According to the Untappd Top 50 list of Swiss breweries, none of them are world-class, German-speaking Switzerland is underrepresented in the list, and again, sour beers help with good ratings. Here is our analysis of the Untappd list of the best 50 Swiss breweries.
We have already discussed which Swiss beers are the best according to Untappd and whether Switzerland has a world-class beer (see here). Are Untappd ratings relevant? Not for everyone, but not for anyone either.
On Untappd, you can also view the top-rated breweries. Untappd’s list of the top 50 breweries is “based on our weighted average formula, which effectively rates all breweries against each other and weights the beers with higher rating numbers. A brewery must have at least 1,000 ratings and at least 5 beers in its portfolio to qualify for this list.”
(Disclaimer: everything here is based on the top 50 – if the entire list could be evaluated, the results potentially look different.)
Perhaps the sad news first. None of the Swiss breweries achieve a world-class rating: to get into the top-50 worldwide, you need a 4.27 and the Swiss number 1 Nine Brothers has a 3.97. At the same time, this means that no Swiss brewery has a rating above 4 and on Untappd a 4 and more is roughly equivalent to considered “good”.
What do we notice when we look at the list?
Sour beer producers have it easier
Analogous to the best beers, sour beers lead to good ratings – the top 3 breweries are known primarily or only for their sour beers, and more than half in the top 10 produce sour beers at least sometimes.
Lager beer producers hardly in the top 50
Unsurprisingly, Feldschlösschen or Calanda are not on this list. But why not Locher or Schützengarten? After all, they have an infinite number of fans.
Lager can’t be considered an exclusion criterion here, because the Rathaus Brauerei Luzern ranks 18th (yes, they’ve also brewed an IPA and stout at some point, but still). However, it is certainly the case that breweries that brew mostly lagers and wheats have little chance of making the list. This could be related to the fact that drinkers of standard beers are less likely to be on Untapped than beernerds, and beernerds tend to turn their noses up at lagers.
German-speaking Switzerland is underrepresented
The list of best Swiss beers is dominated by breweries from French-speaking Switzerland. On the best breweries list there are 29 from the German-speaking region (58%), 18 from French-speaking Switzerland (36%) and 3 (6%) from Italian-speaking Switzerland.
This finding is put into perspective somewhat, as seven breweries in the top 10 come from French-speaking Switzerland. And according to our own evaluation, 73% of all CH breweries are in German-speaking Switzerland, 24% from French-speaking Switzerland and 3% from Italian-speaking Switzerland. German-speaking Switzerland is therefore underrepresented – or in other words: 36 breweries should come from German-speaking Switzerland in order to correspond to the proportion of the basic population of all breweries.
Je mehr Ratings pro Bier je weiter unten auf der Liste
We already voiced this hypothesis in our last post on the best Swiss beers. To evaluate this, we formed groups and compared the average of ratings per group. And indeed, the more ratings per beer a brewery has, the lower the rating. But the average rating then rises, falls again, rises, falls and then shoots through the roof.
What do we learn from this?
- In order to answer this question conclusively, we would have to get all the data from Untappd.
- Among the best breweries are some with many ratings.
- The lowest ratings per beer of the breweries in the top 50 are Burgbier Ringgenberg (17.76), Barbière (19.59), Echec & Malt (20.07), Cinq 4000 (21.01) and Brasserie du Virage (29.82). Is that because a few of these sell their beers primarily locally in their own establishments?
- The highest ratings per beer of the breweries in the top 50 are BFM (969.08), Trois Dames (622.16), Brasserie Docteur Gab’s (435.76), WhiteFrontier (413.68) and A tue-tête (330.00).
If we now assume that special and rare beers get the better ratings and this has an even greater effect abroad, then this list is not surprising, all except Docteur Gab’s also have beers in the top 50.
- The number 1 brewery averages 38 ratings per beer and no beer has more than 50 checkins. Two beers have no checkins and one has 3. Their highest rated beer has 11 ratings.
These are Homebrewer’s numbers, not those of a nanobrewery.But because Nine Brothers is registered as a nano brewery (as are Blackwell, St.Laurentius, or Virage), they appear on the Top 50 list.
Even with just a few beers, you make it into the top 50 breweries
In fact, breweries with very few different beers also make it into the top 50 breweries: BLZ Company with 8, FMR – Federation of Malted Republics with 11 and Burgdorfer Gasthausbrauerei with 35. However, the breweries with few different beers are mainly found in the lower ranks – the big exception here is A tue-tête in 3rd place with 22 different beers.
Does this refute our hypothesis that the fewer the ratings, the better the rating (assuming that a brewery with few beers achieves more ratings per beer)? At first glance, these beers of breweries with few beers listed on Untappd do indeed seem to tend to achieve more ratings – so a correlation is possible, but cannot be tested with this data.
This is another playing with data – which we as Beernerds nevertheless found exciting. So, what do you think about this list and the evaluation? Do you notice anything else in the Top 50 list of breweries we missed?
List of the top 50 Swiss breweries according to Untappd
|Rank||Name||Location||# of beers||# of ratings||# ratings per beer||Rating|
|1||nine brothers||Bern, Bern/Berne Switzerland||34||1299||38.21||3.97|
|2||Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes (BFM)||Saignelégier, Jura Switzerland||153||148270||969.08||3.965|
|3||À tue-tête||Aigle, Vaud Switzerland||22||7260||330.00||3.946|
|5||Cinq 4000||Niouc, Valais/Wallis Switzerland||188||3950||21.01||3.856|
|6||Cayon’s||Aigle, Vaud Switzerland||64||2075||32.42||3.792|
|7||S&A Brewing||Kyburg, Zürich Switzerland||136||11671||85.82||3.752|
|8||Trois Dames||Sainte-Croix, Vaud Switzerland||96||59727||622.16||3.718|
|9||Chien Bleu||Geneva, Genève Switzerland||48||2284||47.58||3.714|
|10||Haarige Kuh Brauerei||Interlaken, Bern/Berne Switzerland||26||4680||180.00||3.711|
|11||Hoppy People||Sierre, Valais/Wallis Switzerland||32||10494||327.94||3.698|
|12||DEGENBIER||Zofingen, Aargau Switzerland||51||2593||50.84||3.684|
|13||Barbière||Bern, Bern/Berne Switzerland||193||3781||19.59||3.683|
|14||Echec & Malt||Carrouge, Vaud Switzerland||75||1505||20.07||3.682|
|15||CôteWest Brewing||Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland||24||1880||78.33||3.674|
|16||Burgbier Ringgenberg||Ringgenberg, Bern/Berne Switzerland||70||1243||17.76||3.649|
|17||Broken City Brewing||Switzerland||55||2274||41.35||3.619|
|18||Rathaus Brauerei Luzern||Lucerne, Luzern Switzerland||19||3546||186.63||3.613|
|19||WhiteFrontier||Martigny, Valais/Wallis Switzerland||134||55433||413.68||3.607|
|20||St. Laurentius||Buelach, Zürich Switzerland||63||3704||58.79||3.603|
|21||Brau Rebel||Basel, Basel-Stadt Switzerland||18||1080||60.00||3.6|
|22||Blackwell Brewery||Burgdorf, Bern/Berne Switzerland||50||9322||186.44||3.597|
|23||Chen Van Loon||Kleindöttingen, Aargau Switzerland||17||1377||81.00||3.593|
|24||Brasserie du Virage||Saconnex-d’Arve-Dessus, Genève Switzerland||110||3280||29.82||3.591|
|25||Bachweg Brewing||Altstadt, Zug Switzerland||16||1790||111.88||3.587|
|26||FMR – Federation of Malted Republics||Switzerland||11||1354||123.09||3.587|
|27||Altes Tramdepot||Bern, Bern/Berne Switzerland||174||8509||48.90||3.587|
|28||BIERlab||Zurich, Zürich Switzerland||66||3592||54.42||3.585|
|29||La Nébuleuse||Renens, Vaud Switzerland||101||20170||199.70||3.584|
|30||BLZ Company||Orvin, Bern/Berne Switzerland||8||1612||201.50||3.581|
|31||Brausyndikat||Dietikon, Zürich Switzerland||49||3677||75.04||3.581|
|32||Ahoi Bier||Schlieren, Zürich Switzerland||68||2608||38.35||3.576|
|33||Schuum||Bern, Bern/Berne Switzerland||23||1276||55.48||3.565|
|35||Burgdorfer Gasthausbrauerei||Burgdorf, Bern/Berne Switzerland||12||3095||257.92||3.554|
|36||Braumanufaktur Schlachthuus||Lufingen, Zürich Switzerland||19||2288||120.42||3.549|
|37||Tonnebière||Saint-Ursanne, Jura Switzerland||19||1370||72.11||3.548|
|38||Kloster Fischingen||Fischingen, Thurgau Switzerland||34||6770||199.12||3.547|
|39||LA PIÈCE||Meyrin, Genève Switzerland||19||1034||54.42||3.542|
|40||Simmentaler Braumanufaktur||Lenk, Bern/Berne Switzerland||24||3849||160.38||3.511|
|41||Officina Della Birra||Bioggio, Ticino Switzerland||32||5961||186.28||3.509|
|42||dear.beer brewing company||Lyss, Bern/Berne Switzerland||24||1763||73.46||3.502|
|43||Bier Factory BREWERY & TAPROOM||Rapperswil-Jona, Sankt Gallen Switzerland||49||13559||276.71||3.499|
|44||Brasserie Docteur Gab’s||Puidoux, Vaud Switzerland||42||18302||435.76||3.499|
|45||Brauerei St. Johann||Neu Sankt Johann, Sankt Gallen Switzerland||29||1311||45.21||3.491|
|46||Engadiner Bier||Pontresina, Graubünden/Grigioni/Grischun Switzerland||14||2251||160.79||3.489|
|47||Birrificio Sottobisio||Balerna, Ticino Switzerland||29||3190||110.00||3.487|
|48||BlackPig Brewing Co||Delémont, Jura Switzerland||15||1457||97.13||3.486|
|49||Kitchen Brew||Basel, Basel-Stadt Switzerland||38||9375||246.71||3.481|
|50||Freiburger Biermanufaktur||Fribourg, Fribourg/Freiburg Switzerland||19||1380||72.63||3.477|