The American Homebrewers Association’s (AHA) members like their beers bitter and once again voted Russian River Brewing Co.’s Pliny the Elder the “Best Commercial Beer in America” for the fifth year running. The poll is conducted annually by Zymurgy magazine — the journal of the AHA.
This is the 11th year that AHA members voted for up to 20 of their favorite beers in an online poll. Members were able to choose any commercial beer available for purchase in the United States. As in recent years, flavorful IPAs and double IPAs continue to outshine the rest and comprised eight of the top 10 beers.
The top-ranked beers include:
1. Russian River Pliny the Elder
2. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
3. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
4. Bell’s Hopslam Ale
5. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
6. Founders Breakfast Stout
7. Stone Brewing Co. Arrogant Bastard Ale
8. Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA
T9. Lagunitas Sucks
T9. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
T9. Stone Brewing Co. Ruination IPA
(T indicates tie)
More than 1,100 breweries were represented in this year’s poll, and the top-ranked brewery is Stone Brewing Co., based in Escondido, Calif., which had five beers in the top 50. Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, Calif., took second with five beers as well, followed by the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, Calif., in third with four beers making the list.
“The homebrewers that make up the membership of the AHA are amongst the most discerning craft beer drinkers in the country,” said Gary Glass, director of the AHA. “For a brewery to be recognized as making the best beer in American by this group is a high honor indeed.”
Additionally, the Best Portfolio of Beers was awarded to the Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams), which had 40 beers receive votes in the poll. The top contenders in the category include:
1. The Boston Beer Co. (Samuel Adams)
2. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3. Avery Brewing Co.
4. Cigar City Brewing
5. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
As was the case in 2012, no beers produced by breweries outside of the U.S. made the top 50. The two top vote-getters among foreign breweries both hailed from Belgium—Orval and Saison Dupont tied for first place.
The complete list of Zymurgy’s “Best Beers in America” is available at HomebrewersAssociation.org.