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The king is dead, long live the king! Congrats to Bell's Two Hearted

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isomerization

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It didn't say in the article, but were AHA members surveryed required to select from a list, or was it open ended up to 20 entries? This top 10 reads like a list of most well known beers, rather than "best", imo. Also, if you had told me this list was from 2012, I wouldn't have blinked.
 

Dcpcooks

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I'd still pick Pliny but I can get two hearted anywhere around me and need a favor to get Pliny.

I would say two hearted is a damn fine beer and it's been a going strong forever. I just ordered one at the bar!
 

Upthewazzu

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I'm kinda shocked this list is from 2017. So many better beers out there nowadays.
 
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beernutz

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It didn't say in the article, but were AHA members surveryed required to select from a list, or was it open ended up to 20 entries? This top 10 reads like a list of most well known beers, rather than "best", imo. Also, if you had told me this list was from 2012, I wouldn't have blinked.
IIRC, AHA members were asked to rate up to 20 beers and could choose from preset brewery and beer lists that were very exhaustive. I believe write ins were also possible.

Some of the funniest internet meltdowns I've ever seen were from beer snobs who were mortified by the unfairness of the AHA best of list. These mental giants were apparently incapable of understanding that people have opinions different from their own.
 

brick_haus

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I wonder how many voters can even get Pliney to judge. Anyone can get two hearted.
I also wonder how many people vote for Pliney simply because of the hype but have never had it?
 

OleBrewing

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can't get two hearted any more here in Jamestown ND, used to, the distributors stopped getting it. never tried pliney but two hearted is the beer I always tell people if they have never had an IPA that's the one to try. Everyone always saying the "other" IPAs are too harsh which I agree, two hearted was and is great except during the hop scare years, glad that's over.
 

triethylborane

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Used to visit a bar in Suisun City whenever stopped over at Travis AFB that had Pliny on draft. Sublime beer, though there are a lot of sublime beers nowadays. Great to see Bells on top and producing fantastic beer. Also great to see Boulevard and Odells on the portfolio lists.
 

Nagorg

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Two Hearted Ale is good but there's plenty better IMO. I've had Pliny once and I'd say its much better but honestly its in a different class; not even an apples to apples comparison.
 

mwilcox

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ah, the annual "Homebrewers list their favorite beers" issue. Some good ones there.
 
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beernutz

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I wonder how many voters can even get Pliney to judge. Anyone can get two hearted.
I also wonder how many people vote for Pliney simply because of the hype but have never had it?
You might be surprised. Because of its notoriety I think Pliny gets distributed by its fans to places it can't be bought. Smokey and the Bandit on a smaller scale.

My wife will verify that many years ago I dragged her far out of our planned vacation itinerary just to have some PTE.
 

brick_haus

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My wife will verify that many years ago I dragged her far out of our planned vacation itinerary just to have some PTE.
LOL, we live about 7hr drive from RR brewing. I convinced my wife to make the drive with me and wait in line for 7hrs to have lunch and try a couple Pliney the youngers.
 

worlddivides

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Two Hearted is a pretty good beer, but I don't think it's anywhere as good as Pliney.

Personally, though, my favorite Russian River beers are their sours. Still, both Pliney the Elder and Pliney the Younger are excellent.
 

jerbrew

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I'm kinda shocked this list is from 2017. So many better beers out there nowadays.

My thoughts exactly. So much out there I'd rather have than almost all of those beers, never had heady can't comment. Not to say they're not great but that we've all had more interesting beer than sculpin or fresh squeezed. And seriously, Bells has two of the top 5 beers in America? Not dissing them and it's nice to see Pliny knocked down finally but I doubt that.

I've had so much great beer from places I've never heard of from trades on this site. But if you look at this list it's an IPA competition with a stout in the mix. Maybe our view of best is IPAs right now and soon we'll move on. Or not soon, whatever.
 

ProblemChild

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If going purely by technical merit - I guess I can see what is being evaluated, but for the most part, generally underwhelmed by Two-Hearted

Very well done and all, but would knock it over to get to other stuff
 

day_trippr

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Meh. Any good NEIPA kicks both of those pedestrian brews to the curb...

Cheers! ;)
 

zmanzorro

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Bell's recently increased their footprint (especially to Texas), which is what I'm assuming tipped it in their favor this year.
 

Bosh

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For Two Hearted I think it's pretty much impossible to dislike that beer so it appeared on a lot of lists while beers that a lot of people like more don't have as broad of a fan base.
 

RichBenn

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I go down to San Diego (IPA capital of the world, IMHO) regularly. There are hundreds of small microbreweries that produce IPAs so good, I'd maybe never have started brewing if I had lived there during the big expansion.

The best breweries there offer world class West Coast IPAs and NEIPAs both. Better than any bottled beer or even most of my homebrews. And I thought I was getting good!

Point is, the best beers do not have great distribution. That's why Bell's is beating Pliny, not because it would win a taste test from experienced IPA drinkers who were tasting both, fresh from the tap.
 

C-Rider

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Never had any of the first 6. Stuck here in Paradise w/o so many of the mainlands greatest brews.....Oh well poor old me. Should I mover or just take a trip? LOL
 

IslandLizard

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Wow! I find that hard to believe.

Have so many pedestrian homebrewers/voters joined the AHA lately? Or is it that Bells gets distributed more widely now, more than Russian River? I find 2-Hearted OK, but better than Pliny (or 2 dozen other IPAs), no way.
 

Hwk-I-St8

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I can enjoy Two Hearted and I drank a lot of it back in the day, but here's a 30-seconds-of-thought quick list of better IPA's on the shelf at the local grocery store right now:

Odell's IPA
Deschutes Fresh Squeezed
Ballast Point Sculpin

Throw in the fact that I can get TG IPA's at the store pretty much all the time now and it reveals how far off they are with Two Hearted.

A young intern showed up at my wife's work party a month or so ago drinking Two Hearted. When it was gone I offered her a DDH Pseudo Sue....she was floored. Heck, she liked my home brewed NEIPA better than Two Hearted.

It's a solid beer, it just doesn't deserve that ranking in today's craft beer market.
 

isomerization

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IIRC, AHA members were asked to rate up to 20 beers and could choose from preset brewery and beer lists that were very exhaustive. I believe write ins were also possible.

Some of the funniest internet meltdowns I've ever seen were from beer snobs who were mortified by the unfairness of the AHA best of list. These mental giants were apparently incapable of understanding that people have opinions different from their own.
So you insult people that have a different opinion than you... for having a different opinion? Seems kind of hypocritical. I realize that you weren't really talking about my specific post, as I clearly wasn't having a meltdown, but still, insulting people isn't really necessary.

Back on topic, I agree with several recent posts, this list smacks of who's got mildly flavored beer (per style) that is distributed really well. Case in point, I'm from KC (KS side) and Boulevard is a solid brewery. Almost everything they put out is enjoyed by the masses, yet nothing is really outstanding (especially anything hoppy). No way they should be in the top 10, yet they are distributed darn near everywhere.
 

ProblemChild

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Sorry to point out the obvious but, yes, it does.
I guess I am missing the obvious as well -

How does mass-marketing a decent beer (with no truly defining characteristics other than being non-offensive) earn the ranking of "best"?
 
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beernutz

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So you insult people that have a different opinion than you... for having a different opinion? Seems kind of hypocritical. I realize that you weren't really talking about my specific post, as I clearly wasn't having a meltdown, but still, insulting people isn't really necessary.

Back on topic, I agree with several recent posts, this list smacks of who's got mildly flavored beer (per style) that is distributed really well. Case in point, I'm from KC (KS side) and Boulevard is a solid brewery. Almost everything they put out is enjoyed by the masses, yet nothing is really outstanding (especially anything hoppy). No way they should be in the top 10, yet they are distributed darn near everywhere.
Right, the takeaway from my comment is that anyone who disagrees with me is wrong.
 

skidmark

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I guess I am missing the obvious as well -

How does mass-marketing a decent beer (with no truly defining characteristics other than being non-offensive) earn the ranking of "best"?
Although _you_ may know of other beers that _you_ prefer, this list is made up of beers that the majority of responding homebrewers prefer. There may be an absolutely fantastic beer with a distribution area of 4 city blocks, but it won't make the list. Homebrewers, in general, do know good beer from bad.

This reminds me of the "I liked Band XYZ before they sold out and left the garage ..." debates.
 

kh54s10

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Of the list I have only tried: 3. Founders Breakfast Stout and T8. Sierra Nevada Celebration. I wouldn't put either in my top 50 list......

They raised the price of 10. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA about $5 a six-pack here so I will not pay that. Their other beers are mediocre at best.
 

ProblemChild

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Although _you_ may know of other beers that _you_ prefer, this list is made up of beers that the majority of responding homebrewers prefer. There may be an absolutely fantastic beer with a distribution area of 4 city blocks, but it won't make the list. Homebrewers, in general, do know good beer from bad.

This reminds me of the "I liked Band XYZ before they sold out and left the garage ..." debates.

I guess I was wondering how the voting was structured and how these values came to be. I read the article and really could not understand selection criteria other that how many times in a "top 20" a beer's name showed up.

That does not indicate best, it indicates frequency of naming it as noteworthy.
 

applescrap

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Agree with many, 6 years ago these were the best beers, I am not sure about that now. I was not blown away with Pliny, not to say it wasnt good, but it wasnt at the level many seem to put it on, imo. I really enjoyed two hearted, its rare here, and I heard its in grocery stores out east. That is pretty cool and i would love to get it at grocery stores. I think we all need to offer beers that we would put on that list, especially if we are going to critique. I have been enjoying neipa lately so its hard to compare. I think pliny is a better beer than two hearted. Curious enough pliny is 12th on the list of double ipas, yet i just read it is beer advocates number 1 beer in the world. So the 12th best dipa is the best beer in the world?

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skidmark

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I guess I was wondering how the voting was structured and how these values came to be. I read the article and really could not understand selection criteria other that how many times in a "top 20" a beer's name showed up.

That does not indicate best, it indicates frequency of naming it as noteworthy.

"Each year we ask Zymurgy magazine readers to share a list of their 20 favorite beers that are commercially available in the United States."

The methodology is no secret, and just as valid as Consumer Reports reliability rankings. You may or may not agree with the list, but that's how they did theirs.

Of course, you could always start your own poll ... :)
 

ProblemChild

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"Each year we ask Zymurgy magazine readers to share a list of their 20 favorite beers that are commercially available in the United States."

The methodology is no secret, and just as valid as Consumer Reports reliability rankings. You may or may not agree with the list, but that's how they did theirs.

Of course, you could always start your own poll ... :)
The methodology does not indicate "best" just frequency.

Article names it best - should be most popular
 

skidmark

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The methodology does not indicate "best" just frequency.

Article names it best - should be most popular

No different than so many other polls.

Does the US Presidential election always result in the best President possible? No, it just results in the candidate that went the distance against others who had the temerity, money, organizational support, etc. to run, and to gain the required Electoral College votes.
 
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