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IPA dominance is near complete


It seems like every time we talk about beer trends, and certainly whenever we spotlight hoppy beers, we get a few comments calling for the death of IPAs. It usually goes something like this: “American brewers are ruining everything with their overuse of hops. Stop it!” News flash: They’re not going to stop. Proof: Zymurgy’s annual “Best Beers” list. Hops FTW!

1. Russian River Pliny the Elder
2. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
3. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
4. Bell’s Hopslam
5. The Alchemist Heady Topper
6. Lagunitas Sucks
7. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
8. Stone Enjoy By IPA
9. Founders Breakfast Stout
10. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

It’s not all that surprising that Pliny the Elder continues to dominate, earning the list’s top spot for the sixth year in a row (the list is determined by members of the American Homebrewers Association). What is surprising, however, is the near-complete eradication of any non-IPA style on the list. Only two—that’s right, two!—beers on the list favor malts over hops, and they’re both stouts. I admit, this is all kind of ridiculous. But, I’m too busy pouring my next IPA to really care that much.

I can hear IPA haters sharpening their claws right about now.


Chris Staten is DRAFT’s beer editor. Follow him on Twitter at @DRAFTbeereditor and email him at

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