The Top 10 Highest-Average Rated Beer Styles of 2022
Presented by Oskar Blues Brewery
There is no doubt we all love stouts. But are we all still crazy for hazy? Is this the year of the lager? We're about to find out. For our second post in our series of Untappd Year in Review for 2022, we're taking a look at the top ten styles of 2022 based on the total number of check-ins*.
But first, don't forget!
Again, we're rating this list a little differently this year. In years past we've presented styles with the most amount of check-ins. In 2022, we're showing you the styles with the highest average rating over the year
Check out what styles rated highest this past year.
10. Lambic - Traditional
A style with some mystery and intrigue, lambics have deep roots and tradition in Belgium. It's only within the last decade or so that this category has started to emerge in the United States, hitting this list in the number ten spot with a 4.098 average rating. American breweries like Allagash, Jester King, and others have developed their interpretations of lambic beer here in the U.S. Known for its funky, fruity, sometimes barnyard-y flavor, lambic beers are characterized by their complexity and balance.
Tied for 7.
Lambic - Fruit
Stout - Imperial/Double Oatmeal
Porter - Imperial/Double Coffee
All three styles here tie for the seventh average highest-rated style with a 4.1 average rating.
Lambic - Fruit - Following in the wake of traditional lambic, fruited versions include an addition of fruit. Now here's where we should clarify: If a brewer adds raspberry, that beer becomes a framboise, and if cherries then a kriek—both of which are separate categories on Untappd. So here we consider a beer in the "Lambic - Fruit" category to be a lambic base with a fruit that doesn't include raspberries or cherries. Again, it's no surprise to see that a host of Belgian breweries top the list.
Stout - Imperial/Double Oatmeal - Oatmeal stouts, in particular, are a perhaps lesser-known variety of stout that we think no one should ignore. Why? Well for one, the imperial versions averaged a 4.1 rating on Untappd. But for two, because oatmeal stouts take everything you love about a stout—rich, dark, chocolatey—and add an incredibly luxurious, velvety mouthfeel.
Courtesy of some magical alchemy, aka oats, oatmeal stouts capture an intriguing interplay of taste and texture in a way few other styles nail. These are often special, one-off beers that are here one day gone the next. For example, Side Project's Derivation (Blend #10) ranks as the highest all time on Untappd's top-rated beers in the "Stout - Imperial / Double Oatmeal" category. But you can still find a few of these around. For instance, Prairie Artisan Ales' Apple Brandy Barrel Noir or Fremont's The Rusty Nail.
Porter - Imperial/Double Coffee - This style gives us a double dose. Like a porter, but with a boozy and buzzy boost, imperial/double coffee porters have everything you love about an amped-up porter plus an added shot of often locally roasted coffee. We can see why this style hits number eight on our list with a 4.1 average rating on Untappd.
6. Stout - Imperial/Double Milk
Untappd rankings is a game of numbers, people. Most styles on this list are separated by a mere tenth of a point. As is the case with imperial/double milk stouts that slide into sixth place with a 4.11 average rating on the app this year. Basically, an imperial stout with the addition of lactose (an unfermentable milk sugar), these beers are dark, rich, and indulgent. Because lactose doesn't break down during fermentation, it adds a layer of sweetness to the beer. Expect flavors along the lines of espresso, dark chocolate, and milk chocolate in these beers. In fact, these beers are kind of like the grown-up version of a kid's favorite—chocolate milk.
5. Barleywine - English
One of the biggest, boldest styles of beer out there, English barleywines kick off our top five with an average 4.12 rating on Untappd in 2022.
These beers intrigue us for their intricacy of strength and flavor. A bit of a misnomer, barleywines earn their moniker for a heavy helping of barley and an alcohol strength that often rivals those of wine, reaching 12 percent ABV or higher.
But don't get it twisted. This style isn't actually made from fermented juice like wine. Instead, barleywines are 100 percent beer. Brewers achieve a high ABV by packing the base with barley (or sometimes another kind of malt) to kick up the original gravity or fermentable sugars. All the extra malt contributes to a higher alcohol level and sweetness, meaning brewers also often balance these beers with a high dose of hops. Dark and malty barleywines are described by The Brewers Associations as featuring "flavors of bread, caramel, honey, molasses, and toffee."
Even better, the intense alcohol content means these beers are perfect for barrel-aging. All these attributes lead to a style that is inherently robust and complex.
Traditionally, barleywines are broken down into two separate categories: a hoppier American style and a maltier English style. According to the Beer Judge Certification Program, "although often a hoppy beer, the English Barleywine places less emphasis on hop character than the American Barleywine and features English hops. English versions can be darker, maltier, fruitier, and feature [richer] specialty malt flavors than American Barleywines."
**still in production
4. Stout - Imperial/Double Pastry
Probably if we put the two together and found The 10 Best Imperial/Double Pastry Stouts of 2022.
These beers combine the best of both worlds. And as a result, clock in with an average 4.13 rating on Untappd this year.
Take a pastry stout, considered a stout brewed with plenty of sugary ingredients to be intentionally sweet, and bump up the ABV.
These are over-the-top beers in every sense of the word often overloaded with adjuncts to taste like popular candy bars, traditional cakes and pies, and even nostalgic cereals.
It wouldn't be uncommon to find Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, maple syrup, coconut truffles, German chocolate cake, and everything in between in these beers.
And with ABVs often rising above nine percent, Imperial/Double Pastry Stouts should be considered decadent treats best shared with others.
3. Stout - Imperial/Double
The humble stout has come a long way. And there are so many fantastic stouts out there. We've already seen imperial/double oatmeal stouts, imperial/double milk stouts, and imperial/double pastry stouts find a notch in these rankings. So it makes complete sense that the OG imperial/double stout finds its way into the top three with an average 4.14 rating on Untappd.
In fact, in Untappd's Top Styles of 2021, these amped-up stouts ranked seventh with just shy of 2 million check-ins! No other stout category even cracked the top ten.
But when it comes to average ratings, things are quite simply different.
First popularized by Goose Island brewmaster Greg Hall, when he had the genius idea to age Goose Island's one-thousandth batch of beer in a bourbon barrel in 1992, imperial and double stouts are essentially stronger, richer, boozier versions.
Today, there are countless permutations of these boozy stouts.
Many are no longer in production, so to give you a good idea, here are a few of 2022's highest-rated imperial/double stouts:
2. Stout - Imperial/Double Coffee
Stouts aren't done yet. So close to the crown, imperial/double coffee stouts clock in at number two with an average rating of 4.16 on Untappd. Whether you get your buzz in the morning (with coffee) or your buzz at night (with beer), there's no denying that one of craft brewers' brilliant moves has been putting the two together.
The best imperial coffee stouts are the ones that perfectly combine the roastiness of a cup of Joe with the velvety, chocolatey, booziness of a stout.
Much like coffee can be nuanced through a pour-over, a French press, or a Chemex, stouts are often finessed by brewers through barrel-aging. The extra time spent in barrels gives double/imperial coffee stouts an added layer of depth and complexity, often picking up characteristics of the barrels or unused spirits.
The possibilities are endless, making us jump up and down more than a double shot of espresso at three in the afternoon.
1. IPA - Triple New England/Hazy
We're shocked! Just kidding. You all went crazy for our list of The 20 Best Hazy / New England-Style IPAs of 2022, so we can just imagine how much more you love triple hazies. We're not sure we need to say much about this style except it's high in haze; it's high in juice; and it's high in ABV. Translation: With a 4.19, it's the highest averaged rated beer style on Untappd in 2022.
Let's just get to what you all probably want to know.
Stay tuned for our next post as we dive into the top beers of 2022 based on the number of five-star ratings on Untappd.
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*Statistics as of 12/9/22