Michigan Kicks Ass in Top Craft Beer Ratings by State

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The 15th annual Best Beers in America survey conducted by Zymurgy magazine was released earlier this month.

Two Michigan breweries captured top spots in new ranking: Bell’s Brewery of Comstock and Founders Brewing of Grand Rapids. In fact, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale was selected as the best beer, dethroning Russian River Brewing’s double IPA Pliny the Elder, which had reigned since 2009.

Michigan’s estimated population of about 9.9 million people in 2015 makes it about 3% of the total U.S. population. Of the top 50 beers on the list, seven came from Michigan, giving the state 14% of the total by representation.

Bell’s got its start in 1985 when Larry Bell opened the brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His daughter Laura is the chief executive officer today.

“We got our start as homebrewers — that’s how my dad got going — so we really identify with the homebrewing community,” said Laura Bell. “We take a lot of that spirit into what we do today.”

Bell’s began selling beer out of state in 1990 and now sells the potable in 31 states, according to its website. Growing sales led to the opening of a 35,000 square foot brewery in 2003.

Below is a look at the seven Michigan beers that made this list, but be sure to check out the full list of the top 50 beers in America.

Source: YouTube

New Holland Dragon’s Milk
> Brewery: New Holland Brewing
> Rank: Tied for 47th
> Type: Bourbon barrel stout
> ABV: 11.0%

If you’re looking to get buzzed and are short on time, this brew should do the trick! New Holland Brewery’s Dragon’s Milk has a whopping 11% alcohol by volume (ABV)! Delay the buzz from escalating by accompanying the stout with one of New Holland Brewing’s suggested food pairings such as, red meat, rich cheeses or even dark chocolate. The hints of vanilla in Dragon’s Milk will mesh well with any of those delicacies.

Source: foundersbrewing.com

Founders Backwoods Bastard
> Brewery: Founders Brewing Company
> Rank: Tied for 27th
> Type: Scotch Ale
> ABV: 11.2%

Aged in oak and bourbon barrels, Backwoods Bastard has an earthy essence and a smoky flavor that complements notes of sweet caramel. On Beer Advocate, the scotch ale scored in the world-class range with rating of 95.

Founders All Day IPA
> Brewery: Founders Brewing Company
> Rank: Tied for 13th
> Type: IPA
> ABV: 4.7%

You can always tell if there’s a fellow Founders Brewing beer drinker around. The brewery encourages imbibers to check-in when they drink one of the brews. The brewery lists many awards for its eight brews and, as of this year, they can say that achieved a very respectable rank of 13 among America’s best beers. The fellow brewers at Founders say the IPA, “Keeps your taste satisfied while keeping your senses sharp.”