News 2018 Zymurgy's Best Beers in America Results

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by pat61, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. pat61

    pat61 Poo-Bah (4,879) Dec 29, 2010 Minnesota
    Premium Member

    TongoRad and drtth like this.
  2. Daveshek28

    Daveshek28 Initiate (147) Nov 10, 2015 New York
    Beer Trader

    A pretty good list, some disagreements, the biggest one being I feel Bell's Two Hearted definitely doesn't belong at the top, and is one of the most overrated beers in the country.
     
    Druid_51, MikeP64, pjeagles and 5 others like this.
  3. JayORear

    JayORear Savant (972) Feb 22, 2012 California
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Interesting (and heartening) that there are only 4 full-on NEIPAs on the list.
     
  4. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (846) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    This is an excellent list.
     
  5. JayORear

    JayORear Savant (972) Feb 22, 2012 California
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I used to think that until I had it extremely fresh. Still not #1, though.
     
    Tdizzle, jcos, lic217 and 4 others like this.
  6. Ranbot

    Ranbot Zealot (516) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I like Zymurgy's nods to more traditional US craft beer. No "best of" list like this is ever definitive, but this is a good list to have in the conversation.

    I am surprised that Hill Farmstead got no mention in the top beer and brewery lists, especially compared to those that did make it. Did Hill Farmstead/Shaun Hill piss off Zymurgy readers?
     
    #6 Ranbot, Jun 21, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
    pat61, Daveshek28 and drtth like this.
  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,569) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    Randy, my guess is that it is an availability issue. If an AHA member doesn't travel to Northern Vermont or trade beers they are unlikely to be familiar with Hill Farmstead beers.

    I am a big fan of Hill Farmstead beers but I have had the opportunity to drink many of their beer brands since they used to be distributed in the Philly area. FWIW I had a conversation with a local beer store manager during a Philly Beer Week event and he told me he heard that Hill Farmstead will soon be back in the Philly market. I have my fingers crossed here!!

    Cheers!
     
  8. Daveshek28

    Daveshek28 Initiate (147) Nov 10, 2015 New York
    Beer Trader

    Never had it from the source (at the brewery) or super fresh I suppose, so I'll give you that.
     
    JayORear likes this.
  9. Ranbot

    Ranbot Zealot (516) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Yeah, you're probably right that it's an availability issue.... even so, it's odd to me that other low-distribution brewers/beers did make the list... availability of Russian River, Alchemist, Lawson's Finest Liquids, and Treehouse aren't much if any better than Hill Farmstead.

    Edit: It's not really true that you have drive to rural northern VT for Hill Farmstead beers. There are many restaurants/bars in VT with Hill Farmstead on draft, much more draft availability than Alchemist and Lawson's actually, and I know you are aware of their limited Philly and NYC area distribution. Drafts are much harder for traders than cans/bottles though, so maybe that's the difference.
     
    #9 Ranbot, Jun 21, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
    Hayden34 likes this.
  10. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,379) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    With all the negative feedback on Cigar City Jai Alai I was surprised to see it ranked so high.
     
    TongoRad likes this.
  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,569) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    You may have the answer there. Recently Hill Farmstead started canning some of their beers, for example:

    [​IMG]

    I was able to drink this beer due to the generosity of a fellow BA. I discussed this beer in a New Beer Sunday thread:

    https://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/new-beer-sunday-week-684.565987/#post-5952834

    Maybe if more packaged Hill Farmstead beers get traded we will see their beers on next year's list?

    Cheers!
     
    Ranbot and AZBeerDude72 like this.
  12. pat61

    pat61 Poo-Bah (4,879) Dec 29, 2010 Minnesota
    Premium Member

    I think Jack is exactly right - there are more traders on this site than on the Zymurgy site but it is interesting because people on both sites do know about beer.
     
  13. Gajo74

    Gajo74 Poo-Bah (1,607) Sep 14, 2014 New York
    Beer Trader

    So refreshing to see a best of list in which I’ve actually had most of them, unlike that top 250 list full of hard to get stuff, most of which I’ll never get my hands on.
     
    #13 Gajo74, Jun 22, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
  14. Gajo74

    Gajo74 Poo-Bah (1,607) Sep 14, 2014 New York
    Beer Trader

    Curious to see Orval at the bottom of the list and the only Trappist beer represented. As a lover of Trappist brews, wondering why more didn’t make the list.
     
  15. Giantspace

    Giantspace Defender (692) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Best portfolio stone????????

    Complete rubbish

    Enjoy
     
  16. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,877) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Yeah, great list but seeing Orval on the bottom rubs me the wrong way.
     
  17. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,377) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    There does seem to be either batch variation, or it goes downhill really fast. The only time I had that beer and thought "so that's the way it's supposed to be!" was on draught at a concert over the winter. The other times it's been very variable in cans for me, with no real 'wow' moments.
     
    drtth, JackHorzempa and AZBeerDude72 like this.
  18. SoCal_Matt

    SoCal_Matt Disciple (386) Jul 13, 2014 California
    Beer Trader

    This baffled me as well. If by "best" they mean "most one dimensional" then yes, Stone deserves that ranking.
     
  19. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,379) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I had it a few times now locally and it has been pretty consistent, overall I find it to be a solid IPA. I agree not a wow beer for me but a very solid beer overall. With it being available in AZ now I can see this being a pool beer for sure. The price is great and compared to a lot of others around its just a great beer.
     
    TongoRad likes this.
  20. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,569) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    Michael, a few years ago I bought a case of Jai Alai that was only a couple of weeks from packaging but it tasted like it was over 6 months old. I exchanges a number of e-mails with Cigar City. In one of those e-mails the person in charge of Brewing Operations stated that the beer I purchased "met spec". That was my last purchase of Jai Alai (packaged or draft).

    Cheers!
     
    TongoRad likes this.
  21. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,055) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Premium Member

    I expected to see TG KBBS, but then realized the beers had to be available, and KBBS apparently never hits distribution.
     
  22. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (1,884) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Member

    I thought it was an American beer only list until I saw Orval at the bottom. Very odd. Also, in my opinion, Stone has an extremely poor portfolio. How does having the most beers equate to having the best portfolio? There is very little diversity in what they brew anymore.
     
    Ranbot and TongoRad like this.
  23. PA-Michigander

    PA-Michigander Meyvn (1,443) Nov 10, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I am curious what you based your opinion on. You've never had it fresh, yet you know it is one of the most overrated beers in the entire country?
     
  24. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (1,726) Sep 3, 2008 California
    Premium Member

    Happy to see Odell IPA that high, love that beer for my palate and preferences. And having Two Hearted fresh at FWIBF reminded me just how great that beer is, so few complaints on the top 50. I also loved Odell Rupture @ FWIBF, so quite happy to see it represented as well.

    TL : DR - can't wait for my next trip to CO or SDak to get some fresh Odell stuff.
     
    ManBearPat and clusterfolk like this.
  25. BayAreaJoe

    BayAreaJoe Devotee (488) Nov 23, 2017 California

    Another old folks list.
     
    beernuts likes this.
  26. scream

    scream Zealot (594) Dec 6, 2014 Wisconsin

    Some day you may get to join the fraternity if some old duffer doesn't take you out and spank you 1st !
     
  27. Daveshek28

    Daveshek28 Initiate (147) Nov 10, 2015 New York
    Beer Trader

    I'm basing it on the multiple times I've drank it. It's ok, but nothing great. What I mean by "super fresh" is I haven't drank it at the brewery or within a week of canning.
     
  28. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,058) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Maybe we've just always known what we've been talking about?
     
  29. jageraholic

    jageraholic Disciple (306) Sep 16, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    isn't it only June of 2018?
     
  30. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,303) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    "Favorite" "Best"
     
  31. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,058) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    We’ve tallied the votes, and here are the results for the 2018 Best Beers in America survey...

    I guess because it's Zymurgy, it's best. :wink:
     
    Bitterbill likes this.
  32. BayAreaJoe

    BayAreaJoe Devotee (488) Nov 23, 2017 California

    I mean in the sense that this list is the exact same as every other top beer list of every other year that everyone puts out all the time. It's completely outdated but labeled 2018.
     
  33. eppCOS

    eppCOS Defender (673) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado
    Premium Member

    Two Hearted and Jai Alai seem like 'legacy nods' for this list. I get the historic appeal, like a Craftsman Bungalow for architectural nerds, and they were great when first brewed (relative to other beers)...but I've had them repeatedly, even fresh, and both just leave me thinking "Um. OK." - Good beers, but top 50? Hilarious. (an no way either should be that high above Orval... or many of the others).
     
  34. meefmoff

    meefmoff Disciple (374) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    True, but it also shows how much hoppy beers have hogged the limelight since well before the haze craze. I count 30 of the 50.
     
  35. IceAce

    IceAce Champion (870) Jan 8, 2004 California

    Well, Zymurgy Magazine is the official publication of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA). This list is voted upon by the membership.

    Methinks more youngsters are homebrewing than “old folks”...
     
  36. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (846) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Hoppy beers have been in the limelight since Sierra Nevada Pale Ale was first brewed.
     
    RobHB and Bitterbill like this.
  37. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,569) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    Maybe this is a rhetorical question?

    I am perhaps not the best person to respond to this since I am personally not a fan of how the Stone beer portfolio has morphed over the past few years but....

    Stone produces a lot (and I do mean a lot) of hoppy beers. Many craft beer drinkers mainly (solely?) seek hoppy beers. For those beer drinkers Stone is a favorite?

    Cheers!
     
    archiebunkerjr and Jacobier10 like this.
  38. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (1,884) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Member

    I just found it bizarre that for the Best Portfolio list they just ranked the breweries by number of different of beers brewed. When talking about best portfolio, quality over quantity wins out for me. There are breweries that only brew 6 or 7 different beers but nail each one. In my opinion, that brewery has a better portfolio than one that brews 25 beers with only 2 or 3 being great and the rest being mediocre.
     
    archiebunkerjr, KarlHungus and scream like this.
  39. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,389) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    It is the number of beer brands/labels that receive votes from AHA members.
     
    Jacobier10 likes this.
  40. Mindcrime1000

    Mindcrime1000 Crusader (700) Apr 30, 2016 South Dakota
    Premium Member

    Happy to see the home state representing with Toppling Goliath at #17.