It’s that time of year again.
The time when the die-hard homebrewers sit back with a cold pint, reminisce over their favorite beers and put pen to paper for a legendary vote of epic proportions.
Bragging rights will be forever held, children will defend the honor of their brewmaster dads in schoolyards around the world and breweries will be invaded by topless groupies looking for autographs from the legends, themselves.
For the past 8 years, Zymurgy magazine has asked homebrewers to vote on their top 20 commercially available beers available in the US.
As I wrote in my post of this ranking last year, if you have any doubt who is best to judge today’s commercial beers other than the homebrewers who tinker away in basements and garages across the country, think again. We are maniacal in our passion, attuned to the finest nuance of barley and capable of smashing bottles with a mere stare.
This year saw Pliny the Elder from Russian River Brewing eke out the top spot (by only two votes!) over Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale for the second year in a row. The big news? Rahr & Sons Brewing Company. After not appearing on the top 50 list last year, they placed a whopping 12 beers on this year’s list.
Ladies and gentlemen, with no further adieu, I give you the 2010 Zymurgy Best Beers in America:
Top 50 Beers
1. Russian River Pliny the Elder
2. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
3. Stone Arrogant Bastard
4. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
5. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
6. Stone IPA
- Bear Republic Racer 5
- Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine
- Sierra Nevada Celebration
11. Stone Ruination
- North Coast Old Rasputin
- Sierra Nevada Torpedo
- Rahr Winter Warmer
- Rahr Ugly Pug
- Rahr Iron Thistle
- Oskar Blues Ten Fidy
- New Glarus Belgian Red
- Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
- Lagunitas IPA
- Samuel Adams Boston Lager
- Rahr Storm Cloud
- Saison Dupont
- Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout
- Rahr Bucking Bock
- Ommegang Three Philosophers
- New Belgium Fat Tire
- Alaskan Smoked Porter
- Anchor Steam
- Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock
- Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron
- Rahr Summer
- Rahr Red
- Rahr Blind Salamander
- Rahr Blonde
- Rahr Octoberfest
- Victory Prima Pils
- New Belgium La Folie
- Russian River Consecration
- Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale
- Rahr Buffalo Butt
- New Belgium 1554
- Lagunitas Hop Stoopid
- Rogue Dead Guy
- Unibroue La Fin Du Monde
- Deschutes Black Butte Porter
- Surly Furious
- Dogfish Head Indian Brown
- Rahr Whiskey Warmer
- Rodenbach Grand Cru
(Brewery rankings are based on total votes received by each brewery’s beers)
1. Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. Fort Worth Texas
2. Stone Brewing Co. Escondido Calif.
3. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Milton Del.
4. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Chico Calif.
5. Russian River Brewing Co. Santa Rosa Calif.
6. New Belgium Brewing Co. Fort Collins Colo.
7. Bell’s Brewery Kalamazoo Mich.
8. Boston Beer Co. (Samuel Adams) Boston Mass.
9. Deschutes Brewery Bend Ore.
10. Oskar Blues Brewing Co. Lyons Colo.
11. Lagunitas Brewing Co. Petaluma Calif.
12. Rogue Ales Newport Ore.
- Anchor Brewing Co. San Francisco Calif.
- Avery Brewing Co. Boulder Colo.
- New Glarus Brewing Co. New Glarus Wis.
- Brewery Ommegang Cooperstown N.Y.
17. North Coast Brewing Co. Fort Bragg Calif.
18. Victory Brewing Co. Downington Pa.
19. Bear Republic Brewing Co. Healdsburg Calif.
20. Odell Brewing Co. Fort Collins Colo.
21. Goose Island Beer Co. Chicago Ill.
22. Founders Brewing Co. Grand Rapids Mich.
- Three Floyds Brewing Co. Munster Ind.
- Allagash Brewing Co. Portland Maine
25. Great Divide Brewing Co. Denver Colo.
Get your Greyhound bus pass out and start making the rounds, beer hounds. Support your local breweries!
The take-away for me? I got to get me some Rahr & Sons…that or they got an army of ballot-box stuffers. Before this poll, I had never heard of them. But now, it’ll be a name I hunt down like a bounty hunter.
Just call me the Craft Beer Boba Fett.