It took Stanford computer scientists to create what is arguably the best system for determining something many hold dear: the best beers in the world.

Putting experience first, Stanford University computer science post-doc Julian McAuley and assistant professor Jure Leskovec wrote a paper on how individuals gain expertise and taste relative to their experiences.

From there, they were able to cull out the beginners from the experts on any given rating or review website.

Business Insider, in their infinite wisdom, asked McAuley and Leskovec to identify the most experienced drinkers on the most popular beer-rating website, Using these experts — the best of the best — they then made a list of the 20 best beers not in a single city, or state, or even country, but in the world.

This is serious business, people. Serious beer business.

So how did Chicago fare? Pretty well, considering Chicago’s Goose Island made the list.

It was Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout, which came in at number nine. Thick and black, this monster smells like, well, bourbon, along with the smoother scents of vanilla, chocolate and oak. Like most stouts, you’ll get a nice chocolate and coffee taste at first along with a small kick in the butt from the bourbon near the end. Depending on the batch, it’s in the vicinity of 15% alcohol by volume, so drink up, but not too much.

Amongst the many foreign beers, there was a number of recognizable midwestern brewers in the mix. Bell’s Brewery out of Michigan made the list multiple times. Founders, another Michigan brewery, also made the list, along with Indiana’s Three Floyds, whose Dark Lord Russian Stout came in at number 2.

See the whole list here.


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