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Best beers in America: What made the list, what it missed

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The Homebrewers Association recently released the 2012 Best Beers in America list and a Sonoma county beer, Russian River’s Pliny the Elder, took the top spot.

According to the association website, the list is based on votes cast by the readers of the association journal, Zymurgy, of their 20 favorite beers that are commercially available in the United States.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, a brewery out of nearby Chico, was the big winner as a far as number of showings on the Best List with five of its beers making the top 20.

Here’s the Top 10, as listed by the Homebrewers Association:
1. Russian River Pliny the Elder
2. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
3. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
4. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
5. Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale
6. Bell’s Hopslam
7. Sierra Nevada Celebration
8. Stone Ruination IPA
9. Sierra Nevada Torpedo
10. North Coast Old Rasputin

Judging by the number of pubs, tap houses and beer-related events in the area, it’s safe to say that Sacramento is a beer town: We have beer and ballet, beer and film, beer and barbeque – the list goes on.

So, how does the Homebrewers Association list stack up with local beer aficionados?

Capitol Beer and Tap Room owner Ken Hotchkiss said his personal favorite beer on draft is the Franklin double IPA from Sutter Buttes Brewing, located in Yuba City – but the Franklin doesn’t appear anywhere on the Best List.

Sacramento seems to have a passion for smaller-batch, locally-brewed specialty beers, the kind that don’t make national lists, like the coffee-infused beer that recently came as a collaboration between Old Soul and Rubicon Brewing.

What would you put on the Best Beers in America list? Take our poll – and add new ones under the “other” option.

 


Melissa Corker is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter @MelissaCorker.

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