12 July 2011

Zymurgy's Top 10 Best Beers in America and What That Says About Craft Beer Drinkers

The 2011 Best Beers in America list was published last month in Zymurgy Magazine, and it paints a somewhat bland picture of the American craft beer landscape.  Of the top 10, six are American IPAs, two are American Double/Imperial IPAs, and one is an extremely hoppy American Strong Ale.  Only one is not an IPA, Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, which is an Imperial Stout.

Here's the list, if you missed it:
1. Russian River Pliny the Elder+
2. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale*
T3. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA*
T3. Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout
5. Bell’s Hopslam+
6. Stone Arrogant Bastard
7. Sierra Nevada Celebration*
T8. Sierra Nevada Torpedo*
T8. Stone Ruination*
10. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale*
* = IPA
+ = DIPA
The Russian River line at Pro Night
After spending thirty minutes in line for a Pliny at NHC Club Nite last month, I know why Pliny is up there.   In fact, I even had a goal of drinking as much Pliny as I could while we were in San Diego.  And I also voted for Pliny for number one.  So I wasn't surprised to see it as #1 for the third time in a row.

I just wasn't ready for the shocking lack of diversity of the top ten.

Is this what the Craft Beer movement has come to: 60% IPA, 20% DIPA, and 10% hoppy non-IPA?

I guess I shouldn't have been so suyrprised.  Last year, the results were very similar, with Guinness replacing  KBS and Bigfoot Barleywine keeping Arrogant Bastard company as a hoppy non-IPA.  Hopslam wasn't in the top ten, which made it 60% IPA, 20% Hoppy non-IPAs and 10% DIPA.

I know I should never do this, but I am going to quote Jason "JP" Petros, of The Brewing Network, who said, "Drink something else!"  There's more to life than IPAs.  Not much.  But more.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 15:17

2 Comments:

Blogger assurbanipaul said...

Such are the perils of popular voting. It's a herd mentality following the shiney things (in this case, the hoppy things).

7:32 PM  
Blogger Jeffrey said...

Don't get me wrong I like all of those beers (Except Two Hearted Ale and Hop Slam. I've never had them.) Surely there's more to life than IPAs. Since the top 5 are in more limited distribution than the bottom 5, I wonder if scarcity plays a part?

10:05 AM  

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