For the last fifteen years, the American Homebrewers Association has run an online poll asking its members, who clearly know their beer, to vote for up to 20 of their favorite commercial beers. Zymurgy, (the journal of the AHA), recently released the results – and we’ve got some of the highlights for you.
A New #1 In 2017
For nearly a decade Russian River’s legendary Piney the Elder has owned the prized #1 slot. But this year it came in at number #2 behind Bell’s Two Hearted Ale – which has long been a top-ranked contender – and the Bell’s Brewery is understandably in celebration mode…
“This is an incredible honor for us. We got our start as homebrewers” said Laura Bell CEO at Bell’s Brewery. “We take a lot of that spirit into what we do today.”
IPAs Continue Their Reign
To the surprise of quite possibly no one, IPAs and Double IPAs continued to dominate this year’s polling, as they have in the past.
Eight of this year’s top-ranked beers were IPAs and those exceptions were both stouts, Founders KBS as well as their Breakfast Stout, (which probably shouldn’t surprise anyone either).
Beers Fit To Be Tied
There were a number beer ties in both the Top Beers category as well as in the Beer Portfolio category that are designated as such with a T, (brilliant…right?).
2017’s Top-Ranked Beers
- Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
- Russian River Pliny the Elder
- Founders Breakfast Stout
- Three Floyds Zombie Dust
- Bell’s Hopslam
- Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) – T6
- The Alchemist Heady Topper -T6
- Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA – T8
- Sierra Nevada Celebration – T8
- Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
- Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Comstock, Mich.
- Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, Calif.
- Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, Calif. and Mills River, N.C.
- Stone Brewing, Escondido, Calif., Richmond, Va., and Berlin, Germany
- Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, Calif.
- Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Ore.
- Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Del.
- Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma, Calif. and Chicago, Ill.
- Ballast Point Brewing, San Diego, Calif.
Top-Ranked Beer Portfolios
- Stone Brewing (31 beers)
- Bell’s Brewery, Inc. (27 beers)
- Firestone Walker Brewing Co. (25 beers)
- Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (24 beers)
- Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (22 beers)T5.
- Lagunitas Brewing Company (22 beers) T5
- Boulevard Brewing Co. (21 beers) T7.
- Founders Brewing Co. (21 beers) T7
- Avery Brewing Co. (19 beers)
- New Glarus Brewing Co. (18 beers) T10
- Odell Brewing Co. (18 beers) T10
Why This Poll Matters
“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.”
The complete list of Zymurgy’s “Best Beers in America” is available at HomebrewersAssociation.org.
Best beer image credit: American Homebrewers Association