Thursday, June 30, 2011

Moving on to 2011 Best Beers List

Well, the 2011 Zymurgy Best Beers in America poll recently came out, so it is time to close out my quest to work my way through the 2010 list.

In case you don't remember, last June (Best Beers in America) I shared the  2010 Zymurgy Best Beers In America Poll.

At that time, I had never had numbers 1 through 4.  Out of the top 10, I'd only had 2.  Out of the top 50, I'd only had 8.  That is pretty sad for a supposed craft beer drinker.

I made it my quest to try more of the beers. I don't know if I ever stated the exact goal, but I always had it in my head that 8 of the top 10 and at least half the beers on the list would be respectable.

I have not progressed on the list since I posted Update on "My" List" in December, so the information I posted there is the same. As I said then, I've had all of the top 5.  I've had 9 of the top 10.  I've had 25 on the list of 50 (actually there are more than 50 on the list due to ties at 49). I'm pretty satisfied with those numbers.

I blogged about some of the beers on the list. Between the blog "labels" Zymurgy BBIA and GABF, you can find most of what I wrote specifically about the beers on the list.

Of the 2011 Zymurgy Best Beers in America poll, I've had 3 of the top 5. I've had 8 of the top 10. I've tried 23 out of the whole list of 52 beers. Most have been checked off because they are repeats from the 2010 list. There are a few that I think I tried at GABF last year, but don't remember for sure. I'll just count the ones I know for sure that I have tried.

I don't know what my goal should be this year. Since I am starting with a higher count this year, the final count should be higher too. I certainly want to try Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout and Bell’s Hopslam (the two beers in the top 10 I have not had) before the 2012 list comes out. Neither brewery distributes to Colorado, so I will have to attempt to get those at GABF this year. At the moment, I think trying 16 more of these beers is a reasonable goal. That will put me at 39 of the 52 for a respectable 75%.

Last year, Rahr and Son's Brewing Company was all over the list (12 of the 50 beers). This year, they have no beers on it. As I mentioned in GABF Final Session and Random Thoughts, I tried two of their beers at GABF and was not really all that impressed with either one. I read somewhere last year that patrons of Rahr and Son's had some sort of campaign where they "stuffed the ballot box". I'm glad this did not seem to happen this year.

Anyway, stay tuned. I'll try to let you know what I think of the beers I try. I'll certainly blog about the total numbers.

In case you're curious, my yes list is:

1. Russian River Pliny the Elder
2. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
T3. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
6. Stone Arrogant Bastard
7. Sierra Nevada Celebration
T8. Sierra Nevada Torpedo
T8. Stone Ruination
10. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
11. Stone Sublimely Self Righteous
T14. Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale
18. North Coast Old Rasputin
T20. Left Hand Milk Stout
T20. Odell IPA
T26. Rogue Dead Guy Ale
T26. Samuel Adams Boston Lager
28. Anchor Steam
T29. Bear Republic Racer 5
T29. Oskar Blues Ten Fidy
T38. New Belgium La Folie
T38. New Belgium Ranger
T38. Oskar Blues Old Chub
T43. Great Divide Yeti
T43. New Belgium 1554


  1. wow... I'm up to 9 of top 10 (Bell's Hopslam the only exception), but only 30 of the top 52. I guess I'm a bit top-heavy. Of course, it helps me that Founders, Bell's, and Three Floyds are strongly represented...

  2. WOW! You guys have A LOT more craft breweries in the U.S. than we do up here in the north.
    There is a Canadian Home Brewers Assoc, which I am a member, but I have received no invite to any kind of Beer Fest as of yet.

    In other words..... JEALOUS!!!!