Pliny the Elder cannot be stopped. For the sixth year in a row, the double India pale ale from Russian River Brewing Co. in Santa Rosa, Calif., has been named the “Best Commercial Beer in America” by Zymurgy magazine.
Each year, the magazine allows American Homebrewers Association members to vote in an online poll for up to 20 of their favorite beers. This is the 12th year of the poll.
The top 10 this year are:
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,” Russian River’s Vinnie Cilurzo said in a news release. “There are so many great beers out there. It is very humbling.”
Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter tied for 47th. It was the only Ohio beer among the top 50.
Russian River also won the honor as the top-ranked brewery in the poll. It had five beers place in the top 50. Bell’s was second and Stone was third. Great Lakes was ranked as the 23rd best brewery. (Unfortunately for Ohioans, Russian River doesn't distribute in the state.)
The magazine handed out its Best Portfolio of Beers award to New Belgium Brewing Co., which had 60 beers receive votes in the poll. The other contenders for that honor were: Boston Beer, Sierra Nevada, Dogfish Head and Stone.
More than 1,600 breweries were represented in the poll, the association said.
“As brewers, AHA members know when they experience excellence in a craft beer,” AHA Director Gary Glass said in the release. “It is a very high honor for a brewery to be recognized by this group as having the best beer in America. 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.”