Jul 6, 2011

Best Beers in America for 2011

Since 2003 the American Homebrewers Association has polled readers of its members’ journal, Zymurgy, to get a list of their 20 favorite beers. The only rule for including the beer is that it must be commercially available somewhere in the USA. AHA compiled the results to arrive at a list ranking the most popular beers. In other words, the beer in the #1 position was included on the most lists.

There were an amazing number of ties, but who cares? This list is a minefield of beers worth trying. I’ve never had the #1 beer, Pliny the Elder, but summer’s a good time to try it. If I can find it, that is.

Here’s the list:

1. Russian River Pliny the Elder
2. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
3 (tie). Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
3 (tie). Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout
5. Bell’s Hopslam
6. Stone Arrogant Bastard
7. Sierra Nevada Celebration
8 (tie). Sierra Nevada Torpedo
8 (tie). Stone Ruination
10. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
11. Stone Sublimely Self Righteous
12. Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine
13. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
14 (tie). Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
14 (tie). Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale
16 (tie). Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
16 (tie). New Glarus Belgian Red
18. North Coast Old Rasputin
19. Bell’s Expedition Stout
20 (tie). Deschutes The Abyss
20 (tie). Left Hand Milk Stout
20 (tie). Odell IPA
20 (tie). Samuel Adams Noble Pils
20 (tie). Surly Furious
20 (tie). Troegs Nugget Nectar
26 (tie). Rogue Dead Guy Ale
26 (tie). Samuel Adams Boston Lager
28. Anchor Steam
29 (tie). Bear Republic Racer 5
29 (tie). Ommegang Three Philosophers
29 (tie). Oskar Blues Ten Fidy
29 (tie). Three Floyds Alpha King
29 (tie). Three Floyds Dark Lord
34 (tie). Avery Maharaja
34 (tie). Dogfish Head Indian Brown
34 (tie). Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron
34 (tie). Three Floyds Gumballhead
38 (tie). Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA
38 (tie). Lost Abbey Angel’s Share
38 (tie). New Belgium La Folie
38 (tie). New Belgium Ranger
38 (tie). Oskar Blues Old Chub
43 (tie). Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
43 (tie). Great Divide Yeti
43 (tie). New Belgium 1554
43 (tie). Russian River Blind Pig
43 (tie). Ska Modus Hoperandi
48 (tie). Alesmith Speedway Stout
48 (tie). Dark Horse Crooked Tree
48 (tie). Green Flash West Coast IPA
48 (tie). Summit EPA
48 (tie). Victory Prima Pils

Other rankings:
  • Best Brewery: Delaware’s Dogfish Head Craft Brewery had the largest total # of votes received by readers.
  • Best Portfolio: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, with 28 beers entered into voting by readers.
  • Top Import: Rodenbach Grand Cru, from Belgium.
  • Best “Spirit of Homebrew” (brewery’s total # of votes divided by annual barrel production, giving very small breweries a chance to shine): Alpine Beer Company in Alpine, California.

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