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Homebrewers rate West Michigan beers among best in US

June 17, 2016
| By Pat Evans |
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Founders Brewing Co. taproom
People fill up the beer garden seating at Founders Brewing Co.'s taproom in downtown Grand Rapids. Photo via

Thousand of homebrewers have voted, and they think some of the best beers and breweries in the country are in West Michigan.

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale is the No. 2 best beer, and Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids is the No. 2 best brewery in a poll by Zymurgy, the magazine published by the American Homebrewers Association, or AHA.

AHA members cast more than 18,000 votes in the poll.

Founders Breakfast Stout is the No. 6 beer, and Bell’s Hopslam is No. 8.

Galesburg-based Bell’s Brewery is the No. 3 brewery.

“The members of the American Homebrewers Association, made up of experienced homebrewers who participate in this annual poll, are among the most knowledgeable craft beer drinkers in the nation,” said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association. “It is no surprise that the beers and breweries they select as the best in their opinion reflect the highest quality beers available from the best brewers out there. The consistency with which some of the beers in the poll win is a testament to the value of quality over hype.” 

Best beers

1.     Russian River Pliny the Elder

2.     Bell’s Two Hearted Ale

3.     The Alchemist Heady Topper

4.     Ballast Point Sculpin

5.     Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin

6.     Founders Breakfast Stout

7.     Three Floyd’s Zombie Dust

8.     Bell’s Hopslam

9.     Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout

T10. Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA

T10. Stone Enjoy By IPA

Best breweries

1.   Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, Califorina

2.   Founders Brewing Co.

3.   Bell’s Brewery

4.   Stone Brewing, Escondido, California

5.   Sierra Nevada, Chico California and Mills River, North Carolina

6.   Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, California

7.   Ballast Point Brewing Co., San Diego, California

8.   Dogfish Head Brewing Co., Milton, Delaware

9.   Lagunitas Brewing Co., Petaluma, California and Chicago

10. Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Oregon


1.   Stone Brewing Co., 67 beers

2.   Bell’s Brewery, 47 beers

2.   Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., 47 beers

4.   Avery Brewing Co., 42 beers

5.   New Belgium Brewing Co., 41 beers

6.   Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, 39 beers

T7. Firestone Walker Brewing Co., 38 beers

T7. The Bruery, 38 beers

9.    Boulevard Brewing Co., 37 beers

10.  Founders Brewing Co., 33 beers

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