Zymurgy Magazine Announces 2014 “Best Commercial Beers in America”

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Russian River’s Pliny the Elder Runs into First for Sixth Consecutive Year

Boulder, CO • June 18, 2014 – The American Homebrewers Association’s (AHA) members like their beers bitter and voted Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Elder the “Best Commercial Beer in America” for the sixth year running. The poll is conducted annually by Zymurgy magazine—the journal of the AHA.

This is the 12th year that AHA members voted for up to 20 of their favorite beers in an online poll. Members were able to choose any commercial beer available for purchase in the United States. As in recent years, flavorful IPAs and double IPAs continue to outshine the rest, and comprised eight of the top 10 beers.

The Top-Ranked Beers include:

  1. Russian River Pliny the Elder
  2. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
  3. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
  4. Bell’s Hopslam
  5. The Alchemist Heady Topper
  6. Lagunitas Sucks
  7. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
  8. Stone Enjoy By IPA
  9. Founders Breakfast Stout
  10. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

“We are blown away that Pliny has won the award six years in a row,” said Russian River’s Vinnie Cilurzo. “There are so many great beers out there. It is very humbling.”

More than 1,600 breweries were represented in this year’s poll, and the Top-Ranked Brewery is Russian River Brewing Company (Santa Rosa, Calif.), which had five beers in the top 50. Bell’s Brewery, Inc. (Kalamazoo, Mich.), took second, followed by Stone Brewing Co. (Escondido, Calif.) in third.

“As brewers, AHA members know when they experience excellence in a craft beer. It is a very high honor for a brewery to be recognized by this group as having the best beer in America,” said Gary Glass, director of the AHA. “The consistency in the poll results indicates that the discerning palettes of these homebrewers recognize quality and are not easily influenced by the latest fads.”

Additionally, the Best Portfolio of Beers was awarded to New Belgium Brewing Co., which had 60 beers receive votes in the poll. The top contenders in the category include:

  1. New Belgium Brewing Co.
  2. Boston Beer Co. (Samuel Adams)
  3. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
  4. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
  5. Stone Brewing Co.

As was the case in 2012 and 2013, no beers produced by breweries outside of the U.S. made the top 50. Unibroue La Fin du Monde, hailing from Canada, took first place among Top Imports.

The complete list of Zymurgy’s “Best Beers in America” is available at HomebrewersAssociation.org.

Visit the AHA website for an exclusive interview with Russian River’s Vinnie Cilurzo in which he offers a few tips for making great IPAs.

Learn more about Zymurgy magazine.

Contact: Abby Berman, on behalf of the American Homebrewers Association, (646) 695-7044


The American Homebrewers Association has worked on behalf of the homebrewing community since 1978 and celebrates a membership of more than 43,000 homebrewers. The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) organizes events including the National Homebrewers Conference and 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.

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at CraftBeer.com. Follow the AHA on Twitter, and join us on Facebook.

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