The Best Beers In America, According To Homebrewers (2018)

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The Best Beers In America, According To Homebrewers (2018)

Photo Credit: American Homebrewers Association

The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) magazine, Zymurgy, released its 16th annual “Best Beers in America.” The trio of lists details the top-ranked beers, breweries, and brewery portfolios in the U.S., according to AHA members and homebrewers.

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale tops the list as the best beer in America for the second year in a row. In second place is Russian River Pliny the Elder, where it also stood last year. These two have been battling it out—previously, Pliny the Elder had an eight-year winning streak at No. 1.

Third place goes to the Alchemist’s Heady Topper, followed by Bell’s Hopslam in fourth.

Noticing a trend? IPA, IPA, IPA, IPA! (Fifth place is a three-way tie between Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout, and Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, so there’s a bit of diversity there.)

Bell’s Brewery also took first place for best brewery. This was followed by Founders Brewing, Russian River, Sierra Nevada, and Firestone Walker.

Best beer portfolio goes to Stone Brewing, with Firestone Walker in second, and New Belgium and Founders tied for third.

These results make a lot of sense. These are the beers and breweries that made craft beer what it is today. When you consider a survey of upwards of 4,000 homebrewers across the nation, it checks out that what they’re drinking is good beer available at grocery stores and pubs in their region and around the country.

Cheers to the 2018 winners. Someday, we hope to see a little more diversity on this list. A sour beer, maybe. Or a pilsner. No? How about a Brut IPA?

Here are the full results, per the AHA website:

Top-Ranked Beers

(T indicates tie; *indicates small and independent craft brewer.)

  • 1. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale*
  • 2. Russian River Pliny the Elder*
  • 3. The Alchemist Heady Topper*
  • 4. Bell’s Hopslam*
  • T5. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale*
  • T5. Founders CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
  • T5. Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
  • 8. Three Floyds Zombie Dust*
  • 9. Founders Breakfast Stout
  • T10. WeldWerks Juicy Bits*
  • T10. Founders All Day IPA

Top-Ranked Breweries

  • 1. Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Comstock, Mich.*
  • 2. Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • 3. Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, Calif.*
  • 4. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, Calif. and Mills River, N.C.*
  • 5. Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, Calif.*
  • T6. Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Ore.*
  • T6. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Del.*
  • 8. Stone Brewing, Escondido, Calif.*
  • 9. The Alchemist, Stowe, Vt.*
  • 10. Three Floyds Brewing Company, Munster, Ind.*

Top-Ranked Beer Portfolios

  • 1. Stone Brewing (33 beers)*
  • 2. Firestone Walker Brewing Co. (29 beers)*
  • T3. New Belgium Brewing (24 beers)*
  • T3. Founders Brewing Co. (24 beers)
  • 5. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (23 beers)*
  • T6. Avery Brewing Co. (22 beers)
  • T6. Hill Farmstead Brewery (22 beers)*
  • T7. Boulevard Brewing Co. (20 beers)*
  • T7. Trillium Brewing Co. (20 beers)*
  • T9. Bell’s Brewery (19 beers)*
  • T9. Deschutes Brewery (19 beers)*
  • T9. Odell Brewing (19 beers)*
  • T9. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (19 beers)*
  • T9. The Bruery (19 beers)*
  • T9. Three Floyds Brewing (19 beers)

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