What beers and breweries are the best in America? It seems that every publication has its own opinion or survey, attempting to find a definitive answer to an extremely difficult question. Now, Zymurgy magazine has conducted its own survey and the results are in, with a few important changes compared to the same survey results from years gone by.
Zymurgy is a publication dedicated to homebrewing and its readers thus have a unique perspective on the ‘best beer’ dilemma. 2017 happens to be the 15th annual Best Beers in America survey and American Homebrewers Association director Gary Glass says polling homebrewers is one of the best ways to accurately gauge the best beers in the land.
“As homebrewers, Zymurgy readers have more refined palates than most for tasting beer,” said Glass. “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 American Homebrewers Association (AHA) , the organization that publishes Zymurgy magazine, were asked to select their favorite beers among those readily available for commercial purchase. Members could select up to 20 different beers through an online voting system. Members were asked to select not just their favorite individual beers, but also their favorite breweries. Laura Bell, the CEO of Bells Brewery- a top place finisher in two categories- says the fact that homebrewers selected the winners has special meaning for herself and her family’s brewery.
“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 Bell. “We take a lot of that spirit into what we do today.”
Here is a summary list of the Top 10 Zymurgy winners in each of the three categories:
- 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) Tied for 6th
- The Alchemist Heady Topper Tied for 6th
- Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA Tied for 8th
- Sierra Nevada Celebration Tied for 8th
- 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) Tied for 5th
- Lagunitas Brewing Company (22 beers) Tied for 5th
- Boulevard Brewing Co. (21 beers) Tied for 7th
- Founders Brewing Co. (21 beers) Tied for 7th
- Avery Brewing Co. (19 beers)
- New Glarus Brewing Co. (18 beers) Tied for 10th
- Odell Brewing Co. (18 beers) Tied for 10th
To read more about Zymurgy’s Best Beers and Breweries in America, visit online at HomebrewersAssociation.org.