The Top 10 Styles of 2021
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 Beer for 2021, we're taking a look at the top ten styles of 2021 based on the total number of check-ins. But first, don't forget to read about the top ten breweries of 2021 here!
Check out what styles you checked into most this past year.
10. Pilsner - Other
A complete newcomer to the Top Styles list, pilsner is a style we're so excited to see here. Crisp and crushable, pilsners are a pale lager first produced by Bavarian brewer Josef Groll in 1842. Historically featuring the noble Saaz hop, pilsners come in all variations today. It's amazing to see over one million check-ins for the humble pilsner this year. The highest-rated beer in the "pilsner - other" category was Cabana Pils from Suarez Family Brewery. Join us in welcoming pilsner to Untappd's Top Styles list of 2021!
9. Belgian Tripel
Belgian Tripel cracked the top ten list for the first time last year and retained its number nine spot with almost 1.2 million check-ins. Considered strong golden ales, tripels typically clock in around 9% ABV or even higher. A simple grain profile provides the backbone for more complexity thanks to Belgian yeast. Typical tasting notes for Belgian or abbey-style tripels include layers of orange, citrus, and banana married with spiced or floral hops. The highest-rated Belgian Tripel of 2021 was Tripel De Garre - Brouwerij Van Steenberge.
8. IPA - Session / India Session Ale
Another style that managed to retain its rank, session IPAs stayed exactly where they ended up last year in eighth with 1.5 million check-ins. Similar in flavor profile to American IPAs, session IPAs typically have a lower alcohol content topping out at 5% ABV max. Their easy-drinking character makes them perfect to enjoy one or two of at backyard barbecues or pool parties. While Other Half's Double Dry Hopped Small Green Everything ranked as the fourth highest-rated session IPA earlier in the year, it recently moved it's way up to first.
7. Stout - Imperial / Double
The third style in a row to stay the course this year, Imperial and double stouts once again checked in at seventh on the list. With just shy of two million check-ins, these boozier stouts actually retained seventh for the third year in a row. Recognized for its rich, strong style, the Imperial stout typically pours black in color with a sweet, malty profile. And lately these Imperial versions have just become boozier, darker, and more indulgent. Back in June, we found the six highest-rated Double / Imperial stouts of 2021 with Side Project's Beer : Barrel : Time (2020) topping out at number one.
6. Pale Ale - American
The first style that we've seen slip backwards this year, the American interpretation of a pale ale lands at spot number six with almost 2.2 million check-ins. Pale ales are a classic English style, but modern American craft brewers have put their own twist on the style. Characterized by a medium hop bitterness and floral, fruity, and sometimes even dank notes, pale ales rose to prominence thanks in part to the iconic Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. This year the highest-rated American pale ale went to Edward from Hill Farmstead Brewery.
5. IPA - Imperial / Double New England
Surprise, surprise that we kick off our top five with the infamous Imperial version of the New England-style IPA. It's the same exact style we started our top five with in 2020. With almost 2.9 million check-ins, just look at that jump from fourth to fifth place. This tells us just how much people continue to love hazies—even those that reach into the higher ABVs. Because make no mistake, Imperial / Double New England beers are juicier and boozier. When we celebrated National IPA day back in August, we searched out the 10 top-rated IPAs on Untappd in 2021, and Parish Brewing Co.'s DDH Ghost in the Machine ranked as the top Double / Imperial New England IPA at the time.
4. Sour - Fruited
Leaping up two spots from last year, fruited sours fall into their best position ever on the Top Styles list with over three million check-ins. Starting out in eighth position in 2019, moving up to sixth in 2020, and now locking in fourth in 2021, these American ales continue to impress. Today, brewers craft all kinds of versions featuring a cornucopia of different fruits -- such as peaches or raspberries -- or age them in a variety of barrels -- such as wine or mezcal. The normal brewing rules do not apply when it comes to sour, so it seems these often tongue-twisting and cheek-puckering beers are continuing to attract craft beer fans. Evil Twin's Even More Hydra - ET NYC Edition ranked as the highest-rated fruited sour on Untappd this year.
3. IPA - Imperial / Double
4.1 million check-ins make the Imperial India Pale Ale the third highest-rated style on Untappd in 2021. We're still living in the age of the IPA, so it's no surprise that this category nabs the three spot for the second year in a row. Like cranking up the volume on a single IPA, Double or Imperial IPAs are often characterized by a higher hop intensity and amped-up alcoholic strength. These beers assault the senses with fresh hop character, extra juiciness, and a strong bitterness. Taking the crown for highest-rated Double / Imperial IPA on Untappd this year is the king himself - King JJJuliusss from Tree House Brewing Company.
2. IPA - New England
The haze craze continues to dominate the craft beer market. Over the past few years, New England-style IPAs have just crushed the competition. And this year was no different, earning a whopping 6.1 million check-ins on Untappd. Defined by its characteristic cloudy appearance, this trendy turbid beer style was first popularized by New England breweries (hence the name), but has since been brewed by pretty much every brewery across the country. There are even some versions from big breweries such as Sierra Nevada, Rogue, Lagunitas, and Bell's that you can find in pretty much any store across the country. And they're pretty good. Actually, our friends at Hop Culture ranked them. The only question now is will the hazy IPA finally overtake the American IPA for number one on this list in 2022!?
1. IPA - American
Finishing as number one on this list for an astonishing eleventh year in a row is the American IPA. With over 7.2 million check-ins in 2021, this classic, ubiquitous style continues to make its mark in United States history. I think we can safely say that the American IPA has become as iconic as baseball and apple pie.
Stay tuned for our next post as we dive into the top beers of 2021 based on Untappd check-ins. What was your top style this year? Let us know in the comments below!
Interested in seeing these stats all year round? Becoming an Untappd Insider gets you access to personalized data whenever you want! Learn more about your habits with in-depth analytics. Easily see activity trends, your favorite locations, your top beer styles, and much more.