Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Elder is a beer with a reputation. For eight years in a row, the Northern California brewery has been rated the nation’s best commercial beer by Zymurgy, the American Homebrewers Association magazine.
But no longer. Bell’s Brewery’s Two Hearted Ale won the award, which is chosen by a survey of more than 4,000 AHA members. Pliny the Elder came in second, and Founders Breakfast Stout came in third.
Think about it. The AHA best beer competition has only been going on for 15 years. For more than half of those, Pliny the Elder was the favorite beer of homebrewers, who are the basis and future of the entire craft beer industry. Now that honor belongs to the 12th largest brewer in the nation.
“This is an incredible honor for us,” Laura Bell, Bell’s Brewery CEO, said in a statement. “We got our start as homebrewers — and that’s how my dad got going — so we really identify with the homebrewing community.”
Members of the AHA were asked to vote online for up to 20 of their favorite commercial beers sold in the U.S. Michigan breweries were the clear winners, winning four out of the top 10 spots. IPAs remained the favorites with a few exceptions.
The full list can be found on the AHA website. Here are the top 10:1.
- 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
- The Alchemist Heady Topper
- Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA
- Sierra Nevada Celebration
- Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
h/t Mercury News