Another year just came to an end and while some like to share shitty quotes on kitschy pictures to welcome you to the new year, my specialty consists to overwhelm you with statistics and other top lists from the past year. The whole thing being mainly of course as subjective as my taste buds are, though I would like to remind you that I have never been paid for good (or bad) ratings. As this sounds like an evidence to any normally constituted human being, believe it or not, some dumb-asses actually think the opposite.
So, ready ? If you don’t like stats and lists, it’s your last chance to surf somewhere else. You have been warned …
I have been able to discover 1’164 new beers last year, 66 less than during my record year of 2015.
The graphic below displays my number of new beers per year since 2000 (I have no detailed information about my first 13 years of beer hunting).
In this total, Switzerland accounts for more than 50% with 604 new beers. The next most represented are Spain (77), Germany (62), the USA (51) and Denmark (48) for a total of 41 different countries.
Happily, I have been able to tick 5 new countries – Tajikistan, Rwanda, Gambia, Cape Verde and Belize – for a total of 169. There are only 41 left …
My favorite country (with more than 4 beers tasted) has been Serbia (could this be by chance ? Not sure ;-)).
The USA, winner of 2015, are second followed by Norway, Denmark and Belgium. Switzerland appears only on place 12, 2 places down in comparison with 2015.
I got beers from 488 different breweries (24 more than last year) and the most represented have been Mikkeller (18), Cinq 4000 (17), Virage (16) and then To Øl, CôteWest Brewing and Darkwolf with each 13.
My top ten breweries of 2016 (worldwide) is totally dominated by the Swiss with 8 ambassadors !
Once again and for the sixth consecutive year the most represented style has been IPA with 157 beers. Far behind you can find American Pale Ale (76), Spice/Herb/Vegetable (59), Imperial Stout and Saison (52).
My favorite style has been Gueuze ahead of American Strong Ale (5th last year), Imperial Stout (2nd in 2015 and winner in 2014), Baltic/Imperial Porter and Black IPA.
The styles I have appreciated the less are Pale Lager, then Dunkel, Vienna, Pilsner and Zwickelbier. Believe me (or not), I am fully capable to like all those styles (in contrast to Dunkelweizen for instance) if they are properly brewed. Unfortunately this is rarely seen nowadays.
Let’s now have a detailled look at Switzerland.
In 2016 a record number of 156 new breweries have been registered at the Swiss Federal Customs Administration. During the same time, I have discovered beers from “only” 58 new ones.
Needless to say that a global coverage of the Swiss beer market has become fully unrealistic, even for my very busy friend and ticker Thomas Schneider who is drinking Swiss beers 50% faster than I am … Personally I have tried beers from 371 of the 756 Swiss breweries in activity.
My best new Swiss breweries for 2016 are (the winner in 2015 was the recently closed BRAUBAR):
1. Bischoff (Frauenfeld, TG)
2. Brucke (Etoy, VD)
3. Hoppy People (Sierre, VS)
4. BLZ (Biel, BE)
the Black Pig (Courroux, JU)
6. Braumanufaktur Schlachthuus (Lufingen, ZH)
7. La Pièce (Meyrin, GE)
8. Brasserie du Virage (Plan-les-Ouates, GE)
9. Mükon (Eschlikon, TG)
10.Mousse de Thoune (Thun, BE)
And here are my top 20 Swiss breweries in 2016 (the winner in 2015 was the BFM):
1. Cinq 4000
3. CôteWest Brewing
4. Bierzunft Wehntal
6. Old School
8. Trois Dames
9. Güschu 58
18.Bier Factory Rapperswil
And to close the Swiss chapter until next year, here are my 10 favorite beers from 2016:
1. Blackwell Poetry Slambic 2012
2. BRAUBAR Toppling Heads 2.0
3. Bierzunft Wehntal the Pepper Goes QUINtessenCE
3. Cinq 4000 Je s’appelle Beetroots
5. 523 New World Wit
5. BFM Highway to Helles – Velvet Underground Edition
7. BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru 2014 – Lasciatemi Chiantiare
8. Cinq 4000 Sour Sour Galaxy IPA
9. BFM / la Nébuleuse Degustatoro
10.Cinq 4000 / Mise en Bière Wartek
And the top ten of 2016 worldwide:
1. Thornbridge Love Among the Ruins
2. FiftyFifty Master Bart
3. 3 Fonteinen Armand’4 Oude Geuze Lente
3. Blackwell Poetry Slambic 2012
5. Hanssens Oude Schaerbeekse Kriek
5. Evil Twin Même Jésus Plus
5. To Øl Black Malt & Body Salts
5. BRAUBAR Toppling Heads 2.0
9. Thornbridge Hall Bracia
9. Bierzunft Wehntal the Pepper Goes Quintessence
9. Cinq 4000 Je s’appelle Beetroots
You don’t know one or more of these wonderful Swiss breweries and beers ? You would like to have more details like breweries addresses or list of beers ? Take a look at my Switzerland Beer Guide , it might help you.
Meanwhile, I wish you all the best for 2017 and hope you will be able to discover a lot of wonderful new beers !