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Stan Hieronymus’ Best of 2018

Stan Hieronymus, one of the country’s foremost experts on beer and an authority on hops, gives us his annual look at what stood out while drinking beer and interviewing brewers around the world.

Stan Hieronymus Nov 26, 2018 - 7 min read

Stan Hieronymus’ Best of 2018 Primary Image

Top Three Small Breweries (15K bbl or less)

Scratch Brewing Company (Ava, Illinois) It would not matter that Marika Josephson and Aaron Kleidon have done so much to expand the perception of what ingredients belong in beer if the ones poured at Scratch weren’t excellent. They are—full of flavor and enhanced by their rural surroundings.

Brasserie de la Senne (Brussels, Belgium) The beers from Brasserie de la Senne consistently align with my palate. They are not fussy, but are instead focused, dry, and properly bitter. Or in two words: Tarus Boulba.

Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey (San Diego, California)
This seems like a cheat, because this is one of several breweries that brewed only a bit less than 15,000 barrels in 2017 passed that in 2018. But the suggestion that wineries should prove themselves across ten vintages before they may be called great seems particularly relevant here. The beers are still getting better ten years after PB/TLA won World Beer Cup Champion Small Brewery in 2008.

Top Regional or National Brewery (15K bbl or more)

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