To all those naysayers who have insisted for the past decade-plus that craft beer was just having a moment, I think it’s safe to say that the “moment” is here to stay. Indeed, what we have is an enduring movement.
The breadth of offerings has certainly expanded since the scene took hold in the early aughts, and quality beer is an established staple in any true beverage-lover’s arsenal.
Cross-drinking is also the new normal, as people have awakened to the joys of high-quality pours across category types. There’s far too much beauty to behold in the drinks world to remain exclusive to just one libation.
And so, in the quest to find the best of the best across all major categories, here we are once more, ready and willing to help you sort it all out with our end-of-year top lists covering wines, spirits, and, yes, beer.
As has been the case since our first list in 2009, it’s important for us to stress that this is not a top 25 beers of all time, or even a ranking of the best brews released this past year. Rather, this list represents the most impressive, interesting and exciting beers we had the pleasure to review throughout 2019.
And as always, balance is key in both my ratings and in compiling this list. While score and price play important roles in these rankings, so do diversity of brands, styles, countries, production sizes and availability. Because, as we all know, with such a wide world of delicious beers to try, why limit yourself?
So cheers to all the cross-drinkers out there, and here’s to better beer for all. –Lauren Buzzeo