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Ratings for widely available exported beers

I love Ratebeer, but I have one problem. All of the top-rated beers are called things like ‘Second whisker old mountain screech’ and are produced by a centenarian using an Elizabethan pot cask in a cave in Dogs Leg, Umbria who brews ten bottles a year for his six friends and the Queen.

Just as one example, one of your winners is Boatrocker Imperial Stout. Now, Boatrocker is on the Mornington peninsula, on the other side of Melbourne, just about 50k from me. The largest liquor chain in Australia, Dan Murphys, carries Boatrocker products, including Boatrocker stout. But not the Imperial stout. That was a limited edition that, like twenty or so other limited editions, was only available to a few local select outlets and Cellar Door members. Note the ‘was’.

It wasn’t something that has been brewed successfully for a thousand years and is exported all over the world, like the imported Weihenstephaner Baroque Dunkel that I can buy down the road. It was one experimental vat that turned out particularly well that won’t be brewed again because Australians have been trained only to like and buy alcoholic soda-water.

If I can’t even get the one winner that is close to me, what use is it to me to know that Hillbilly Jack in Medicine Hat, Wyoming, brews one barrel of the best rhubarb cider in the world per year and distributes it secretly only to the member of the local knitting club?

What I want to see are the top-rated of beers that I can actually get. Can you have a set of winners for companies that produce x amount per year or export x amount to more than ten countries? Or something that is widely available in its own country, even, so that I can import some and terrify the Australian Excise Service. Then I can obtain a pack or two and down it with the satisfaction that it is among the best.

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There used to be a link to the top widely available beers but I never saw it working (I’ve been here since 2009). I’d be tricky to define in a useful way.

Certainly I’ve seen Boatrocker Ramjet around the place - it’s an annual release and I see it at Grape and Grain, The Otter’s Promise, Purvis Cellars, SlowBeer, Acland, Bottle House, Carwyn. You wouldn’t expect to see it at Dan’s because they have many (hundreds?) of shops and I doubt Boatrocker make enough to send a 6 pack to each. For what it’s worth, it’s really good but maybe a tad pricey - I’ve not bought it when I’ve seen it for several years now. I bought a second Boatrocker Oakey Dokey stout, though.

But your broader point is right: the best beers in the world are arguably those (like Weihenstephaner Hefe or Weltenburger Barock Dunkel or Chimay Blue or Pilsner Urquell or Duvel) that are always good and available in most places most of the time for a modest price. I’ve had some good beers that weren’t like those, but yes that would be a useful list. You could get closer to it by customising your top 50 view to require 50 or 100 ratings.

When I run low on beer. I look at Travel Lists (Scroll to the bottom of the old mail [The old mail looks like an envelope if you have not used it in a while]) select Most Ratings and it will display the top 100 beers with the most ratings you have not rated. If you are getting too many beers not available at your local bottle shop, select your country (second pull down from the top) also and that should help.

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