A New Winner Tops Zymurgy’s ‘Best Beers in America’ 2017 Contest

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Zymurgy Magazine readers picked Bell's Two Hearted Ale as the best beer in the U.S. in 2017.

Zymurgy Magazine has released its annual “Best Beers in America” survey results, and there’s a new No. 1 beer for the first time in nearly a decade.

Zymurgy readers named Bell’s Two Hearted Ale as the best beer in the magazine’s 2017 contest.

Two Hearted’s win brings an end to Pliny the Elder’s eight-year reign at the top of the annual poll.

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“The Best Beers in America survey reveals which beers are leaving the biggest impression on the minds—and mouths—of these discerning beer drinkers,” says Gary Glass, director of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), which publishes Zymurgy Magazine. (AHA is an organization for homebrewers within the Brewers Association (BA). The BA publishes CraftBeer.com).

Bell’s CEO Laura Bell says it’s a special honor, since homebrewing inspired her father Larry to start the Kalamazoo, Michigan, brewery in 1985.

“We take a lot of that spirit into what we do today,” she says.

(READ: 6 Craft Beer Bars That Changed Their City’s Beer Scene)

Zymurgy’s “2017 Best Beers in America” Results

The online survey asked AHA members to choose up to 20 of their favorite commercial beers available for purchase in the U.S.

Michigan’s Bell’s Brewery took two spots in the contest’s top five beers.

  1. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
  2. Russian River Pliny the Elder
  3. Founders Breakfast Stout
  4. Three Floyds Zombie Dust
  5. Bell’s Hopslam


There were also a few ties in the top 10 list. You can see the full results of the Best Beers in America 2017 at HomebrewersAssociation.org.

The survey also asked readers to rank top breweries, top imported beers and breweries’ overall portfolios. Get all the 2017 Best Breweries & Beer by state here.

Jess Baker walked into a beer fest in 2010 and realized beer had come a long way from what her dad had been drinking since the 70s. She served as editor-in-chief of CraftBeer.com from spring 2016 to spring 2020, bringing you stories about the people who are the heartbeat behind U.S. craft brewing. She's a runner, a die-hard Springsteen fan, a mom who is always scouting family-friendly breweries, and always in search of a darn good porter.

CraftBeer.com is fully dedicated to small and independent U.S. breweries. We are published by the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers. Stories and opinions shared on CraftBeer.com do not imply endorsement by or positions taken by the Brewers Association or its members.