For the last twelve years, the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) has run an online poll asking their members to vote for up to 20 of their favorite commercial beers. Zymurgy, the journal of the AHA, has just released the results – and just in case you don’t get the mag, we’ve got all the relevant news bites for you.
Vinnie Wins Again
The Russian River Brewing Company was once again the big winner. Their legendary IPA, Pliny the Elder was named “Best Commercial Beer in America” by AHA members. This was the sixth year in a row that The Elder took the top honor and we’re sure there was much jubilation in Santa Rosa.”We are blown away that Pliny has won the award six years in a row,” said Russian River’s Vinnie Cilurzo. “There are so many great beers out there. It is very humbling.”
IPAs Continue to Rule
To the surprise of quite possibly no one, IPAs and Double IPAs dominated this year’s poll as they have in the past. Eight of the top 10 beers on this year’s list were IPAs and the other two were Stouts (which probably shouldn’t be a surprise either).
The Top-Ranked Beers
- Russian River Pliny the Elder
- Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
- Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
- Bell’s Hopslam
- The Alchemist Heady Topper
- Lagunitas Sucks
- Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
- Stone Enjoy By IPA
- Founders Breakfast Stout
- Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
New Belgium Gets Most Votes Overall
Fort Collins, Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing Company received the most mentions from AHA members overall and was awarded the “Best Portfolio of Beers.” More than 60 of their beers received votes in this year’s poll, which is impressive.
The Top 5 Breweries with the Best Portfolio of Beers
1. New Belgium Brewing Co.
2. Boston Beer Co. (Samuel Adams)
3. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
5. Stone Brewing Co.
All About American Craft Beer Again This Year
More than 1,600 breweries were represented in 2014. The Top-Ranked Brewery was Russian River, which had five beers in the top 50. Kalamazoo, Michigan’s Bell’s Brewery came in second followed by Escondido, California’s Stone Brewing Company, who took third.
As was the case in 2012 and 2013, no beers produced by breweries outside of the U.S. made the top 50 in this year’s polling…Unibroue La Fin du Monde, hailing from Canada, took first place among Top Imports so that’s something.
This Poll Matters A Bunch Because Homebrewers Increasingly Know Their Shit
“As brewers, AHA members know when they experience excellence in a craft beer. It is a very high honor for a brewery to be recognized by this group as having the best beer in America,” said Gary Glass, director of the AHA. “The consistency in the poll results indicates that the discerning palettes of these homebrewers recognize quality and are not easily influenced by the latest fads.”