The 20 Most Influential Beer Websites in the World

January 2nd, 2014 · 6 Comments · From the Organizers

We at Zephyr Adventures, organizers of the Beer Bloggers Conference and vacation tours around the world (including beer tours), have created what we think is the first-ever analysis of the most influential beer websites in the world.

Our analysis includes four factors:

  • Alexa Rating: While this is not a perfect indicator of a website’s popularity, it is easy to access and relatively accurate.
  • Incoming Links: We recorded the number of incoming links according to Google.
  • Facebook Likes: Given the influence of social media, we considered the number of Facebook likes.
  • Twitter Followers: The same goes for Twitter.

We analyzed a total of 83 popular beer-related websites but limited these to those in the English language. We allocated from 25 to 1 points for each time a site was in the top 25 of one of the above four factors. In other words, the website with the best Alexa rating received 25 points and the website with the 25th best Alexa rating received one point. With four categories, the maximum score is 100.We recorded data from December 30 through January 2.

20 Most Influential Beer Websites in the World

Rank
Name
Website
Score
1Heinekenwww.heineken.com91
2Beer Advocatehttp://beeradvocate.com/76
3New Belgium Brewingwww.newbelgium.com/68
4Dogfish Head Craft Brewerywww.dogfish.com65
5Sierra Nevada Brewing Company www.sierranevada.com52
6Budweiserwww.budweiser.com51
7Stone Brewing Companywww.stonebrewing.com48
8Bud Lightwww.budlight.com47
9Samuel Adamswww.samueladams.com44
10BJ's Brewhousehttp://bjsbrewhouse.com/39
10 tieBrooklyn Brewerywww.brooklynbrewery.com39
12SAB Millerwww.sabmiller.com37
13RateBeer.comwww.ratebeer.com35
14Untappdhttp://untappd.com/29
14 tieMiller Litewww.millerlite.com29
16Beer Pulsewww.beerpulse.com28
17Coors Lightwww.coorslight.com27
18Carlsbergwww.carlsberg.com26
19Magic Hat Brewing Companywww.magichat.net25
19 tieBrewDogwww.brewdog.com25

Heineken tops out as the Most Influential Beer Website in the World. It scored first in number of incoming links (574) and Facebook fans (16,556,027), third in Alexa rating (47,223), and 8th in the number of Twitter followers (72,413) for a very impressive score of 91 out of 100.

Beer Advocate magazine took the number two spot, scoring first in Alexa rating (12,032), first in number of Twitter followers (427,636), sixth in incoming links, and lower in Facebook likes for a score of 76.

New Belgium Brewing ranks as the third-most influential beer website with a score of 68, handily surpassing most of its big-brand competitors such as Budweiser and Coors Light.

Other interesting facts about the analysis:

  • Six of the top 10 spots are held by craft breweries (if you include the Boston Beer Company and BJ’s Brewhouse)
  • Budweiser (#6) and Bud Light (#8) place two websites in the top ten

Please recognize the following:

1. We undoubtedly made mistakes. Take a look at the data (Most Influential Beer Websites Analysis), which shows only those sites receiving a score, and please provide any corrections or sites we are missing so we can update future versions.

2. This analysis is a snap shot in time, taken from December 30 through January 2. The stats change daily. We’ll do this analysis again next year.

3. Deciding what factors into the ranking is arbitrary. We know Alexa rating is biased towards a certain type of site visitor and realize social media plays heavily into these results. We are open to other suggestions but think this is a good start.

4. We thank VinePair for doing a similar analysis in the wine industry.

Please tell us what you think!

Note: If you appreciate the time and effort we put into this analysis, please consider promoting this post on Facebook or Twitter. You can follow Zephyr Adventures or the Beer Bloggers Conference on Twitter and like us on Facebook (Zephyr, Beer Bloggers Conference). Who knows? Perhaps some year we’ll make our own list.

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • katie mcguires

    ive been a member of beer advocate forum an i must say the website is indeed influential that some members are respected beer store owners and makers. so i guess it deserve to be on the list.

  • Bob Shoemaker

    Boy this is a risky venture if ever there was one. Most Influential – in what way. Being good at SEO and getting people to your site is one thing. Having content on the site that starts a discussion, champions a cause, effects changes in legislation related to the beer industry, or consumer consumption is another. After visiting the top 10 sites on this list, I did not feel particularly influenced about anything, other than they have very nice web sites.
    It would be interesting to know who goes there, what they go there for, if they found what they were looking for, and if it helped make a decision about anything in particular. Traffic indicates awareness and the potential to influence. They may be popular, but do they have a message, other than “drink our beer”?

  • Elspeth Payne

    While this is interesting and I’d love to see a similar study for craft beer, I question calling it “influential”. I don’t think you can tell whether anyone’s thinking or opinions have been affected by these sites. What it shows is that they get great traffic. That’s a different factor.
    For example, the decision “I like this specific beer and I want to drink more of it” may have already be made by Reader N. N is checking a website looking for opportunities to drink that beer. I’d argue that’s not actually influencing Reader N, just providing information to support the decidison N has already made.

    • Allan

      True and a good point. However, conversely, it is hard for a website to have influence without traffic. Can you suggest a better name? “Most Trafficked” sounds weak and is funny to spell!

      We could do the study for craft beer only simply by eliminating the non-craft beer sites. However, we thought it was interesting to compare everyone and it wasn’t as if the big boys were dominating.

      Allan

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