The Alchemist, Stowe. Photo by Randolph T Holhut.
Vermont Business Magazine The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) magazine, Zymurgy, last week released its 16th annual “Best Beers in America.” The trio of lists details the top-ranked beers, breweries and brewery portfolios in the US, according to AHA members and homebrewers. The Alchemist in Stowe and Hill Farmstead in Greensboro were among those honored.
The Alchemist’s Heady Topper has been named the third best beer in America. This is the fifth consecutive year that Heady Topper has placed in the top six. However, this is the first year that The Alchemist has made the top 10 Brewery in America list, coming in at number nine.
Co-owner and Head Brewer John Kimmich said in a statement that he is “very proud of our entire team’s commitment to making and selling consistent, high quality beer, while providing the best service and distribution we can”.
Jen Kimmich, co-owner and CEO said, “The positive attitude of our amazing staff and their careful attention to detail have played a critical role in our long-term success. It is an honor to be on these lists with brewers that we admire and have always looked up to”.
Hill Farmstead, "Edward." Courtesy photo.
Meanwhile, Hill Farmstead was ranked 6th in the Portfolio section. Both Hill Farmstead and The Alchemist are ranked among the world’s best by various expert and reader surveys. (The AHA results are below.)
For the second year in a row in the AHA ranking, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale was named number one in the annual Best Beers in America survey conducted by Zymurgy. Now running in its 16th year, the survey asks members of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), which publishes Zymurgy, to choose up to five of their favorite commercial beers available for purchase in the US.
“As brewers, the members of American Homebrewers Association can discern the subtle differences between a good beer and an outstanding beer,” said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association. “Zymurgy’s Best Beers in America survey showcases which commercial beers are truly the best of the best out there, and all the breweries who made the list should be proud.”
Despite the plethora of delicious options available to beer lovers, the same two beers have been battling it out for first place for the past eight years. For the second straight year, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale bested Russian River’s Pliny the Elder, which had taken the top spot from 2009 to 2016.
“When I think about the elements that Bell’s shares with the passionate homebrewing community, the values that rise to the top include creativity, a meticulous attention to detail, and the joy of sharing thoughtfully crafted beers with friends,” said John Mallett, director of operations, Bell’s. “To be recognized for excellence by people who truly understand all that goes into creating and delivering quality beers and experiences to our communities is a huge honor. These values are true drivers for us all.”
Top-Ranked Beers (T indicates tie; *indicates small and independent craft brewer):
1. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale*
2. Russian River Pliny the Elder*
3. The Alchemist Heady Topper*
4. Bell’s Hopslam*
T5. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale*
T5. Founders CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)
T5. Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
8. Three Floyds Zombie Dust*
9. Founders Breakfast Stout
T10. WeldWerks Juicy Bits*
T10. Founders All Day IPA
1. Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Comstock, Mich.*
2. Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.
3. Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, Calif.*
4. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, Calif. and Mills River, N.C.*
5. Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, Calif.*
T6. Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Ore.*
T6. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Del.*
8. Stone Brewing, Escondido, Calif.*
9. The Alchemist, Stowe, Vt.*
10. Three Floyds Brewing Company, Munster, Ind.*
Top-Ranked Beer Portfolios:
1. Stone Brewing (33 beers)*
2. Firestone Walker Brewing Co. (29 beers)*
T3. New Belgium Brewing (24 beers)*
T3. Founders Brewing Co. (24 beers)
5. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (23 beers)*
T6. Avery Brewing Co. (22 beers)
T6. Hill Farmstead Brewery (22 beers)*
T7. Boulevard Brewing Co. (20 beers)*
T7. Trillium Brewing Co. (20 beers)*
T9. Bell’s Brewery (19 beers)*
T9. Deschutes Brewery (19 beers)*
T9. Odell Brewing (19 beers)*
T9. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (19 beers)*
T9. The Bruery (19 beers)*
T9. Three Floyds Brewing (19 beers)
For homebrewers interested in replicating some of the winningest beers at home, the AHA provides clone recipes in Zymurgy and online, including Two Hearted Ale, Pliny the Elder and much more, which can be accessed via the recipes section of the AHA website.
Contact: Jacob Streiter, on behalf of the American Homebrewers Association, (646) 695-7047
About the American Homebrewers Association
The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) has worked on behalf of the homebrewing community since 1978 and celebrates a membership of 46,000 homebrewers. The American Homebrewers Association organizes events including Homebrew Con™ and the National Homebrew Competition. The AHA also publishes Zymurgy® magazine and offers the Brew Guru™ mobile app. The AHA is part of the Brewers Association (BA), whose independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers. The BA’s Brewers Publications™ division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.
Source: Boulder, Colo. • June 21, 2018—The Brewers Association