One of the benefits of building a yearly Top 50 Beers list is that it can help provide some illumination about the various trends within the world of craft beer. In a trying and complicated year like 2020, that kind of clarity is even more valuable. That’s why on this week’s episode of the “VinePair Podcast,” Adam Teeter and Zach Geballe are joined by VinePair senior editor Cat Wolinski to break down that list.

Did a year mostly spent drinking at home mean that higher-ABV beers were even more popular? Were people looking for more indulgent and more premium beers? Did eye-catching can art make the difference between languishing on a grocery store shelf and being wildly successful? Adam, Zach, and Cat discuss those and other topics as they look both backward and forward at this inflection point in the craft beer industry.

Listen Online

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

Or Check Out the Conversation here

Adam: From Brooklyn, New York, I’m Adam Teeter.

Cat: From Manhattan, New York, I’m Cat Wolinski.

Zach: And in Seattle, Washington, I’m Zach Geballe.

A: And this is the “VinePair Podcast.” Cat, we’re thrilled to have you to co-host this week to talk to you about beer.

C: Thank you very much.

A: Yeah, but before we do, let’s talk about some wine. Are you aiming to cut back on calories and alcohol, but still want to enjoy a delicious glass of wine? Mind and Body Wines are your perfect solution. These low-calorie, low-alcohol wines are only 90 calories per serving and are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and made without added sugar. With Mind and Body Wines, you can sip without sacrifice. You can learn more at All right, guys, so what’s going on this week? What have we been drinking? I’m going to start and say I’ve been drinking nothing because I am doing a semi-dry January.

C: No, you are not!

Z: Yeah, this might be a boring segment, because that was going to be my answer. Well, I do have something to talk about, but yes, I always take January off.

C: Traitors!

Z: Hey, let’s be careful using that term these days.

C: Oh, my God. I’m so sorry.

Z: No, I have immense sympathy to anyone who, upon seeing what’s happened in the country, recently felt the need to drink, despite what they might have said. But no, I have so far held strong.

A: Yeah, I’m doing some, I mean, Josh and I and Naomi, we all said we’re going to do this. We’re just going to have some wine or beer on Fridays and Saturdays.

C: Oh, OK, OK, that’s fine.

A: But I am trying to take a little bit of a break, just because it was like, especially once we got to the holidays, I was like, “Oh yeah, sure. let’s have cocktails every night”.

C: Yeah. It’s funny how that happened. Like even though we didn’t, I mean at least in my household of two, we had no holiday celebrations to speak of, like maybe a Zoom here and there. But somehow I also got into the habit of having a beer every night, having a movie night with friends over Zoom and having a couple of drinks. And it does catch up with you.

A: And it’s a point where it doesn’t feel like it’s unhealthy. But also just like, do I need to always have a bottle of wine?

C: It feels more routine than celebratory, in a way.

A: Right. And so it feels like, again, it’s like mindful drinking, just thinking about — I think I was talking to someone else who said they’re looking forward to, post-pandemic, when you’re going out for a drink to go out for a drink. Right? And not just to drink right now at home because you’re bored and it’s like the only way to really split the day to the night. I think about it when we were going to the office, there were so many nights that I, probably four to five nights a week, I actually didn’t have a drink because I was leaving the office. The hustle and bustle of the transition from work to home. You got home. You are working on a bunch of projects, and then you make dinner and then it’s like 9 o’clock.

C: And you go to bed.

A: You might have a drink right now. Right? Like once unwound through the process of leaving and everything.

Z: Oh man. As I have said to you before, Adam, and this is true for you to Cat, all that s*** changes when you have a kid. Because let me tell you, instead of marking the period of time from when you stop working to when you are in your evening, there is a big “the child is asleep. Now I can relax.” And for me and my wife, that almost always involves drinking something. I would say outside of January, we probably had, even pre-pandemic, but obviously it was more noticeable then, would have at least a bottle of wine basically every night, with the exception of we don’t typically drink on Mondays just to give ourselves a day where we say we don’t. But I actually wanted to ask you guys a question because it’s been it’s been very pertinent in January for me and my wife: So I got into not an argument, of course, but just a conversation with a friend, and I was saying, “Oh, one of the things I drink in January when I’m not drinking is bitters and soda.” And he was like, “well, actually bitters have alcohol in them.” And I was like, OK, yeah, but I mean, they’re relatively high-proof, but I’m putting an eighth of an ounce of bitters in my soda water and so we had a good-natured chat but —.

C: I’m actually curious about that. Like how alcoholic is a bitters Highball?

Z: Well, I mean, bitters themselves have high levels of alcohol. I mean, it’s how you get all the other flavors in there, but on the other hand, you have to use like even a teaspoon of bitters is a ton of it. And that’s like having a teaspoon of whiskey or something, like you’re not going to think of that as “having a drink.” But I was wondering, is bitters and soda something that either of you ever drink or am I just out here on my own? I mean, I know I’m not on my own but that is one of my favorites, like it’s almost like I’m having a drink because it’s got some of the flavor profile, but it’s obviously essentially non-alcoholic.

A: I’ve never had that before.

C: Yeah, I don’t drink that. But I have been wondering about it, it sounds so delicious, or like a splash of Aperol in a seltzer or something sounds really good, too.

A: I’m not the person. I mean I’m going to have a real hot take here. But I know you two will disagree because I’ve heard you talk about it, but I’m not the type of person to drink a non-alcoholic drink. I’m just not interested. I’d rather have water, I’d rather have juice. I don’t drink soda but like iced tea or lemonade or whatever, I’m not interested in non-alcoholic beer. I don’t care. You can tell me all you want that that certain brewery makes good stuff. I don’t care. I’m just not interested in it.

C: You would care if you actually drank it.

A: No, I really wouldn’t. That’s not why I’m drinking it. I’m not drinking it for the flavor, and I think that’s what’s so silly about it. I do like the effects of how alcohol relaxes me and helps me unwind. There’s other things I enjoy drinking that are non-alcoholic. I am not so interested in the brand that everyone knows that’s the really expensive spirit that is non-alcoholic. For me at least.

C: The spirit is a whole other thing. I don’t think spirits are really there yet as an everyday replacement.

A: But for me, I am interested in lower alcohol. Right? Like lower-alcohol cocktails, lower-alcohol beers, wines — that I’m interested in because I don’t want to get like blotto everyday, but that’s just my personal take.

Z: So Adam, what I’m wondering is, does this mean you don’t actually like the taste of beer? I mean, that’s valid to say.

A: No, I love the taste of beer.

Z: But then why is beer that doesn’t get you drunk a bad thing?

C: I love it.

Z: I have not and will not replace the beer with alcohol in my life with non-alcoholic beer, but a good tasting non-alcoholic beer is a thing to me that is a really welcome addition to the lineup, whether it’s interspersed in between another beer or two so that I don’t get as drunk, or just as an alternative on a night where, again, you’ve got to wake up early and do s*** or you’re at a dinner with a kid and you can’t start the relaxation process as early as you can if you don’t have kids. I get where you’re coming from. And we’ll talk more about this probably later in this conversation or another one to come. But I just think the reason I like bitters and soda is I have become accustomed to enjoying the taste and flavors of bitter things. And yes, would I prefer to be drinking a cocktail? Sure. On one level, yes. That’s why Dry January is not fun. It’s not something I’m like, man, January is my favorite month. But I do it for a variety of other reasons, and I still want to have a flavor that I enjoy. And the truth is that outside of coffee and tea, it’s actually really hard to find adult beverages that are non-alcoholic that are bitter. I guess iced tea, which to me is not a thing I want in the middle of the winter. So to me, lemonade is delicious, but then it is sweet and sour. I don’t want just those flavors. Soda is sweet and sour, and I don’t want those flavors. So to me, bitters and soda has the benefit of giving me a part of the taste profile that a cocktail or a beer or even wine might give me. But I don’t have alcohol in it, so I feel OK drinking it in January. It’s not something I drink all the time, year round, but I like bitter and I want bitterness in my drinks. And in January, I get that through bitters and sodas and the rest of the year I get it through almost anything else.

A: Yeah. I mean I like sparkling water and lemon, that’s what I’ll drink.

Z: OK, Adam, you’re sour. I’m bitter. It’s OK.

A: Exactly. You are bitter… But yeah. I mean again I think it’s everyone’s personal preference, like I mean obviously I wouldn’t drink any of these things if I didn’t also like the flavor of them. But just for me, I guess also I see it as like, oh, there’s also added benefits of just drinking water.

C: Well, duh, water is just water.

A: Right, exactly that’s very good for you.

C: It’s not a “water podcast” OK?

A: So that’s how I think about it. We spent a long time now talking about Dry January.

C: If you’re a sour and he’s bitter, then I guess that makes me the balanced one, because I enjoy both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Z: I was going to go salty.

C: Salty? Maybe sometimes.

A: Yeah. I mean, it is interesting, though, right? We can talk about something else, but I’ve always taken two to three days to a week off. So I guess I’m only really adding two to three more on my week. But it is interesting to recognize how much I guess, like you’re saying Zach, you do miss it. But that is also like a nice reset of thinking much more intentionally about when you have one as opposed to just like, oh, this is really stressful so I’m going to drink.

Z: Here’s my last Dry January thing, and then we should move on, which is, the one other thing I do love about it is I get to spend the entire month of January planning the first few things I will drink on Feb. 1. And that is a lot of fun to me.

A: That’s hilarious. So let’s get into this week’s topic, which is the Top 50 Beers List that we just put out. Yeah, that Cat, you helped spearhead. So obviously we do this list every year, and I think this list is interesting because it shows a lot of trends that are happening right now in beer. I think what’s been really interesting, we talked about this on the last podcast, right, Zach? Which was a little bit about how you’re seeing this continue what none of us really thought was going to happen but did, which is this continued premiumization of beer. I think there was this belief that in the pandemic we were going to start seeing a massive return to like, macros, or just much more affordable beers. And it doesn’t really seem to have been the case. It seems like a lot of breweries have still put out these very high-end, much more expensive beers, and they seem to still be selling pretty well. So do we see that in this list, too? That there’s a lot of premium stuff out there that people are still cranking out?

C: Absolutely. I think it is really interesting to see where it ended up at the end of the year, because I remember you and I were having conversations earlier on in the year thinking like, the list is going to look really different this year. No one is going out, like “I’m not getting beers, I’m not visiting breweries.” And we thought, well, it might just be a list that acknowledges I can only drink brands that are at my grocery store, and then we’ll be celebrating that. But it ended up being a really good mix of some of those, like a couple of legacy brands that really came back into our lives this year, and then a lot of really cool new stuff, too. I don’t want to just go to Other Half again because I know they come up a lot, but I have never drunk so much Other Half in my life than I have this year. And that’s because despite the inaccessibility of so much else in the drinks world, I actually have access to these beers for the first time that didn’t require waiting in line or being in a crowded tap room full of tourists or what have you. I was having it delivered to my door, and lots of other breweries, too. And it’s crazy to be back on that wavelength of how frequently they’re creating new brands and releasing new recipes. And I think what was really cool about them this year was they took that great marketing that they have, the cool designs and labels and their acronyms, and went beyond DDH this year to HDHC, and it seems like it could be a gimmick, but it really isn’t, because they’re actually comparing that with educational information for people. So if you’re buying these beers, you’re probably following them on Instagram. And you can read about what that new hop or new technique is. And they’re starting to, in my opinion, just be more transparent about those kinds of things. “This is where we got these hops from,” they have a pair out right now, actually, that are two of the same beer, it’s called Dank Squares, and it’s a Strata IPA, and it’s two different lots of hops that they sourced from. So the difference will be very minor for someone that doesn’t taste hops for a living. But there’s the two co-brands, with the same label, but one’s pink and one’s green, and it’s “lot 1” and “lot 2”. So you can buy both and compare them. So, yeah, I think we saw a lot of hop innovation, and breweries, despite all this struggle, still digging into their R&D and trying out new things and really perfecting or honing in on some of these techniques and other techniques.

Z: Cat, I have a question for you about the list that I thought about actually earlier in this podcast episode. You talked about early in the pandemic, would the list be all bargain beer and stuff like that. I think the thought for me, heading into this year was: Was 2020, would that have been the year of this growing trend of low-ABV beer, of sessionable beer, of people not wanting to deal with high-alcohol beers. And instead, I think because all of us ended up spending all of our time at home where, with a higher-alcohol beer, you don’t have to deal with getting home, typically. And the list, I think, is interestingly and maybe understandably in that context, actually has a lot of higher-alcohol beers on it, especially at the top. Was that something that was just because people at home wanted, I mean, frankly, as Adam was discussing before, they wanted the effect, the impact, and the depth of flavor that is pretty hard to find in beers that are lower alcohol — it’s just the reality of beer making for the most part, that your more full body, more intense flavors generally come with higher alcohol levels?

C: I wouldn’t say the high-alcohol stuff was in the top because it was high-alcohol or because people are drinking a lot more.

Z: To clarify my question, Cat, real quick, I think maybe what I would ask is, it seems like maybe in a different time, alcohol content being high would be not a barrier to being highly placed, but would be something that would be more like some people might be turned off by this 10 percent ABV beer. But I think maybe in this time when again, almost all of us are stuck at home, that may not dissuade someone from drinking it at all.

C: Right. Yeah, I think there is a contemplative aspect. The No. 1 beer, Firestone Walker’s Anniversary Ale XXIV, that was the one that stood out above and beyond everything else because the work that went into this beer is ridiculous. I mean it blew us away with its flavor and aroma and everything like that first, and then digging more into the background of the beer afterwards was very revealing. And it’s like that “sit-and-have-a-moment” feeling, it really took us aback. And we’re talking about mindful drinking, that doesn’t just have to be low-alcohol or sessionability. It can also be splitting a 12-ounce, 11 percent alcohol stout or beer with a friend or two and really sitting and enjoying that four ounces. That’s how I typically drink higher-alcohol beers, in like a little tulip or a snifter and you might sit with it if you have the whole thing to yourself, you’ll sit with it for an hour or two, pouring a little bit at a time. So I think that certainly has something to do with it. And at home, too, I always am sharing my beers with my husband, Pat. He’s always interested to try everything, and it’s rare that I would avoid opening up an 8 percent IPA because I’m not going to finish it and I don’t want to waste it — I always split them. Or if something ends up being left over, I’ll evaluate it in some way the next day to see how the aromas hold up. Or I will sometimes use things in cooking — especially lagers. So, yeah. Does that answer your question? There were also a lot of session-friendly beers.

Z: Oh sure. Sure. Obviously the list is not all 10 percent ABV beers. I was just struck at looking at it that I think for me, too, this year when I was drinking, whether it was beer, cocktails, wine, whatever alcohol content was just less of a concern, because I never was going to have to get home afterwards.

C: Yeah, it’s a really good point. I mean, that’s not as much of a concern here because we don’t drive, or at least I don’t. And it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten so inebriated that I couldn’t get myself home. But it is definitely more relaxing and there’s less to worry about. And yeah, I mean, you’re just more comfortable.

A: And I do think it was interesting that two of the top five beers are over 10 percent. And then you have a third beer that’s over 8 percent. Right? So they were higher in alcohol than I think we thought the world was moving. Our sixth beer, Brown’s Brewing, was 10 percent. So it was something where, I think, there was that. I don’t know what I’m trying to say here.

C: Interesting that those stood out so much to you guys. I hadn’t really considered that.

A: I mean, yeah. It’s the same thing sometimes when you talk about whiskey, and we talk about this a little bit with the Top 50 Spirits list. And so I’m curious what your thoughts are here. Like sometimes the higher-proof bourbons and brown spirits win because they are so in your face or they stand out in a tasting. Do you think that’s also what happened? It’s just harder for a really nuanced, lighter-alcohol beer to stand out against the No. 1 beer of the year?

C: Yeah. I mean when constructing a list it’s like the top 10 beers on the list are not my personal favorite top 10 beers or someone else’s favorite beers on staff. There’s a lot that goes into the reasoning behind the ranking, as you know. And for sure, when we go into the spirits tasting, we know in bourbon, there are more flavors and there’s more to contemplate. There’s more complexity, like the Top 50 Wines. It’s going to be a lot more red wines in the top 10 than anything white or even sparkling. And for beers, what I would love to do or to encourage people to do is look at our other rankings or other Buy This Booze lists and our beer rankings on the site because something might be on here in the 20s or 30s or 40s and it might be the best pilsner that I drank this year, and I drink it all the time and love it more than I love a stout that’s higher up in the rankings. But it’s just how it ends up in these kinds of things. It’s really difficult actually to rank things that have so many different styles and so many different things that you’re working with.

A: What do you think is the most surprising beer, some of the most surprising beers on this list?

C: I would say I was really excited about the Pure Project Lief Oak-Aged Sour because I had that once before with my husband. And Adam, I’ve said this when we talk about how we don’t drink a lot of sour beers like on the reg because it’s a commitment and it just doesn’t agree with everything you want it to. So I was shocked by this one, that it really tasted like something I’d be drinking in Belgium. And it also felt, for lack of a better word, a lot more “drinkable.” It wasn’t so acidic that it’s burning my throat. It wasn’t so sour that all you’re getting is that sour taste. Like I said, it’s one of my biggest pet peeves, and that’s really more with kettle sour beers. Not barrel-aged, but yeah, this is just like, awesome. So then I called it in for a sample, and then we tasted it in our legendary, socially distanced outdoor winter tasting at the office. Everyone else was also blown away by it and loved it. So I was like, “f*** yeah.” This is a really cool beer, and it just came out of nowhere. We don’t get Pure Project here, they’re from San Diego. I have had other beers from them, their IPA was awesome. They do a bunch of different styles, and I wasn’t expecting this to be so good, like as good as it was that it ended up the No. 2 beer.

Z: So I have a question. We talked a little bit earlier about some trends and things like that. And I’m wondering, Cat. I remember way back when we had you on a podcast to talk about hazy IPAs and how they came to be? Yeah, I was in the studio — shout out to Nick Patri, our former engineer. And I was wondering, is the sense that you had in putting this list together that the hazy IPA or trend is still happening? I mean, there are definitely some on this list. Is it still as vibrant as ever or in some sense has it been boosted by the increased access to those beers? Everything’s in cans now, or hurt by lack of taprooms and draft houses and stuff. Where does the hazy IPA sit at this moment in your eyes?

C: It still sits on its bright yellow, sparkling throne. No one can take down hazy IPAs. That’s not happening. And of course, every brewery suffered in some way this year. And some larger breweries lost like 40 percent of their sales just because of taprooms and kegs. But no, not even Covid can take the hazy IPA or New England-style IPA, or just IPA back any notches. I think probably 10 or 12 beers in the Top 50 are IPAs, and it’s almost redundant to call something “hazy” or “New England.” If there’s 10 or 12 IPAs on this list, then probably 10 of them are hazies.

A: Yeah, I think the hazy still is the most mainstay style right now. I feel like that’s what I’ve seen throughout the entire pandemic. The one people are drinking the most. By far. I mean, I thought it was interesting that you have the Superhero Sidekicks as No. 7, because it’s available at the Whole Foods down the street from me now, all the time.

C: And how amazing is that?

A: It was crazy. Yeah. It’s a very good beer. I definitely really enjoyed it a lot. Again, I have a hard time with all these, because they’re expensive. I think there was a point when I saw like $22 for a 4-pack and I was like, I just can’t do that. But it is a very good beer. And there were so many. Right? Like there was. I mean this beer is not on the list, but one of their other ones is. But you can get Maine Beer Co. at Whole Foods now very easily. I mean you can get all the different Threes offerings. And it’s just crazy how that happened also because of the pandemic. And as you said, they were just there. They didn’t have the taproom anymore to sell out of. And so they just pushed more into the other channel. And I wonder now what will happen when the vaccine comes, if that will change, because a lot of people have gotten used to it. Do you think these breweries will stop delivery? Because you’ve gotten used to it.

C: Yeah, I really hope not.

A: Right? Because I think they could lose a lot of consumers if all of a sudden it’s like, “Wait, now I’ve got to go to the brewery again to get this stuff? Sorry, I’m just not that interested. Like I became a huge fan when you were delivering it to me, but now it’s like I’ll find what’s easier.” I do wonder if that will happen to a lot of these people.

C: If there’s any consumer feedback under consideration, then a majority of these breweries will continue delivery if they have the resources to do so. Because I don’t know anybody who was like, man, I really wish Threes stopped delivering. And I doubt that there are brewers that are like, “Oh, man, our deliveries are just nonexistent.” It’s like, I would never order beer to my house. That’s absurd, I’ve never done that in my life. But I did it throughout this year, and I normally would not be spending that much money on beer, first of all, I would never order an entire case to myself because I’m not going to drink it fast enough, especially if that’s hazy IPAs. But that is what we did. And I never felt like such a consumer as I did this year. So now I really care about that a lot, like don’t take delivery away — and from a marketing perspective, so many more people were able to have access to these beers that normally don’t. So I think it would be crazy to take that away.

Z: So Cat, I have to ask a slightly difficult question here, which is you and Adam are in New York State, in New York City. And I counted, there are 12 beers from New York State on the list. I am here in Washington State. There are zero beers from Washington State on the list. So what are we doing wrong?

C: It’s really a distribution issue. I will point out that this list has beers from every region. We have beers from probably 25 or 30 different states. Washington is not one of them, really because I don’t have any Washington beers available to me.

A: Or to the staff. Except for you, Zach,.

C: But, as a New Yorker, blame the three-tier system because, or tell me where I can get a Washington-brewed beer. It’s actually absurd because, it’s Washington, it’s Yakima, you’re near the seat of the birth of all the wonderful American hops.

Z: Yeah, that hazy yellow throne that the New England IPA is sitting on is made in Washington State.

C: Yeah, that crop is everything. So you know what, who are the breweries we should be looking for? Who should we be requesting samples from for next year?

Z: Well, that’s an excellent question. And I would say that one of the things that’s fun about this area, like everywhere, is that the answer is ever-evolving. And some of it is also a scale issue, as you mentioned. Not only is it that the beers may not be available in New York, but I know that for you guys, in putting this list together, it is important that to some extent people, readers all over, can access some of these beers, at a minimum. And so there are great small breweries in my neighborhood that I won’t recommend because they’re just too small unless you’re in Seattle or nearby. But a couple of breweries, I think, are doing really cool things here. I mean, Fremont Brewing, which has been a long time mainstay of the industry. Their field-to-ferment beers. Their fresh-hop beers are really, I think, some of the best every year. Again, not just because of proximity, but also because breweries in this area are able to work so directly with the hop growers in a way that a brewery in other parts of the country just can’t as directly. And Bale Breaker, which is actually in the Yakima Valley, is another great example of a brewery that does particularly cool things with hops and a lot of different single-variety hop beers and things like that. I’m also a big fan of No-Li, which is actually in Spokane on the other side of the state. And then Reuben’s Brews, which is also a local brewery here, but a little bigger in size than most of the ones around me. And one of the cool things about this list and I think, actually something that I wanted to say anyhow, is a great thing about the American brewing industry is that there are so many great breweries everywhere. And so obviously, no list is going to be totally comprehensive. It’s impossible. The VinePair team does an amazing job of putting together as comprehensive a list as can be done. But the cool thing about drinking beer in America in this time is you have to work to not find good beer.

C: And this list isn’t like these are the 50 best beers — don’t drink anything else, don’t explore your own neighborhood. That’s the most irritating response to these things. Look at the top beers, and look at styles that you like and then try to find similar beers or breweries in your neighborhood. Look at who they’ve collaborated with. Breweries all have friends all over, there’s a network. It’s so much more a community than any other drinks business or business in general. If you see something on this list that sounds like something you would love, look them up to see who they’re hanging out with. Just go to your local brewery and try some beers.

A: So this is not about the actual beer inside the vessel, but what was the best-designed package?

C: Oh, my God. How can you ask me that? Well, the first thing that comes to mind is “I Voted Today.” That was a pale ale by Non Sequitur, which is a nomadic brand, but they’re in Brooklyn, and they opened a space that’s like a semi-permanent pop-up. But anyway, this was part of a campaign to raise voting awareness earlier this year. And it also happened to be one of the best pale ales that we drank this year.

A: I like that design. I’m looking at it now.

C: Go to their website or go to their Instagram. Non Sequitur is just adorable. A lot of the branding is centered around their lovely dog, Nelson, who is named for a hop, of course. And it’s very lighthearted and whimsical, and that’s one of the ones that stands out among this very beautiful, colorful craft beer label landscape. What’s your favorite design?

A: I was looking. I think I have three on here that I think are really well done in terms of design. I think Wandering Bine is beautiful and very much stands out. I also really like the Grimm just because it’s really nice. And then actually it’s all the way at the top of the list, but I think in terms of modern and very clean design: Fort Point, I think it’s a very well done can. It pops, and again, it would make someone grab it off the shelf. The rest are what you would consider classic craft beer, there are some that are really classic like the Victory, et cetera. But I think those are three that feel very modern to me in a way that I just thought was really cool when I was scrolling through the list and you think like, “Oh, wow.” And I think it’s interesting to ask that question here, because it is the one alcohol that takes design really seriously. It’s always cool to see what the breweries come up with.

C: Everyone’s designs are so cool.

Z: Yeah, well, especially in a year when even more than ever, your ability to pop on a grocery store shelf was the difference between succeeding and failing, in a way that maybe has never been as true.

A: Yeah, totally. Well, guys, this has been a really interesting conversation, as always. Cat, thanks for joining us this week.

C: Thank you so much for having me. Always fun to talk about beer with you guys.

A: I know. And Zach, I’ll see you next week.

Z: Sounds great.

Thanks so much for listening to the VinePair Podcast. If you enjoy listening to us every week, please leave us a review or rating on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever it is that you get your podcasts. It really helps everyone else discover the show. Now for the credits, VinePair is produced by myself and Zach Geballe. It is also mixed and edited by him. Yeah, Zach, we know you do a lot. I’d also like to thank the entire VinePair team, including my co-founder, Josh and our associate editor, Cat. Thanks so much for listening. See you next week.

Ed. note: This episode has been edited for length and clarity.

This story is a part of VP Pro, our free platform and newsletter for drinks industry professionals, covering wine, beer, liquor, and beyond. Sign up for VP Pro now!