Yes, commercial beer is widespread, and craft beer is more expensive than your average Bud Light. Still, craft brewers worldwide have come a long way. There were less than 100 breweries in the US in the 1980s, but there are over 9,000 today!
The question is, what is the best craft beer around? We scouted the most popular beer rating apps and dug deep into the most dedicated beer publications to find the best craft beer styles according to beer lovers. Let’s talk about the top-rated craft beers of 2022. Have you tried them all?
1. American Imperial Stouts
American Imperial Stouts rank number one this year, with not one but several beers taking the first spots in most popularity ranks.
American Stouts are a modern beer style inspired by the dark English Porters and Stouts of the 1700s. Imperial Stouts are bigger and meaner than regular Stouts, so expect alcohol by volume between 8-12% and assertive bitterness, always with scents typical of roasted malts—chocolate, espresso and black licorice.
Beer to try:
- Marshmallow Handjee by 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
- Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout by Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
- Barrel-Aged Abraxas by Perennial Artisan Ales
2. New England IPAs
Also known as Hazy IPAs and NEIPAs, this delightful craft beer style is the second most popular this year, and it’s because even non-beer drinkers can’t resist its creamy mouthfeel and enticing tropical flavors.
NEIPAs were created in the early 2010s, and they make the most out of the tropical, floral, and citrusy scents typical of American hops. Unlike most other IPAs, Hazy IPAs are not bitter at all. In fact, they’re juicy, fruity and extremely easy to drink. These are the soft drinks of the beer world.
Beer to try:
- King Julius by Tree House Brewing Company
- Very Hazy by Tree House Brewing Company
- King Sue by Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
3. Sour / Wild Beer
Sour beers have finally found their way to the mainstream. These funky and tart beers are typical in Belgium, where they’ve existed for centuries, going back to the Middle Ages. Today, every brewer worldwide wants to make their own version. American brewers have gotten particularly good at them!
Sour beers are fermented with wild, ambient yeast, and other microorganisms play a part in the beer’s transformation, resulting in not-your-average beer. Some sour beers are infused with fruit, while others look and taste a bit more like a regular ale—but sour. Prominent beer styles in this category include Gose, Gueuze, and Lambics.
Beer to Try:
- Fou’ Foune (Fruit Lambic) by Brasserie Cantillon
- Duck Gooze (Gueuze) by The Lost Abbey
- Kriek Lou Pepe (Fruit Lambic) by Brasserie Cantillon
- Atrial Rubicite (Wild Ale) by Jester King Brewery
Craft Beer for Days!
There’s no doubt craft beer has had a good year, and there’s something for everyone. Just last year, IPAs were leading the pack, but 2022 seems to be all about robust porters and stouts, fruity NEIPAS, and funky drinks—and that’s exciting!
Needless to say, whether you want a strong, dark beer, a hazy cold one packed with tropical fruit scents, or a tart, wild brew, your favorite craft breweries have you covered.