PASO ROBLES — Local Brewery Firestone-Walker scored big in RateBeer’s annual RateBeer Best awards program, claiming the No. 10 spot on the list of Best Brewers in the World.

The results were compiled from more than 4.2 million customer and industry reviews with more than 33,000 breweries being considered.

“Unlike other beer award programs, RateBeer is truly global, tallying millions of reviews using authentic commercial samples,” said RateBeer representative Ani Hemelians in an e-mail to the Paso Robles Press. “Some participants rack up tens of thousands of reviews, but always focus on quality over fads.”

California Breweries took 18 of the top 100 spots with the Top 10 including:

  1. Hill Farmstead Brewery (Vermont) — same for the seventh year in a row
  2. Side Project Brewing (Missouri) — jumped up from ninth
  3. Trillium Brewing Company (Massachusetts) — same for 3rd year in a row
  4. Tree House Brewing Company (Massachusetts) — jumped up a spot
  5. Cigar City Brewing (Florida) — jumped down from fourth
  6. AleSmith Brewing Company (California) — same for second year in a row
  7. Founders Brewing Company (Michigan) — jumped from 12th
  8. Cloudwater Brew Co (Greater Manchester) — jumped up from 14th
  9. Sante Adairius Rustic Ales (California) — jumped up a spot 
  10. Firestone Walker Brewing (Duvel-Moortgat) (California) — jumped up from 16th

“Our winners are big and small, urban and rural, highly specialized or brewing a myriad of styles,” said Joe Tucker, founder of RateBeer. “RateBeer Best judges them on equal footing, with many of our reviewers traveling extensively, so it’s not uncommon to see a brewery that some people see as their local gem recognized as a global best. In fact, most of our top 100 winner are smaller breweries.”