The streak is over! And nothing against Russian River Brewing Company’s double IPA Pliny the Elder (plummeting all the way to No. 2), but after eight straight years of ranking atop the Best Beers in America survey, conducted by Zymurgy magazine, we were getting bored and wondered if these voters drank any other beer. I mean, come on! Roughly 500 million new beers have come along in the last eight years. Anyway, the new No. 1 is not one of those 500 million new beers, but another industry staple — Bell’s Two Hearted Ale.
“As homebrewers, Zymurgy readers have more refined palates than most for tasting beer,” said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association. “The Best Beers in America survey reveals which beers are leaving the biggest impression on the minds — and mouths — of these discerning beer drinkers.”
Members of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) — which publishes Zymurgy — were able to choose up to 20 of their favorite commercial beers available for purchase in the United States in an online voting system.
“This is an incredible honor for us. We got our start as homebrewers — that’s how my dad got going — so we really identify with the homebrewing community,” said Laura Bell, CEO, Bell’s Brewery, whose father, Larry, started the brewery in 1985 in Kalamazoo, Mich. “We take a lot of that spirit into what we do today.”
1. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
2. Russian River Pliny the Elder
3. Founders Breakfast Stout
4. Three Floyds Zombie Dust
5. Bell’s Hopslam
T6. Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
T6. The Alchemist Heady Topper
T8. Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA
T8. Sierra Nevada Celebration
10. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
1. Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Comstock, Mich.
2. Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.
3. Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, Calif.
4. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, Calif. and Mills River, N.C.
5. Stone Brewing, Escondido, Calif., Richmond, Va., and Berlin, Germany
6. Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, Calif.
7. Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Ore.
8. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Del.
9. Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma, Calif. and Chicago, Ill.
10. Ballast Point Brewing, San Diego, Calif.
Top-Ranked Beer Portfolios
1. Stone Brewing (31 beers)
2. Bell’s Brewery, Inc. (27 beers)
3. Firestone Walker Brewing Co. (25 beers)
4. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (24 beers)
T5. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (22 beers)
T5. Lagunitas Brewing Company (22 beers)
T7. Boulevard Brewing Co. (21 beers)
T7. Founders Brewing Co. (21 beers)
9. Avery Brewing Co. (19 beers)
T10. New Glarus Brewing Co. (18 beers)
T10. Odell Brewing Co. (18 beers)