It has now been eight consecutive years that Russian River Brewing Co. had come out on top of the Top-Ranked Beers poll conducted by Zymurgymagazine with its Pliny the Elder. Compiled and released in June each year, members from the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) are able to choose up to 20 of their favorite commercially available beers in the United States in an online poll. Now in its 14th year, online voting for the 2016 poll tallied over 18,000 votes.
Gary Glass, director of the American Homebrewers Association stated in a news release, “The members of the American Homebrewers Association, made up of experienced homebrewers who participate in this annual poll, are among the most knowledgeable craft beer drinkers in the nation. It is no surprise that the beers and breweries they select as the best in their opinion reflect the highest quality beers available from the best brewers out there. The consistency with which some of the beers in the poll win is a testament to the value of quality over hype.”
“We just don’t expect this each year, especially in this age of great beer and new breweries,” said Russian River’s Vinnie Cilurzo in a news release. “We know we have to earn our customers’ loyalty and business. We are very thankful for everyone who spends their hard-earned money on our beer.”
Breweries from the Pacific Northwest that ranked in the Top 10 includes Deschutes Brewery for its Fresh Squeezed IPA that came in tied at Number 10 in the Top-Ranked Beers and Deschutes Brewery at Number 10 in the Top-Ranked Breweries.
Top-Ranked Beers (T indicates Tie):
1. Russian River Pliny the Elder
2. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
3. The Alchemist Heady Topper
4. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
5. Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin
6. Founders Breakfast Stout
7. Three Floyds Zombie Dust
8. Bell’s Hopslam
9. Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout
T10. Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA
T10. Stone Enjoy By IPA
1. Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, Calif.
2. Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.
3. Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Kalamazoo, Mich.
4. Stone Brewing Co., Escondido, Calif.
5. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, Calif. and Mills River, N.C.
6. Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, Calif.
7. Ballast Point Brewing, San Diego, Calif.
8. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Del.
9. Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma, Calif. and Chicago, Ill.
10. Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Ore.
Top-Ranked Imports (T indicates Tie):
1. Unibroue La Fin Du Monde – Canada
T2. St. Bernardus Abt 12 – Belgium
T2. Guinness Draught – Ireland
4. Saison Dupont – Belgium
T5. Orval – Belgium
T5. Rodenbach Grand Cru – Belgium
7. Chimay Grande Reserve/Blue Label – Belgium
8. Duchess De Bourgogne – Belgium
9. Weihenstephan Hefeweissbier – Germany
10. Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout – England
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 20 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter at @hopapalooza.