Monday, June 30, 2014

Zymurgy's 2014 Best Beers in America

Well, I mentioned just a few days ago that Zymurgy’s 2014 Best Beers in America came out. At the time, I had only seen it in the e-Magazine and had not found the web page on the AHA website. Now I have seen the AHA web page.

Here is the link:

I also mentioned that I had not really done much with the 2013 list (see How I ended up on my list). I started out with 11 beers on the list that I had never tried. I still have 6 left. I guess that is ok, but a little disappointing compared to 2012 where I ended up only with 2 on my not-tried list.

Personally, I think the list should be called "Most Popular Beers in America", because it really is a popularity contest. Zymurgy readers get to vote on the list. In fact, if you want to see what I voted for, see My Best Beers in America. Most of mine did not make the final list, but that is ok.

Once again, Russian River Pliny the Elder came in #1, which I think questions the validity of the list in itself. It is a fine beer, but I don't consider it the best beer I've ever had and the fact that it has been #1 for 6 years in a row is more of an example of the power of fame rather than that it is better than the other beers.

But that is neither here-nor there. The reasons I follow this list is to target the beers that I have never had a chance to try. This year, my list is 10.

I have had 1-4 (Russian River Pliny the Elder; Bell’s Two Hearted Ale; Ballast Point Sculpin IPA; Bell’s Hopslam)

Bell’s Hopslam

I have never had the chance to try either 5 or 6
#5. The Alchemist Heady Topper
#6. Lagunitas Sucks
I've had 7,8,9 (Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA; Stone Enjoy By IPA; Founders Breakfast Stout)

Founders Breakfast Stout

I do not think I've ever tried:
#10. Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout
I am covered with 11 through 27 (Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout; Sierra Nevada Pale Ale; Firestone Walker Wookey Jack; Three Floyds Zombie Dust; Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpin; Sierra Nevada Celebration; Firestone Walker Double Jack; Firestone Walker Union Jack; Arrogant Bastard Ale; Sierra Nevada Torpedo; Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye; Russian River Blind Pig IPA; Deschutes Black Butte Porter; North Coast Old Rasputin; Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale; Stone Ruination IPA; Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA)

Wookey Jack

I sort of doubt I'll ever get the pleasure of trying:
#28. Russian River Pliny the Younger
But, I have had #29 (Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro)

Left Hand Milk Stout on Nitro

It will be tough to get
#30. Russian River Supplication
But I've tasted 31 - 33 (Green Flash West Coast IPA; Surly Furious; New Belgium La Folie)

Green Flash West Coast IPA

I need to find
#34 (Tie). Founders All Day IPA
I've had (tied 34 through 38 (Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA; Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale; Stone IPA; Lagunitas IPA)

Another couple of tough ones for me to try to get are
#39 (Tie). Russian River Consecration
#39 (Tie) Troegs Nugget Nector
I've had the pleasure of #41 (Deschutes The Abyss)

But never of:
#42. Cigar City Jai Alai IPA
I've had tastes of 43 through the 2 tied for 47 (Bear Republic Racer 5; Oskar Blues Ten Fidy; Surly Abrasive; New Belgium Ranger; Ommegang Three Philosophers; Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald)

Ommegang Three Philosophers

Not sure I'll be able to get 
#49 (Tie). Founder's Backwoods Bastard
I've had plenty of the beer tied with it at 49 (Odell IPA)

Odell IPA

If I counted right (and I think I did), that means I have not tried 10 of the 50 beers on this list. Actually, there are a couple that I tried while vacationing in Florida last week, but I'll save those for blog content over the next few days. Quite a few of them are repeats from last year's list. I'm not confident that I'll have any better luck getting those this year than I did last year, but we'll see.

As always, you can check up on how I am doing finding these beers (including the blog post you are reading right now) at Sheppy's Blog: Zymurgy BBIA


  1. I wish I saw this before I posted. It actually doesn't matter one bit haha but you know. When I get home, I'll share with you the ones I haven't had. I might even be able to help you out with a couple. No promises with my current work schedule, but maybe I can find the Jai Alai at least. I guess it depends how nice I am to certain people :p

  2. Actually, Jai Alai IPA was one of the beers I had in Florida last week. I just need to write up a blog post about it.

    1. Well, then looking forward to seeing that haha.

      I've missed: Kentucky Breakfast, Zombie Dust, Union Jack, The Younger, Surly Furious, All Day, Surly Abrasive, Edmund Fitzgerald, Backwoods Bastard, & Odells IPA. I think that's 10...

    2. Thanks for sharing your list, Allen. We have some overlap. Odell IPA is one of my favorite IPAs. You should certainly try it if you get a chance.

    3. Some of mine should be easy to get. Don't know why I haven't... All Day? Union Jack? Edmund Gerald? I love Dortmunder Gold. It should have been an automatic purchase.

  3. I just thought to do a search and found out that I did have Goose Island Bourbon County Stout at 2011 GABF. See 2011 #GABF Session 1