Sour beer breweries are the better Swiss breweries – according to Untappd Top 50

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

RankNameLocation# of beers# of ratings# ratings per beerRating
1nine brothersBern, Bern/Berne Switzerland34129938.213.97
2Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes (BFM)Saignelégier, Jura Switzerland153148270969.083.965
3À tue-têteAigle, Vaud Switzerland227260330.003.946
4Brasserie L’ApaiséeSwitzerland91320435.213.9
5Cinq 4000Niouc, Valais/Wallis Switzerland188395021.013.856
6Cayon’sAigle, Vaud Switzerland64207532.423.792
7S&A BrewingKyburg, Zürich Switzerland1361167185.823.752
8Trois DamesSainte-Croix, Vaud Switzerland9659727622.163.718
9Chien BleuGeneva, Genève Switzerland48228447.583.714
10Haarige Kuh BrauereiInterlaken, Bern/Berne Switzerland264680180.003.711
11Hoppy PeopleSierre, Valais/Wallis Switzerland3210494327.943.698
12DEGENBIERZofingen, Aargau Switzerland51259350.843.684
13BarbièreBern, Bern/Berne Switzerland193378119.593.683
14Echec & MaltCarrouge, Vaud Switzerland75150520.073.682
15CôteWest BrewingLausanne, Vaud Switzerland24188078.333.674
16Burgbier RinggenbergRinggenberg, Bern/Berne Switzerland70124317.763.649
17Broken City BrewingSwitzerland55227441.353.619
18Rathaus Brauerei LuzernLucerne, Luzern Switzerland193546186.633.613
19WhiteFrontierMartigny, Valais/Wallis Switzerland13455433413.683.607
20St. LaurentiusBuelach, Zürich Switzerland63370458.793.603
21Brau RebelBasel, Basel-Stadt Switzerland18108060.003.6
22Blackwell BreweryBurgdorf, Bern/Berne Switzerland509322186.443.597
23Chen Van LoonKleindöttingen, Aargau Switzerland17137781.003.593
24Brasserie du VirageSaconnex-d’Arve-Dessus, Genève Switzerland110328029.823.591
25Bachweg BrewingAltstadt, Zug Switzerland161790111.883.587
26FMR – Federation of Malted RepublicsSwitzerland111354123.093.587
27Altes TramdepotBern, Bern/Berne Switzerland174850948.903.587
28BIERlabZurich, Zürich Switzerland66359254.423.585
29La NébuleuseRenens, Vaud Switzerland10120170199.703.584
30BLZ CompanyOrvin, Bern/Berne Switzerland81612201.503.581
31BrausyndikatDietikon, Zürich Switzerland49367775.043.581
32Ahoi BierSchlieren, Zürich Switzerland68260838.353.576
33SchuumBern, Bern/Berne Switzerland23127655.483.565
34Cap’taine MousseSwitzerland22113751.683.556
35Burgdorfer GasthausbrauereiBurgdorf, Bern/Berne Switzerland123095257.923.554
36Braumanufaktur SchlachthuusLufingen, Zürich Switzerland192288120.423.549
37TonnebièreSaint-Ursanne, Jura Switzerland19137072.113.548
38Kloster FischingenFischingen, Thurgau Switzerland346770199.123.547
39LA PIÈCEMeyrin, Genève Switzerland19103454.423.542
40Simmentaler BraumanufakturLenk, Bern/Berne Switzerland243849160.383.511
41Officina Della BirraBioggio, Ticino Switzerland325961186.283.509
42dear.beer brewing companyLyss, Bern/Berne Switzerland24176373.463.502
43Bier Factory BREWERY & TAPROOMRapperswil-Jona, Sankt Gallen Switzerland4913559276.713.499
44Brasserie Docteur Gab’sPuidoux, Vaud Switzerland4218302435.763.499
45Brauerei St. JohannNeu Sankt Johann, Sankt Gallen Switzerland29131145.213.491
46Engadiner BierPontresina, Graubünden/Grigioni/Grischun Switzerland142251160.793.489
47Birrificio SottobisioBalerna, Ticino Switzerland293190110.003.487
48BlackPig Brewing CoDelémont, Jura Switzerland15145797.133.486
49Kitchen BrewBasel, Basel-Stadt Switzerland389375246.713.481
50Freiburger BiermanufakturFribourg, Fribourg/Freiburg Switzerland19138072.633.477

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.