Pliny the Elder Unseated After 8-Year Run as Best Beer in America

Every year, Zymurgy magazine, the publication from the Home Brewers Association, takes a poll where readers share a list of their 20 favorite, commercially-available beers. The list is an unofficial guide to the best beers in the country, and is the fodder of office water cooler talk. It even inspires pilgrimages to new contenders on the list. And this year, it seems that IPAs still reign supreme. However, one thing has changed.

For the last eight years, the number one spot was held by Russian River Brewing company’s Pliny the Elder. This year, however, they were unseated by Bell’s Beer Two Hearted Ale. 

Two Hearted Ale

The 2017 winner for the best beer in America is Two Hearted Ale. This IPA is brewed with 100 percent Centennial hops from the Pacific Northwest. However, its namesake is the Two Hearted River in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. 

Like any IPA, this beer is bursting with hops and its flavors assert themselves with notes of pine and grapefruit shining through from Bell’s signature fruity house yeast.

Despite its acidic tendencies, this beer is perfectly balanced with a malt backbone making it beautifully drinkable for any stage of IPA lover.

Pliny the Elder

So that you’re aware of what Double Hearted Ale has achieved, you need to understand the old favorite that the newest top brew has beaten out.

Pliny the Elder is brewed with Amarillo, Centennial, CTZ, and Simcoe hops. These hops are then delicately balanced with malt and alcohol to give the beer its distinctly hoppy and floral taste. Like most great beers, Pliny the Elder is best enjoyed at its freshest, so Russian River Brewing takes things to the next level by printing the bottling date on the side of each bottle. 

If you were wondering about the name, Pliny was a man who lived during the first century. It was due to him and his contemporaries that they created the botanical name –  Lupus Salictarius – for hops. Today, of course, hops are known as Humulus Lupulus, but that’s only because things naturally change over the span of two millennia. 

So, now that there is a new best brew in town, you’re naturally going to have to try it. Head to your nearest beer outlet and pick up a six pack. You won’t be disappointed in your choice.