‘Best Beers In America’ 2017: There’s A New Champ

craft beer best beers zymurgy 2017 bells two hearted

Pliny and Heady got their Bell’s rung.

The streak is over! After eight straight years of Russian River Brewing Company’s double IPA Pliny the Elder dominating the top spot, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale was named number one in the 15th annual Best Beers in America survey, conducted by Zymurgy magazine.

“As homebrewers, Zymurgy readers have more refined palates than most for tasting beer,” said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association. “The Best Beers in America survey reveals which beers are leaving the biggest impression on the minds—and mouths—of these discerning beer drinkers.”


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Members of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA)—which publishes Zymurgy—were able to choose up to 20 of their favorite commercial beers available for purchase in the United States in an online voting system.

“This is an incredible honor for us. We got our start as homebrewers—that’s how my dad got going—so we really identify with the homebrewing community,” said Laura Bell, CEO, Bell’s Brewery, whose father, Larry, started the brewery in 1985 in Kalamazoo, Mich. “We take a lot of that spirit into what we do today.”

Top-Ranked Beers (T indicates Tie)

  1. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
  2. Russian River Pliny the Elder
  3. Founders Breakfast Stout
  4. Three Floyds Zombie Dust
  5. Bell’s Hopslam
  6. (T6) Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
  7. (T6) The Alchemist Heady Topper
  8. (T8) Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA
  9. (T8) Sierra Nevada Celebration
  10. Ballast Point Sculpin 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. Stone Brewing, Escondido, Calif., Richmond, Va., and Berlin, Germany
  6. Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, Calif.
  7. Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Ore.
  8. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Del.
  9. Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma, Calif. and Chicago, Ill.
  10. Ballast Point Brewing, San Diego, Calif.

Top-Ranked Beer Portfolios

  1. Stone Brewing (31 beers)
  2. Bell’s Brewery, Inc. (27 beers)
  3. Firestone Walker Brewing Co. (25 beers)
  4. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (24 beers)
  5. (T5) Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (22 beers)
  6. (T5) Lagunitas Brewing Company (22 beers)
  7. (T7) Boulevard Brewing Co. (21 beers)
  8. (T7) Founders Brewing Co. (21 beers)
  9.  Avery Brewing Co. (19 beers)
  10. (T10) New Glarus Brewing Co. (18 beers)
  11. (T10) Odell Brewing Co. (18 beers)

The complete list of Zymurgy’s Best Beers in America.

About the American Homebrewers Association

The American Homebrewers Association has worked on behalf of the homebrewing community since 1978 and celebrates a membership of more than 46,000 homebrewers. The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) organizes events including Homebrew Con and the National Homebrew Competition. The AHA also publishes Zymurgy magazine. The AHA is part of the Brewers Association, whose Brewers Publications division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.

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