Monday, June 17, 2013

ZYMURGY Magazine lists AHA's 2013 'Best Commercial Beers In America'!

Russian River's Pliny the Elder does it again!
 And I added a few others to spice things up!

I hope you had an awesome weekend! I was honestly non-stop thanks to all of the beer-oriented events I took part of since Friday night including celebrating the Wrecking Bar’s anniversary (congrats Bob and Sandstorm!), the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest I judged on Saturday, and my boy Lee Dickson’s going away party at the Brick Store (you got an awesome rep, Boulevard!). 
Now with a lot of detoxing happening, I was just sent this press release on announcing that the American Homebrewers Association’s has selected their 11th list of what they consider the 10 “Best Commercial Beer in America” in the U.S. courtesy of Zymurgy Magazine. Staying consistent with past winners, brewing a stellar hoppy brew (especially Indian pale ales) is the best bet for nomination and Russian River’s Pliny the Elder once again gets top honors for its fifth year. Whoa! 
“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.”
Now overall, these cats in the AHA know what they’re talking about and I have no problem with their selections, but I would also add a few to the list including: Sierra Nevada Hoptimum, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Green Flash Palate Wrecker, Mother Earth Silent Night, Stone Enjoy By… series, Epic Big Bad Baptist, North Coast Old Rasputin, and Westbrook Mexican Cake to name a few. Keeping it in North America, Unibroue’s consistent La Fin Du Monde is no joke either!
Feel free to send me your top 10 in the comment section. There is no wrong answer! Anyway, here are the brews that were selected by the AHA, plus some other winning nominations in other categories.

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)

Top 3 Breweries
The top breweries out of more than 1,100 locations were also shown some love. Stone was the top-ranked brewery boasting five brews in the top 50, followed by Russian River (who also had 5), and Sierra Nevada with the bronze (four making the list). Since this trio is from Cali, I’m throwing up a manual “W” in salute.

And last but not least, the Best Portfolio of Beers was awarded to the Boston Beer Company aka Samuel Adams, who had 40 beers receive votes in the poll. The top 5 award winners are below.
1. The Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)  
2. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery  
3. Avery Brewing Co.    
4. Cigar City Brewing    
5. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.    

Oh yeah, AHA also noted, “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.”

Let me know who you think got shafted. Regardless, props go to all the winners. Keep brewing with excellence!



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