The top 10 beers chosen by beer enthusiasts across the US

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Ballast Point Brewing Co.’s Sculpin IPA.
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Twitter/BPbrewing

One of the most prestigious beer rankings in America has crowned a new champion in a major upset.

For 15 years, Zymurgy Magazine – the official magazine of the American Homebrewers Association – has asked the group’s tens of thousands of members to cast votes for the best beers in the country. The idea is that Zymurgy readers, as homebrewers, have more refined palates than most and can suss out the winners.

Pliny the Elder, a double IPA from Russian River Brewing Company, had held the top spot for eight straight years – until now. Read on to find out the best beers in America and which IPA dethroned the king.


10. Ballast Point Brewing Co.Sculpin IPA

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Ballast Point and Melia Robinson/Business Insider

San Diego, California

The Sculpin is an IPA for people who think they don’t like IPAs. The award-winning brew is a bright and not overly astringent beer (doesn’t have as much of a puckering quality). Its use of hops creates hints of apricot, peach, mango, and lemon flavors, but still packs a bit of a sting at 7% alcohol.


8. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Celebration (TIE)

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Sierra Nevada and Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Chico, California

Few things signal the holiday season like Celebration. First brewed in 1981, the ale was one of the earliest American-style IPAs. It’s loved for its intense citrus and pine aromas and hop flavor on a pleasant malt base.


8. Deschutes Brewery Fresh Squeezed IPA (TIE)

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Deschutes Brewery and Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Bend, Oregon

This mouthwatering IPA gets its juicy flavor from a heavy helping of citra and mosaic hops. Touches of grapefruit, orange, tangerine, lemon, and lime settle onto both the nose and the palate – making it a beer worth drinking for breakfast.


6. The Alchemist Brewery Heady Topper (TIE)

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Mark Bourega and Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Stowe, Vermont

The Heady Hopper has been called America’s most coveted beer. People wait in line hours ahead of store opening to get their hands on the often sold-out, 8% alcohol IPA. The Alchemist adds most of the hops late in the brewing process, which creates bold flavor dripping with grapefruit, orange, tropical fruits, and fresh herbs.


6. Founders Brewing Co. KBS or Kentucky Breakfast Stout (TIE)

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Founders Brewing Co. and Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Grand Rapids, Michigan

The KBS is an oatmeal coffee stout made with “a massive amount of coffee and chocolates.” At 11.8% alcohol, this imperial stout hits you like a shot of espresso. It has a dark molasses color and a burnt caramel head.


5. Bell’s Hopslam Ale

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Bell’s Brewery and Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Kalamazoo, Michigan

The Hopslam Ale combines so many types of hops, it has its own hopping schedule. Six hops varieties were hand-selected from the Pacific Northwest for their aromatic qualities, from pungent grapefruit to florals. A splash of honey makes this Double IPA-style brew incredibly drinkable.


4. 3 Floyds Brewing Co. Zombie Dust

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3 Floyds Brewing Co. and Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Munster, Indiana

A brew that’s fit for the living and the undead, Zombie Dust is a medium-bodied pale ale that gushes with hops. Touches of grapefruit and citrus, plus a smooth mouthfeel, make it a fresh and inviting brew.


3. Founders Brewing Co. Breakfast Stout

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Founders Brewing Co. and Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Grand Rapids, Michigan

The Breakfast Stout is a wake-up call you don’t want to miss. A harmonious blend of flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolates, and coffee, this imperial stout offers a fresh-pot-of-coffee nose and a creamy, luscious taste.


2. Russian River Brewing Company Pliny the Elder

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Russian River Brewing Company and Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Santa Rosa, California

After eight consecutive years atop Zymurgy Magazine’s ranking of the best beers in America, Pliny the Elder has fallen to No. 2. It remains one of the most sought-after brews, with beer enthusiasts – and even Googlers – lining up outside the Santa Rosa brewery before opening most weekends.

The double IPA is super dry and hoppy, making for a bitter and fragrant experience that’s worth the hassle.


1. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale

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Bell’s and Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Kalamazoo, Michigan

The new king of beer is an IPA that – unlike its sibling Hopslam Ale – uses 100% Centennial hops picked from the Pacific Northwest. Balance is key here. The hops aroma bursts with grapefruit, pineapple, pine, and a hint of spice – but a rich, caramel malt backbone tames the bitterness. A crisp finish leave you craving another sip.

With a more modest 7% alcohol, you better make it two pints.