Russian River Brewing has won 'Beer of the Year' from readers of the American Homebrewers Association's magazine, Zymurgy. It's a three-peat for the brewery's Pliny the Elder, a double India Pale Ale.
The award, according to Russian River Brewing's Michael Deas, is significant within the brewing industry because it's a people's choice vote among "people who care a lot about beer."
"All the beers on the list with us are amazing," Deas said.
A total of 433 breweries and 1,306 beers were represented in the 2011 poll. Other Northern California breweries on the list included Chico's Sierra Nevada, Ft. Bragg's North Coast Brewing (Old Rasputin, 18th place), San Francisco's Anchor Steam and Healdsburg's Bear Republic (Racer 5, 29th place). Russian River Brewing's Blind Pig IPA was listed 43rd. The magazine also ranked breweries based on the total votes received by each of their beers. Russian River ranked fifth, followed by Petaluma's Lagunitas, 12th; and Bear Republic Brewing in Healdsburg, 24th.