brew.
It's crisp and clean, with hazelnut, vanilla, coffee, and caramel notes. It's a lively, delicious beverage that craft beer enthusiasts should try.
12. Tree House Eureka (w/ Citra) - Best Blonde Ale
Tree House Eureka (w/ Citra) - Image by anotherdreamytraveller.com
This blonde ale is made exclusively with Citra hops. Eureka w/ Citra pours a hazy, golden straw hue with a densely beaded, white head that swiftly fades. It has subtle aromas of tropical fruit, like mango and papaya, and peach and lemony citrus notes.
This blonde ale has a flavor profile that is as sophisticated as its aromas. One sip leaves you perplexed, and you'll need to try it again to uncover its depth.
Fruity notes of mango, papaya, and peach play with bready and mildly floral aromas in a light-to-medium-bodied mouthfeel. The finish has a mild, transitory bitterness and a leafy character that strikes the back of your tongue.
Because of the fruitiness, Eureka w/ Citra is clean, bright, fresh, and refreshing. And, with an ABV of only 4.1%, it's almost a session beer too. It's ideal for hot summer days, barbeques, and crisp autumn evenings over a fire pit.
13. Brouwerij Westvleteren Trappist Westvleteren 8 - Best Belgian Dubbel
Westvleteren's Dubbel is distinguished by its blue cap. Like the other Westvleteren beers, the bottle lacks a label. Thus, the cap ultimately identifies which beer is which.
Like the other Westvleteren brews, it can only be purchased legally at the monastery (by appointment) or the tavern across the street. However, it frequently ends up on the black market, where it is sold at ridiculous prices.
It has a lot of appealing fruit aromas, such as plum, banana, and apple. A traditional Dubbel taste profile, with raisins, toffee, bananas, and a hint of clove.
It's assertive, even aggressive, yet it's so flavorful that you can't help but enjoy it. The ester profile is traditional, with some bananas mingling with the fresher notes. The aftertaste is dry, with a rich and well-developed malt flavor.
14. Unibroue La Fin Du Monde - Best Tripel
After 18 months of study on a particular strain of yeast from Europe, La Fin du Monde was produced. It is named after the daring European explorers who thought they had reached the "end of the world" when they found North America, dubbed "the new world."
This triple-style golden ale replicates the kind of beer invented by Trappist monks for special events in the Middle Ages, and it was the first of its kind to be made in North America.
La Fin du Monde, like Trappist tripel ales, is brewed and fermented in the bottle, a first in the American market at the time of debut. It has become among the most awarded Canadian beers and has been recognized in several prestigious international competitions.
The superiority of triple fermentation with a specific yeast combination provides this malt beverage with a solid taste with excellent refinement.
15. Saint Arnold Brewing Company Pumpkinator - Best Pumpkin Beer
Pumpkinator is a massive, black beer full of spice and flavor. It is Saint Arnold Brewing's response to how a pumpkin beer should taste.
It is an 11.2 percent ABV pumpkin beer made with pumpkin, molasses, brown sugar, and various spices. It is claimed to be Saint Arnold's most costly beer they have brewed to date. There are intense aromas of spice and pumpkin pie on the nose, with notes of sweet toasted malt.
There's a tremendous roasted base flavor here, as well as cacao and chocolate richness. With nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger, the spice component of the beer is enhanced. The pumpkin taste is mild yet prominent, giving some lovely sweetness. This is an excellent holiday beer ideal for drinking on cold nights.
Craft beers are becoming more and more popular every year because of the great flavor, variety, and creativity that come with them.
Brewers in the beer industry are always experimenting with new ingredients and styles, so there's always something new to try. This is why a lot of excellent beer clubs offer them. Plus, it’s also good to try some amazing beers at their ideal temperature.
Whether you're a craft beer lover or not, you have to admit that it's pretty cool how passionate people get about their favorite brews.
What defines a great craft beer for you? Is it the taste, the ingredients, or something else entirely? We’d love to know your thoughts; share them down below!