OT: Top Breweries in America

Submitted by WhatTheFekete on June 21st, 2018 at 1:33 PM

Slow day and thought others would appreciate checking this out.  

2018 Zymurgy’s Best Beers in America Results: 

Top Beer:

Bell's Two Hearted Ale - Top Beer Two Years in a Row

Top Breweries:

#1: Bells

#2: Founders


What's your favorite beer on the list? 

What's a beer you love that didn't make the list? 



June 21st, 2018 at 1:44 PM ^

I love both Bells and Founders but that list is abysmally bad. BeerAdvocate user-generated beer rankings are much more accurate (from my experience) and methodologically rigorous. 


June 21st, 2018 at 3:01 PM ^

I'm not sure if you guys in the Midwest have access to Hop Valley beers, but if you can find them, I'd recommend almost anything they make.  They're out of Eugene, Or.  Citrus Mistress is one of my favs and they currently have a seasonal selection called Bubble Stash that's awesome.

I live in Washington state and, in general, the craft beer scene here is amazing.  My favorite local brewery in town is called NoLi, they make great stuff, but I'm sure they're not shipping their beers across the country.

Cheers MGO Brethren! 



June 22nd, 2018 at 1:30 AM ^

I live an hour north of Eugene, and Hop Valley, while decent, is probably only the 5th or 6th best brewery in Eugene alone (I'd put it behind at least Oakshire, Ninkasi, Elk Horn, and Falling Sky), not to mention what's available elsewhere in Oregon.

I'd highly recommend anyone who loves beer that hasn't made it to the PNW to do so immediately. I've traveled many places and tried a lot of different breweries, and the density of fantastic places here is nuts, especially if you find yourself in Portland or Seattle.

I've got a road trip planned starting a week from today that will take my wife and I through Montana, south into Denver for 5 days, and then back to Oregon via SLC and Boise. Once we're done with this trip, we'll have been to 13 of the top 25 breweries on this list, and I've already had ~40 of the top 58 beers they list. This list is missing a lot of great places - off the top of my head, I'd throw Modern Times (I went to their San Diego location, but there's a taphouse in Portland too), pFriem (45 minutes east of Portland), Fremont (Seattle), and Crux (Bend) on this list easily.


June 21st, 2018 at 1:56 PM ^

I agree that 3 Floyds Zombie Dust is good stuff.  I've also liked Fresh Squeeze IPA, but...

Small local brewers like Solemn Oath here in Naperville aren't going to make it on a list like this.  Solemn Oath has their version of a Belgian Wit out for the summer, White Van, and it's good stuff.  Half Acre brews some great stuff too.

Hemlock Philosopher

June 21st, 2018 at 1:57 PM ^

Two Hearted is great, so I cannot argue with that. Mostly I drink what I brew - I currently have American Wheat, Belgian Blond, Double-Rye Double-IPA, Oatmeal Stout and Koyt on tap. 

Arb lover

June 21st, 2018 at 2:07 PM ^

Interesting. One point of contention is that they were asking readers to rank their top commercially available beers. While many Michigan breweries have smaller batch really good stuff that either doesn't make the shelve in your large city far away, or might even be first run in brewery for purchase only, none of that is going to get picked up in a national ranking. As such this is simply a popularity contest. 

Bell/Founders get out of Michigan to national supply because they make enough of it, whereas the really good small stuff gets used up semi locally. If you don't believe me try getting ahold of more than 6 Michigan breweries beers (maybe 12 total beers) from even a large craft brew store out east.

Most of the list is just round robin people voting for local favorites. Unless you honestly think there are only 2 Michigan breweries in the top 24 (albeit the top 2).

Russian River and Sierra Nevada are okay, but they made the top tier simply because they have a large CA distribution. That sort of also makes sense since many more local beers have a smaller distribution range and the local metro areas vote for their own favorites, hence the round robin.


June 21st, 2018 at 4:11 PM ^

Transient should be for sure IMO


World class NEIPAs, good stouts, and a wide range of sours/wild fermented/barrel aged funk


They just have a super small footprint. As do a million other amazing breweries in the country that could arguably be on a "best of" list


June 21st, 2018 at 2:47 PM ^

Jolly Pumpkin La Roja, Aquamarine Dream, Noel De Calabaza, La Parcela, and Calabaza Blanca should be on the list.

I don't like Jolly Pumpkin at all...


June 21st, 2018 at 2:50 PM ^

List seems dated, although I find it humorous that these lists are always so subjective but front as some sort of objective measurements.  Seems many of the craft nerds are caught up in the N.E./Hazy IPA craze which neither Bell's or Founders feature to the best of my knowledge.


June 21st, 2018 at 3:05 PM ^

I have a hard time with lists such as this, because there are so many small breweries making great beer. There is so much good beer coming from Minnesota right now that I have a hard time drinking anything that isn't local. 

That being said, Psuedo Sue from Toppling Goliath would be my favorite from this list.


June 21st, 2018 at 3:08 PM ^

Short's Brewery is not on this list. That is criminal, if you haven't tried it yet. Get Soft Parade, a fruit beer done correctly. No love for Dirty Blonde by Atwater either. As Meijer expands it's National footprint I'm sure more Michigan beers will end up on these best of list. If any of you end up in Midland, Mi. Check out Whichcraft, a nice little bar that specializes in serving Microbrews.


June 21st, 2018 at 3:24 PM ^

Those are both great.   I love Right Brain in Traverse City and 3 Floyds in Indiana.

Favorite micro-micro brewery is Earnest is Toledo.