I got my e-mail reminder to vote for Zymurgy's Best Beers in America poll from the AHA which got me wondering. Can anyone shed light on how this grew to be an annual part of the homebrew publication? I suppose on a certain level, I'm curious about an issue of a homebrew magazine being dedicated to commercial beers. Of course, AHA is under the Brewers Association umbrella. So I wondered how much Zymurgy is also a tool to promote the craft industry. Would this list fit better in The New Brewer?
Don't get me wrong. I'm not opposed to the vote or the issue and have engaged in conversations about the best commercial beers. I fully get the close and mutually beneficial relationship between the craft beer and homebrew communities. There has been a long history between the two. Countless pro brewers got their start as homebrewers and craft brewers are often the biggest champions of homebrewer (i.e., sponsoring events like AHA/BJCP homebrew competitions, Pro-am at GABF, venues for local club meetings, etc.).
I do appreciate that voters are able to choose their top beers rather than select from a predetermined list but a good point about regional vs. national beers by ruddyscot.