A very rich and exciting year – and not only related to beer – came to an end and it’s time again for some statistics and ranking lists (yes: if you are looking for poetry, I fear you’re on the wrong place ;-))
After my first slow-down during the last 9 years in 2014, my number of beers tasted was boosted again last year to reach a personal new record of 1230 new beers.
Let’s be honest: for me it is getting pretty close to exaggerated. So that I’m always wondering how the top guys on RateBeer can manage to taste 4 times more beers. The actual top rater – fonefan – has rated more than 4000 beers for the seventh consecutive year … A really impressive performance!
The graphic below shows the evolution of my total number of beer tasted during the last 28 years.
In this total of 1230 new beers, Switzerland is again accounting for approximately 50% of them with 668. The next most represented countries are far behind: the USA (94), Denmark (73), Italy (67), Spain (60) and Belgium (52).
I have been able to discover beers from 3 new countries – French Guiana, Pakistan and Transnistria – which brings my country total to 164 (or 166 according to RateBeer criteria).
My favorite country (with more than 4 beers tasted) has been once again the USA ahead of Norway, Denmark, Canada and Scotland. Switzerland appears only on place 10.
Two years ago, when I started to analyze the average alcohol content of my sampled beers, I would never have thought to find such similar values from year to year. After an overall average of 6.5% in 2013, it has been identical in 2014 and 2015 with 6.4%. Scotland can be found on the top with 9.5% followed by Norway (8.8%) and the USA (7.7%). The value for Switzerland is identical with the one from 2014: 6.1%.
I got beers from 464 different breweries (55 more than last year) and the most represented have been Brasserie des 5 Quatre Mille (Switzerland, 31), Mikkeller (Denmark, 25), To Øl (Denmark, 22), 523 (Switzerland, 20) and UHB (Switzerland, 20).
Here is my top ten of the best breweries worldwide in 2015 with not less than 5 Swiss ambassadors and among them one on the first place !
1. BFM (Switzerland)
2. Prairie Artisan Ales (USA)
3. 523 (Switzerland)
4. Blackwell (Switzerland)
5. Mikkeller (Denmark)
6. To Øl (Denmark)
7. Brasserie des 5 Quatre Mille (Switzerland)
8. Jester King (USA)
9. De Dochter van de Korenaar (Belgium)
10. UHB (Switzerland)
For the fifth consecutive year now the most represented style has been IPA again with 124 beers. And, thanks for asking, no: I don’t have problems with this hype. American Pale Ale follows far behind with 69, then Imperial Stout (58), Saison (55) and Sour Ales (53).
Talking about styles, my favorite in 2015 has been Sour Ale ahead of the winner of last year, Imperial Stout. Then come Imperial IPA, Fruit Lambic and American Strong Ale. On the other end of the scale we can find without surprise some beer styles I dislike: Dunkel, Dunkelweizen, Pale Lager and on last position Low Alcohol beers.
Let’s now take a closer look to Switzerland.
During the last 12 months the number of opened breweries has continued its cosmic-like inflation with 145 newcomers (there were 88 in 2014). The number of registered breweries in my country is now solidly established at more than 600 and there are no signs of possible middle-term weakening.
The market composition in itself – most of those breweries can be qualified of nano or even yocto-breweries maybe … – makes a complete coverage so illusory that I can be satisfied with my discover of 55 new breweries last year.
My best new Swiss breweries for 2015 are (the winner in 2014 was 523):
And here are my top 20 Swiss breweries in 2015 (the winner in 2014 was Storm&Anchor):
4. Brasserie des 5 Quatre Mille
8. Officina della Birra
9. Brygger Øl
Like every year I warmly recommend to you to try the products from these artists if you don’t know them already.
And to close the Swiss chapter, here are my 10 favorite beers from 2015:
1. BFM √226 Degustator
2. BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (2014) – Frenchy Sparkling Wine
3. Blackwell I Can See your Flanders &
3. BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien (2014)
5. Blackwell Drahtesel &
5. BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (2013) – Megamix Rum Vol.2
7. 523 Incredibly Powerful Apricot Juice
8. Bodensee Van Meer
9. Sottobisio / Full Measure 3D-IPA
10.Storm&Anchor Beast (2015)
And the top ten of 2015 worldwide:
1. Prairie Bomb! – Barrel Aged
2. Birrificio del Ducato La Luna Rossa
3. Prairie / Evil Twin Bible Belt
3. Russian River Consecration
3. BFM √226 Degustator
6. BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (2014) – Frenchy Sparkling Wine
7. Blackwell I Can See your Flanders
7. BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien (2014)
7. Nøgne Ø / Mikkeller / Brewdog Horizon Tokyo Black
7. Struise Black Damnation II – Mocha Bomb
Thanks again to all of you, friends and brewers, who have heavily contributed to a rich and successful beer year 2015 ! I’m sure we’ll met again this year.