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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: fmader on June 18, 2013, 07:38:17 pm

Title: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: fmader on June 18, 2013, 07:38:17 pm
I see that Pliny the Elder is once again the top ranked beers voted on by the people. By no means am I saying that this beer isn't the best beer in America...Just wanted to put that out there first. I can't wait until the day that I get to try it. But that's the thing...The only city on the East Coast that you can get it is Philadelphia from what I understand. Everytime that somebody I know goes to the West Coast, I have them on the search for Pliny the Elder. They never find it. This beer is mythical in my part of the country. This beer could very well be the best beer in America. I am not questioning that. I'm questioning if people (who have never tried it) voted for this beer just because it's Pliny the Elder. I voted for my top 20. This beer was not on my list, because I have never tried it. Many of the beers that I voted for are on the list and very high on the list. I just wonder if gets votes, because of its prestige. Maybe like the athlete that is injured for 3/4's of the season, but gets voted to the All-Star game because of who he is.

Now...if anybody would like to ship me this gem, I would much appreciate it..... Maybe I'll vote it first place next year  ;)
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: greatplainsbrewer on June 18, 2013, 07:44:00 pm
The 'Derek Jeter' of beers?
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: fmader on June 18, 2013, 07:50:33 pm
Exactly... How many people haven't tried it but still voted for it.

Like I said, I want to vote for it! Russian River needs to extend it's hand to Ohio!
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: bunderbunder on June 18, 2013, 10:41:21 pm
I'm suspicious, too.  Even if that many people have had it, how many have regular enough access to it that what they're tasting is the beer itself and not their excitement about getting a chance to try it?  On the other hand, considering so many great craft breweries that aren't big enough to distribute nationally it is kind of nice to see that the list isn't dominated by beers like Boston Lager simply because of sheer force of numbers.

The bit that gets me even more is that of the top 20, 13 are IPAs and another three are other kinds of hoppy ale.  With a few breakfast stouts tagging along.  C'mon people, there's more to life than 14B!
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: brewmasternpb on June 18, 2013, 11:23:08 pm
I do think that Pliny has a mystique that gets it votes, as has every other "top beer".  Dogfish head 90 won it a few years in a row, but they distribute far and wide.  The one that gets me was Alaskan Smoked porter, it won a couple years in a row and its distribution was very limited.  The other thing to think about is how many homebrewers live in California... Quaff, Doze, the Maltose Falcons and the Brewing Network (not all are in California, but I would bet that a substantial number are), are some of the most populous homebrew clubs and they are all in CA... I think the days of a non-California beer winning best beer in America will be few and far between.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: repo on June 18, 2013, 11:51:12 pm
I can have a Pliny the Elder whenever I want. Rest assured it is the best beer on that list, IMO. With the sheer number of beers available, it is insane to attempt such a list.  San Diego has 71 brewing locations now, Stone is very good but hovers around as my 5th or 6th favorite locally- and there are probably 20 or so I haven't been to yet. IPA is king, a 7 barrel owner looking to expand told me 80% of his sales were IPAs. I think most popular/heard of non macro beers is a much more accurate descriptor, in fact I shot some pretty good beer out my nose reading the list.....
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: brewmasternpb on June 19, 2013, 12:07:54 am
I should say that I've had Pliny a couple of times, and there's no reason it shouldn't be #1.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: cornershot on June 19, 2013, 03:11:01 am
Could it be that the actual recipe is available to anyone who wants it and it has been brewed by so many? Not saying a homebrewed version will taste like the original but it likely tastes great. I'd guess that a lot of homebrewers are simply voting for the recipe. I haven't had Pliny, original or homebrewed, but it just moved up on my to-brew list! Cant....resist.....hype!
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: fmader on June 19, 2013, 04:11:37 am
Could it be that the actual recipe is available to anyone who wants it and it has been brewed by so many? Not saying a homebrewed version will taste like the original but it likely tastes great. I'd guess that a lot of homebrewers are simply voting for the recipe. I haven't had Pliny, original or homebrewed, but it just moved up on my to-brew list! Cant....resist.....hype!

It could be. I think it's awesome that Vinnie has released it for us. I also feel that he does a lot for the homebrew community. I've brewed the recipe. It's not my best brew ever, but it's certainly in my top five. Be prepared to use 9 metric tons of hops lol.

All of my beer buddies say that Pliny is the best beer out there, but again, none of them have ever tried it.

Any takers on shipping me a couple bottles ? :o
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: ynotbrusum on June 19, 2013, 05:19:35 am
I made the clone and it is a pretty good beer, but the cost of the hops alone is staggering.  What does it retail for?   I've outgrown IIPA's, they are not in my favorite profile anymore - note Drew Beechum's article on session IPA's.  I drink more sessionable beers these days, but brew and store a Dubbel or sour for the occasional diversion.  I find that an IIPA is best served as an after dinner drink as the slow sipper before heading  to the recliner for the evening - my last beer for the day, so it can blast my taste buds without spoiling it for anything else.

Just my 2 cents....
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: HoosierBrew on June 19, 2013, 05:34:09 am
I've been out west and had Pliny, and it is great and worthy of being at or near the top, but there are other West Coast breweries like Alpine and Bear Republic for starters that make IPAs nearly or as good that aren't on the list . So I agree that the Pliny recipe is part of it.  Also ,it has a myth around it much like Westy 12, because it is so hard to get that the myth only grows bigger. IMO Rochefort 10 is better and St Bernardus Abt 12 is very comparable after overpaying online for Westy. But know what? Those 2 beers are readily available, so no myth there. I just have a problem with somebody voting Pliny at the top who never tried it, and only brewed a recipe clone.  We all know that 5 guys brewing the same recipe would make five somewhat different beers.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: udubdawg on June 19, 2013, 06:24:11 am
I have a clear favorite beer, or at least a clear favorite 5-6 beers, but if giving a top 20, near the end I'm going to end up picking some famous beer I don't get that often.  I'm lucky if I get PtE twice a year, and it's terrific.  I'm guessing it'd be somewhere around #15 for me.  I like it better than almost every beer that made the top 50.  I think I'd put (fresh) Sculpin, The Abyss, and KBS ahead of it and nothing else. (Haven't had Heady Topper if someone wants to hook me up.  ;)  )  Thousands of people have reviewed Pliny online over the last decade, and I bet plenty of them have enough fond memories to put it there too.

Taking nothing away from the quality of the beers on the list, but it is kind of a most famous beers list, isn't it?
Title: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: cheshirecat on June 19, 2013, 06:25:10 am
From my understanding is Pliny doesn't travel well and doesn't say fresh all that long, so they don't bottle/keg a ton of it. From experience I can tell you that I bought a bottle from the brewery (I live about an hour away) and didn't get a chance to drink it for about a month, it went downhill fast. Fresh it is an amazing beer, the balance is just about prefect.

I've read a couple places that Vennie suggest that if you have access to hop extract use that for bittering to cut down on all the hop matter. They use it in recipe for a few of the hop additions.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: redbeerman on June 19, 2013, 07:14:11 am
I have only had it once.  A couple of weeks ago at Monk's Café in Philly.  I also had Blind Pig IPA.  I actually liked the Blind Pig better, but I must say the Pliny is in my top two for DIPAs, the other being Stone's Enjoy By, which I have also had on tap and at this time is the best DIPA I have ever had. IMHO.  It would be interesting to do a blind tasting of a few DIPAs just to verify my tastebuds.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 19, 2013, 07:22:05 am
I have had Pliny many, many times. Will have it again in Oct.

The zymurgy best beer list is what AHA members vote for. Beer with a big reputation and/or a good distribution do well. I have had 45 of those listed, so those are easy to find locally, or in my travels.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: reverseapachemaster on June 19, 2013, 08:01:55 am
I do think that Pliny has a mystique that gets it votes, as has every other "top beer".  Dogfish head 90 won it a few years in a row, but they distribute far and wide.  The one that gets me was Alaskan Smoked porter, it won a couple years in a row and its distribution was very limited.  The other thing to think about is how many homebrewers live in California... Quaff, Doze, the Maltose Falcons and the Brewing Network (not all are in California, but I would bet that a substantial number are), are some of the most populous homebrew clubs and they are all in CA... I think the days of a non-California beer winning best beer in America will be few and far between.

Alaskan has expanded distribution in the past couple years. We get their beers here in Texas, even smoked porter.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: nateo on June 19, 2013, 08:19:45 am
All of the lists look the same to me, every year. I wonder what it will take to shake it up.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: In The Sand on June 19, 2013, 08:35:40 am
All of the lists look the same to me, every year. I wonder what it will take to shake it up.

Maybe some sort of an IPA with columbus, cascade, simcoe, citra, or amarillo....... ;D lol
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: klickitat jim on June 19, 2013, 08:50:10 am
A majority of votes does not make anything best.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: HoosierBrew on June 19, 2013, 08:57:15 am
A majority of votes does not make anything best.
+1.  I love hoppy beers and RIS as much as anybody, but hard to believe Boulevard Saison-Brett and  Founders Backwoods Bastard (for example) wouldn't be on there somewhere.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: klickitat jim on June 19, 2013, 09:04:36 am
Was it a fill in the blanks survey or circle your favorite?
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: narvin on June 19, 2013, 09:20:13 am
The 'Derek Jeter' of beers?

If this is a reference to him winning a Gold Glove despite having terrible range, you win the internet!
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: fmader on June 19, 2013, 09:24:58 am
Was it a fill in the blanks survey or circle your favorite?

Fill in the blanks of your top twenty beers... No word bank lol
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: denny on June 19, 2013, 09:42:47 am
Taking nothing away from the quality of the beers on the list, but it is kind of a most famous beers list, isn't it?

And most likely they're famous due to the quality.  I don't see your point.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: drjones on June 19, 2013, 09:43:07 am
I just checked Chris Frey's 2010 AHA demographic summary /forum/index.php?topic=2717.0 (http:///forum/index.php?topic=2717.0) but there is no mention of the proportion of members east vs. west of the Mississippi.  Anyone know this?  The top 100 certainly seemed to express a West Coast bias.
Pliny-less in New England
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: denny on June 19, 2013, 09:43:38 am
All of the lists look the same to me, every year. I wonder what it will take to shake it up.

More people who have different tastes who vote?
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: HoosierBrew on June 19, 2013, 10:01:19 am
The 'Derek Jeter' of beers?

If this is a reference to him winning a Gold Glove despite having terrible range, you win the internet!
I love it.  Freakin hilarious !  So, wondering what the Derek Jeter of Beers would be - maybe SA Boston Lager? No BMC - that would be the Utility Infielder of Beers (if that).
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: AmandaK on June 19, 2013, 10:26:23 am
I love seeing Boulevard represent! Tank 7 is a truly great beer.  8)
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: bluesman on June 19, 2013, 10:41:49 am
I love seeing Boulevard represent! Tank 7 is a truly great beer.  8)

+1

Really like this beer too.

I have to say that the list sums it for me. I might not necessarily have them in the same order, but there are some very stellar beers on the list.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: Joe Sr. on June 19, 2013, 10:42:12 am
I love seeing Boulevard represent! Tank 7 is a truly great beer.  8)

I agree.  And it actually surprised me to see it on there, since the list is so dominated by hoppy beers.

I've had Pliny.  It was good.  I'm not a big IPA guy so I can't say it was the best.  It was not on my list, as it's not something I have access to nor would I likely drink it very often.  Whatever. People love it.  The people I shared it with loved it.  This list is unscientific.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: nateo on June 19, 2013, 10:50:27 am
I'd be really interested in seeing a regional version of this. IMO Urban Chestnut makes some of the best beers I've ever had, but there's no way they'd ever end up on that list.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: udubdawg on June 19, 2013, 11:14:14 am
Taking nothing away from the quality of the beers on the list, but it is kind of a most famous beers list, isn't it?

And most likely they're famous due to the quality.  I don't see your point.

That's OK.  Any other reasons though?  Maybe some breweries are bigger and more well-distributed than others?  No foreign beers in the Top 50 either.  Does that seem likely?
Is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale really THAT good (multiple top 10's) or does everyone just know it and is willing to throw it on there when filling out their list?  Was Guinness really the 7th best beer in American just three years ago? And those 12 Rahr beers in the Top 50 that same year - seems legit!

cheers--
--Michael


Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: fmader on June 19, 2013, 11:23:30 am
Bell's Two Hearted is very good, but I don't know about number 2. There are a ton of very good ipas. Dark Horse Crooked Tree is very legit... Not on the list. Great Lakes Commador Perry is a great IPA, but GL is only available in 12 states.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: greatplainsbrewer on June 19, 2013, 11:29:48 am
I'm sure that distribution plays a role as does reputation.  Most of the beers on the list aren't available here in central NE although I did run into a Heady Topper last winter.  Interesting thought about AHA membership being stronger in the West although I suspect that coincides with the number and quality of breweries there.

Nothing against Jeter but no way he's been the best SS in the AL for several years (KC fan who might have a bias).  He is a true pro.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 19, 2013, 12:19:53 pm
There are a little over 30000 AHA members, and how many vote?

The Rahr thing was after the brewery had a roof collapse, IIRC.s It would not take many local AHA members to skew the results.

Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: tschmidlin on June 19, 2013, 12:27:10 pm
This list is unscientific.
I think this is a key thing.  Of course it is unscientific, but it's kind of fun.

I have had pliny a bunch of times - it is a great beer.  It is definitely in my list of best 1000000 beers and is certainly in the top 100%. ;)
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: redbeerman on June 19, 2013, 12:36:35 pm
This list is unscientific.
I think this is a key thing.  Of course it is unscientific, but it's kind of fun.

I have had pliny a bunch of times - it is a great beer.  It is definitely in my list of best 1000000 beers and is certainly in the top 100%. ;)

Now that's commitment, Tom! ;)
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: Joe Sr. on June 19, 2013, 01:08:26 pm
There are a little over 30000 AHA members, and how many vote?

The Rahr thing was after the brewery had a roof collapse, IIRC.s It would not take many local AHA members to skew the results.

Don't we have this same argument every year?  Isn't the percentage who vote fantastically minimal?

What's higher, the percentage that vote for best beers or the percentage that vote for the AHA board?
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: AmandaK on June 19, 2013, 01:18:15 pm
I'd be really interested in seeing a regional version of this. IMO Urban Chestnut makes some of the best beers I've ever had, but there's no way they'd ever end up on that list.

Urban Chestnut and The Civil Life make some of the best beers - but don't tell anyone! We don't want to run out of our supply here in Missouri!
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 19, 2013, 02:28:09 pm
There are a little over 30000 AHA members, and how many vote?

The Rahr thing was after the brewery had a roof collapse, IIRC.s It would not take many local AHA members to skew the results.

Don't we have this same argument every year?  Isn't the percentage who vote fantastically minimal?

What's higher, the percentage that vote for best beers or the percentage that vote for the AHA board?
they listed the number that voted last year in the magazine article, about 3000 or so.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: Herminator on June 19, 2013, 03:01:59 pm
I have had pliny once...even though it is distributed where I live.  It was kegged and to be honest I wasn't blown away but none the less it was a great beer.

Personally, I think two hearted is better but I am from Michigan and am biased.

Regardless, its a fun list and I find it fun to try to drink and check off the list.  This reminds me...I have to call the liquor store tomorrow to see if they received Pliny (they get it every 4-6 weeks) and sell out by the time they close. 

Cheers.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: strukanb on June 19, 2013, 03:21:56 pm
Even at the brewery itself Pliny is limited to 6 bottles for carry out. I think the rarity alone adds a lot to people's opinion. It's gotta be good if so many other people want it, right?
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: ynotbrusum on June 19, 2013, 05:37:46 pm
Even at the brewery itself Pliny is limited to 6 bottles for carry out. I think the rarity alone adds a lot to people's opinion. It's gotta be good if so many other people want it, right?

Like Dark Lord at Three Floyds in Muenster, IN.  But having had it once, it sure is good for a RIS, especially after a 2 year hold in the cellar.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: klickitat jim on June 19, 2013, 05:48:50 pm
I haven't seen the list yet. It Elysian Bete Blanche on it?
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: fmader on June 19, 2013, 06:07:03 pm
I haven't seen the list yet. It Elysian Bete Blanche on it?

Here's the link to the eZymurgy edition.

http://digital.ipcprintservices.com/publication/frame.php?i=162776&p=&pn=&ver=flex (http://digital.ipcprintservices.com/publication/frame.php?i=162776&p=&pn=&ver=flex)

I got my hard copy in the mail yesterday.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: klickitat jim on June 19, 2013, 06:12:05 pm
Thanks. I have to wait for my hard copy. Can't remember my password
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: nateo on June 19, 2013, 08:15:36 pm
No pay wall here: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/community/news/show?title=zymurgys-2013-best-beers-in-america

I'm kind of amazed none of the top imports were from Germany. C'mon!
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: mugwort on June 19, 2013, 09:13:54 pm
Taking nothing away from the quality of the beers on the list, but it is kind of a most famous beers list, isn't it?

And most likely they're famous due to the quality.  I don't see your point.

That's OK.  Any other reasons though?  Maybe some breweries are bigger and more well-distributed than others?  No foreign beers in the Top 50 either.  Does that seem likely?
Is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale really THAT good (multiple top 10's) or does everyone just know it and is willing to throw it on there when filling out their list?  Was Guinness really the 7th best beer in American just three years ago? And those 12 Rahr beers in the Top 50 that same year - seems legit!

cheers--
--Michael

I agree with your point that this list is not a best-of (which implies some sort of semi-objectivity to the whole deal), but simply a list of a relatively small percentage of motivated Zymurgy readers' craft brew favorites.  The claim that this list somehow describes the best brews available in the USA used to annoy me.  To the AHA's credit, this year's title reads "Zymurgy's 2013 Best Beers in America", and the tag line states, "...we've asked Zymurgy readers to share a list of their 20 favorite beers...".  Love that the word "favorite" is in there.

No doubt, the list is highly-correlated with quality (except as a coordinated prank, nothing too crappy will be voted to this list), but as for describing what is best, whatever.  It's a popularity contest and thankfully most people probably realize that.  If nothing else, the list provides plenty of forum posts and casual debate.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: bunderbunder on June 19, 2013, 10:31:24 pm
No pay wall here: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/community/news/show?title=zymurgys-2013-best-beers-in-america

I'm kind of amazed none of the top imports were from Germany. C'mon!

Look at the beers that win - they're generally more aggressive styles like American-style IPA and stronger stouts.  In keeping with that trend, 4/5 of the international winners were yeast- and bacteria-forward Belgians.  With the rankings skewing so hard in that direction, it's no surprise that Germany didn't fare well.  Even if there had been a German winner it probably would have been something like a Berliner Weisse or rauchbier.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: tschmidlin on June 20, 2013, 02:35:21 am
This list is unscientific.
I think this is a key thing.  Of course it is unscientific, but it's kind of fun.

I have had pliny a bunch of times - it is a great beer.  It is definitely in my list of best 1000000 beers and is certainly in the top 100%. ;)

Now that's commitment, Tom! ;)
What can I say :)

I can appreciate that people like to rank beers.  I don't.  I know that I would prefer a Pliny over the smoked porter I am drinking right now, because they used cherry wood smoked malt at too high of a level for me and I find it to be harshly phenolic.  That cherry smoked malt doesn't have the smooth smokiness of weyermann rauch malt or my home smoked malt.

But to me a big part of beer enjoyment is situational.  Floating down a river in 105F weather a Coors banquet really hits the spot.  Not the Anderson Valley Boont amber or the 21A Hell or High Watermelon we also had - coors banquet.  if we had had pliny with us . . . no.  I generally despise a light lager and that beer is nowhere in my top 100 or even 1000 beers because under normal conditions it just doesn't taste good to me.  But it probably makes my top 50 beer memories, for whatever that is worth. :)
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: klickitat jim on June 20, 2013, 03:26:46 am
It's ok. We understand.

I think I follow your line of thought. If I were asked "what is your favorite beer?" My answer will be whatever I happen to be into at the time. But if I were asked "if you could only drink one beer for the rest of your life, what would it be?" My answer would be that I probably would quit drinking beer all together.

I have not found a beer, nor will I ever, that is so amazing I would give up trying anything new ever again.

I believe this type of random variety beer lover is one reason so many breweries exist.

 I also cannot understand the type that can pound down a 30 pack of the same ol same NASCAR banner beer every weekend and never once try anything new. I think these are people who get grossed out if their corn touches their mashed potatoes.
Title: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: vista on June 20, 2013, 03:28:43 am
I almost look at it like, 50 most influential, many new homebrewers I've met are all about making some hop bombs or drinkable tar. I don't meet many newbies who say, man, I'd really like to be able to make a great dortmunder export.

So from a home brewing perspective, I take this list as more of a influential perspective. It is amazing how popular the double/imperial ipa style is, alchemist survives alone on just the production of HT. the Pliny, to me, is probably the most influential style to the general homebrew population, largely in part by it a) it's delicious, b) vinny was so generous in giving the ground work for a style that was just picking up steam across the country, c) the legend that it carries which someone on here was pointing out.

Just my take without being negative on the list, I also had some ill feelings at first towards the list as well.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: HoosierBrew on June 20, 2013, 06:19:42 am
I agree with Tom - it's a situational thing for me. A list of favorite beers might look different from one time of year to another for me.  I love a good RIS or IIPA, but I'm not liable to drink many of those in the hottest part of the year. I think calling the list the "Favorite Beers Poll" or something similar might make more sense, but it's all subjective anyway. Makes for a lively debate.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: fmader on June 20, 2013, 07:32:56 am
I agree with both Jim and Tom. My favorite beer is situational. I think when I voted, Founders breakfast stout was my number one. There is nothing less enjoyable to me than to drink a heavy stout when it's 95 degrees out.

And as referred to earlier, I'm not bashing this beer. I'm questioning the validity of voters who voted for it. Have they actually tried it? What I will bash is how can, on occasion, find Blind Pig in Ohio and not Pliny?

I do feel that the gap in great IPAs is a narrow gap. One of my favorite goto's is Columbus Brewing Co IPA. It's a tiny brewery and this beer is tough to beat. I'm not saying this because I live in Ohio and am one of those biased wave your Columbus flag, Ohio state fans, I'm saying it because its a great beer! And this state produces a lot of great beer!

It's a great day to be a Mountaineer wherever you might be! Happy 150th birthday to West Virginia!
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: AmandaK on June 20, 2013, 07:50:49 am
It's very situational for me as well. I always get asked "What's your favorite beer?" My answer is usually, "Depends on the weather, my mood, time of day..."

But really my favorite beer is Boulevard's Saison-Brett. Shhhh... don't tell!  ;D
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: fmader on June 20, 2013, 08:18:37 am
It's very situational for me as well. I always get asked "What's your favorite beer?" My answer is usually, "Depends on the weather, my mood, time of day..."

But really my favorite beer is Boulevard's Saison-Brett. Shhhh... don't tell!  ;D

Kinda like being asked what your favorite band is
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: klickitat jim on June 20, 2013, 08:25:33 am
That's easy. The best band ever is Oingo Boingo
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: HoosierBrew on June 20, 2013, 08:39:52 am
 ;D
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: bunderbunder on June 20, 2013, 08:56:44 am
Or Talking Heads if it's 95 and humid.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: klickitat jim on June 20, 2013, 09:05:18 am
True. Danny Elfman is pretty sessionable if its foggy or just after a rain, but if it's warm out nothing beats burning down the house or psycho killer.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: erockrph on June 20, 2013, 09:59:55 am
Totally with you on the situational thing. My favorite tunes for an open stretch of highway is totally different than when I'm at work. In the winter I love me some Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter. In the spring give me a Saranac Pils. For a special occasion I crack into my barleywine stash that's been aging in the cellar.

FWIW, I tried to be a bit more objective about my list. Even though I only drink a couple of sours a month, Red Poppy and La Folie made my top 5 because I think they are exceptionally well crafted beers. My situational favorites were typically near the bottom of my list. While they may be my personal preferences, there are other beers out there that have more "you have to try this" factor.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: gsandel on June 20, 2013, 10:14:30 am
Or Talking Heads if it's 95 and humid. :) +!

I agree that influential is probably a more apt description of this ranking.  This is my least favorite issue of the year.  It does nothing but tell me what a bunch of random homebrewers voted for....sort of dancing with the stars for beer....that is, not even a worthwhile use of my time set aside for vegging in front of a TV.  I got the mag yesterday in the mail, and it took me only a few minutes to read and file.

It is nice that these breweries have that sort of following that their patrons are willing to stuff a ballot box for.  I am pretty sure that no one in Germany is crying in their well crafted lagers.

Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: bluesman on June 20, 2013, 10:47:05 am
I get asked quite often..."So...what's your favorite beer?"

My response is that it depends on several things. My mood, the weather, what I'm doing, how I'm feeling, etc, etc...

As others have said, it's a situational type thing. I like every beer on that list, and prefer some over others, depending on the situation, and those preferences can/will change as the situation changes.

Mowing the lawn = A good Helles or Cream Ale

Warming up next to a fire in the dead of winter = RIS or a vintage Barleywine

and so on...and so on...

The short answer: "It depends" :)
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: nateo on June 20, 2013, 10:56:27 am
Mah fravrit is the kind with bubbles.
Title: Re: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: Jimmy K on June 20, 2013, 03:18:47 pm
As others have said, it's a situational type thing.

9am on punkin chunkin build days: Busch

Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: breslinp on June 20, 2013, 06:23:36 pm
I was one who voted Pliny the Elder #1 (live near Philly - on tap a bunch).  :-[

Sorry my vote is so controversial  ;D

In my defense, I also had Younger this year and voted Elder over it. I also voted before I had Tired Hands St.Oner. [NHC goers. Take the train (Paoli/Thorndale) to Ardmore to Tired Hands if you get the chance.]
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: fmader on June 20, 2013, 10:31:07 pm
I was one who voted Pliny the Elder #1 (live near Philly - on tap a bunch).  :-[

Sorry my vote is so controversial  ;D

In my defense, I also had Younger this year and voted Elder over it. I also voted before I had Tired Hands St.Oner. [NHC goers. Take the train (Paoli/Thorndale) to Ardmore to Tired Hands if you get the chance.]

I don't think your vote is controversial.......You've tasted it....and apparently, many a times.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: nateo on June 20, 2013, 10:33:38 pm
I'm so cool, I was into hop bombs in like, 2008. That s*** is so lame nowadays. . .
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: klickitat jim on June 20, 2013, 10:52:05 pm
Sarcasm, what an invention
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: klickitat jim on June 21, 2013, 05:40:03 am
By the way, my issue just arrived. Again what a cool zine!
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: hubie on June 21, 2013, 07:15:58 am
Also ,it has a myth around it much like Westy 12, because it is so hard to get that the myth only grows bigger.

The graybeards around here may recall back in the halcyon days of the 1970s that it was very hard to get Coors anywhere but Colorado and westwards.  A huge mystique built up around it and everybody east of the Mississippi had to get their hands on some.  People would go out of their way to bring cases of it back East.  I'm sure if they had done that survey back then, Coors definitely would have been on top of the list (though, back then you'd have to had made the list the "Top 10 Beers in the Country" or something like that).
Title: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: majorvices on June 21, 2013, 07:32:40 am
Have to admit, I love Pliny, think 2 Hearted is "OK" and find DFH 90 minute pretty much undrinkable. Obviously Pliny gets the vote because of the legend and 2 Hearted because of its ubiquitousness and 90 minute because apparently a lot of people don't really know what a good IPA is supposed to taste like ... :P
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: HoosierBrew on June 21, 2013, 07:40:43 am
I remember the days when Coors had that mystique before they opened up distribution.  So I guess the graybeard line is pretty fitting !

Also +1 to DFH90 being undrinkable (along with several of their other beers IMO). Very cloying.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: theDarkSide on June 21, 2013, 07:44:39 am
The graybeards around here may recall back in the halcyon days of the 1970s that it was very hard to get Coors anywhere but Colorado and westwards.  A huge mystique built up around it and everybody east of the Mississippi had to get their hands on some.  People would go out of their way to bring cases of it back East.  I'm sure if they had done that survey back then, Coors definitely would have been on top of the list (though, back then you'd have to had made the list the "Top 10 Beers in the Country" or something like that).

I bet some even hired a truck driver to bring a load back and he had a guy driving a Trans Am running interference with the cops.  ;D
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: hubie on June 21, 2013, 07:53:55 am
I bet some even hired a truck driver to bring a load back and he had a guy driving a Trans Am running interference with the cops.  ;D

:D

I feel like an idiot for forgetting that reference, but that was pretty much why they were running Coors in the movie ("And as the pursuer, may I say you’re the goddamnedest pursuee I ever pursued.")
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: AmandaK on June 21, 2013, 08:19:21 am
The graybeards around here may recall back in the halcyon days of the 1970s that it was very hard to get Coors anywhere but Colorado and westwards.  A huge mystique built up around it and everybody east of the Mississippi had to get their hands on some.  People would go out of their way to bring cases of it back East. 

In terms of American Light Lagers, Yuengling is the new Coors (reversing the east & west coast, obviously). I still don't get it.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: jeffy on June 21, 2013, 09:00:22 am
Also ,it has a myth around it much like Westy 12, because it is so hard to get that the myth only grows bigger.

The graybeards around here may recall back in the halcyon days of the 1970s that it was very hard to get Coors anywhere but Colorado and westwards.  A huge mystique built up around it and everybody east of the Mississippi had to get their hands on some.  People would go out of their way to bring cases of it back East.  I'm sure if they had done that survey back then, Coors definitely would have been on top of the list (though, back then you'd have to had made the list the "Top 10 Beers in the Country" or something like that).
I was one of those guys, bringing back two cases of Banquet Beer in the trunk of my 912 in 1973.  Could have sold a few sixes on the way back in Oklahoma.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: Joe Sr. on June 21, 2013, 09:09:25 am
The graybeards around here may recall back in the halcyon days of the 1970s that it was very hard to get Coors anywhere but Colorado and westwards.  A huge mystique built up around it and everybody east of the Mississippi had to get their hands on some.  People would go out of their way to bring cases of it back East. 

In terms of American Light Lagers, Yuengling is the new Coors (reversing the east & west coast, obviously). I still don't get it.

My hair is not grey and I can't grow a decent beer, but back in the '80s we drank a lot of Coors in high school.  Extra Gold.  I haven't seen it since.

I have to say I was excited to try Yeungling when I was out in Philly a few years back and once I  had it I was disappointed.  Just didn't seem that special.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: erockrph on June 21, 2013, 09:13:53 am
In terms of American Light Lagers, Yuengling is the new Coors (reversing the east & west coast, obviously). I still don't get it.

Thank you! I thought I was the only one. Even up in New England I hear people talk about Yuengling like it's some great thing. Some of the same people call PBR swill in the same breath. I just don't get it.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: cornershot on June 21, 2013, 09:23:49 am
The graybeards around here may recall back in the halcyon days of the 1970s that it was very hard to get Coors anywhere but Colorado and westwards.  A huge mystique built up around it and everybody east of the Mississippi had to get their hands on some.  People would go out of their way to bring cases of it back East. 

In terms of American Light Lagers, Yuengling is the new Coors (reversing the east & west coast, obviously). I still don't get it.

My hair is not grey and I can't grow a decent beer, but back in the '80s we drank a lot of Coors in high school.  Extra Gold.  I haven't seen it since.

I have to say I was excited to try Yeungling when I was out in Philly a few years back and once I  had it I was disappointed.  Just didn't seem that special.


Yeungling lager is great when fresh at the brewery tasting room but it's otherwise inconsistent and not very good IMO. I cut my craft beer teeth on yeungling porter 20 years ago and it was great but they changed the recipe soon after to the less interesting beer it is today. If you're in Pa for the conference and want to sample Pa's finest, go for Weyerbacher, Troeg's, Bullfrog, Yard's, Victory.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: AmandaK on June 21, 2013, 09:24:57 am
The graybeards around here may recall back in the halcyon days of the 1970s that it was very hard to get Coors anywhere but Colorado and westwards.  A huge mystique built up around it and everybody east of the Mississippi had to get their hands on some.  People would go out of their way to bring cases of it back East. 

In terms of American Light Lagers, Yuengling is the new Coors (reversing the east & west coast, obviously). I still don't get it.

My hair is not grey and I can't grow a decent beer, but back in the '80s we drank a lot of Coors in high school.  Extra Gold.  I haven't seen it since.

I have to say I was excited to try Yeungling when I was out in Philly a few years back and once I  had it I was disappointed.  Just didn't seem that special.

My thoughts exactly. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

My fiance's friends all talk about how "so-and-so is going to bring me back Yeungling!!!". I get really confused. But hey, more good beer for me, right?  8)
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 21, 2013, 09:40:39 am
Also ,it has a myth around it much like Westy 12, because it is so hard to get that the myth only grows bigger.

The graybeards around here may recall back in the halcyon days of the 1970s that it was very hard to get Coors anywhere but Colorado and westwards.  A huge mystique built up around it and everybody east of the Mississippi had to get their hands on some.  People would go out of their way to bring cases of it back East.  I'm sure if they had done that survey back then, Coors definitely would have been on top of the list (though, back then you'd have to had made the list the "Top 10 Beers in the Country" or something like that).
I was one of those guys, bringing back two cases of Banquet Beer in the trunk of my 912 in 1973.  Could have sold a few sixes on the way back in Oklahoma.

Some college buddies moved to CO after graduation. They said they were always asked to bring Strohs back to CO when they were home to see family.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: denny on June 21, 2013, 09:45:58 am
I was one of those guys, bringing back two cases of Banquet Beer in the trunk of my 912 in 1973.  Could have sold a few sixes on the way back in Oklahoma.

I took a U Haul trailer from IA to CO a couple times to fill it up with Coors.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: repo on June 21, 2013, 09:50:15 am
Have to admit, I love Pliny, think 2 Hearted is "OK" and find DFH 90 minute pretty much undrinkable. Obviously Pliny gets the vote because of the legend and 2 Hearted because of its ubiquitousness and 90 minute because apparently a lot of people don't really know what a good IPA is supposed to taste like ... :P

+1  I was convinced Bell's thought ipa meant imperial pale ale. I love the west coast bias too when 3 of top 4 are from east. I use peoples opinions of what is good simply to decide if I will try anything they recommend or try the opposite. This list is 90% opposite for me.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: fmader on June 21, 2013, 10:32:18 am
In terms of American Light Lagers, Yuengling is the new Coors (reversing the east & west coast, obviously). I still don't get it.

Thank you! I thought I was the only one. Even up in New England I hear people talk about Yuengling like it's some great thing. Some of the same people call PBR swill in the same breath. I just don't get it.

Growing up in West Virginia, Yuengling had that mystique, because it wasn't distributed to the state.... Note: I lived 3 minutes from Pennsylvania. Ohio got Yuengling a couple years ago. When will be the day that they ban that garbage. Everybody thinks its God's gift to beer. I'm tired of asking restaurants if they have any good beer on tap and getting Yuengling as the answer... I usually just get an ice tea at that time lol.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: Joe Sr. on June 21, 2013, 10:40:43 am
In all fairness, I don't think Yeungling is bad.  I was just expecting... something... more.  It was a let down.  I should probably also say that Pliny was a let down, too.  It was good, my friends thought it was great, but after all the hype I was expecting... more.  Like angels singing and colors being more vibrant and all that.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: HoosierBrew on June 21, 2013, 11:08:04 am
In all fairness, I don't think Yeungling is bad.  I was just expecting... something... more.  It was a let down.  I should probably also say that Pliny was a let down, too.  It was good, my friends thought it was great, but after all the hype I was expecting... more.  Like angels singing and colors being more vibrant and all that.
I was blown away by Pliny when I had it fresh, but after later having Alpine, Green Flash, Bear Republic and Ballast Point fresh I realized that the difference in quality was very little to none in a couple cases IMO. All very good beers.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: Herminator on June 21, 2013, 11:35:47 am
My homebrew study group and I did a blind IPA tasting last night.  Perfect timing with the top ranked beers just being published.  We had 16 IPAs and a few DIPAs (pliny included) and it was amazing what some blind tasting will do.  While I wasn't surprised to see Pliny and Two Hearted ranked towards the top, I, along with everyone else was floored that Shmaltz and No-Li were top picks.  I think for me it reaffirmed that name has a lot to do with the vote and overall reputation (hard to get, hype, etc.). 

#1 Shmaltz Brewing Hop Manna He'Brew IPA was #1 out of 16.

#2 No-Li Brewing: Born and Raised IPA

#3 Russian River: Pliny the Elder

#4 Bells: Two Hearted Ale
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: ynotbrusum on June 21, 2013, 11:45:36 am
Few beers cause me to do backflips anymore, especially commercial brews that are fine examples of their style, but simply exceed my expectations by a little.  My best recent beer that was "backflip-worthy" was a bourbon barrel porter that my neighbor made and aged in an actual Balcones 5 gallon bourbon barrel and added a little bourbon to it at kegging.  Really something special.  Having said that, I  recall that I liked the Yuenglings lager I tried once.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: Jimmy K on June 21, 2013, 11:47:50 am
In terms of American Light Lagers, Yuengling is the new Coors (reversing the east & west coast, obviously).

That's funny because I often drive cases of Yuengling up to New England and return with cases of Narraganset.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: AmandaK on June 24, 2013, 11:05:08 am
In all fairness, I don't think Yeungling is bad.  I was just expecting... something... more.  It was a let down.

I thought it was... underwhelming.
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: yugamrap on June 24, 2013, 12:19:45 pm
I'd be really interested in seeing a regional version of this. IMO Urban Chestnut makes some of the best beers I've ever had, but there's no way they'd ever end up on that list.

+1 for a regional version
Title: Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
Post by: cfleisher on July 02, 2013, 04:10:52 pm
Great beer, but not my favorite IPA. I enjoy Heady Topper more.