Bell’s Brewery Two Hearted Ale the Number Two Beer in America in Latest Poll
If you’re like most craft beer drinkers in America, you love a good IPA (India Pale Ale). Chances are if you live in Michigan, you’ve tried a number of IPAs from the state’s two largest breweries: Bell’s and Founder’s. Zymurgy Magazine, published by the American Homebrewers Association, recently named the top beers and breweries in America. Bell’s and Founder’s were rightfully recognized.
Bell’s Two Hearted Ale was named the second best beer in America by Zymurgy readers for the second year in a row. The beer trailed only Russian River Pliny the Elder, which was also number one in 2014. I have to agree with the ranking as Two Hearted continues to be one of the top IPAs I have ever had.
Two Hearted Ale was featured in our post about 12 Michigan IPAs you should try. In that post Jon said Two Hearted is “possibly not just one of Michigan’s best but one of the best in the entire country.”
Two Hearted Ale became much more nostalgic recently for me with our trip to the Two Hearted River. The area was made famous by Ernest Hemingway, despite him never actually visiting the actual river. More to come on the Two Hearted River in an upcoming post, but here’s a couple pictures of our time there.
Other beers on the Top 50 Beers in America list were:
- #5: Founders Breakfast Stout
- #7: Bells Hopslam Ale
- #17: Founders KBS
- #27: Founders All Day IPA
- #44: Founders Backwoods Bastard
Hopslam and All Day IPA also made our list of 12 Michigan IPAs you should try. Founders Breakfast Stout made our list of Michigan stouts you should try, while KBS was excluded due to its limited window of release and hard to get hands on availability. Breakfast Stout was noted for its 100 rating on both ratebeer.com and beeradvocate.com.
In 2014, the beers includes were very similar with Hopslam #4, Breakfast Stout #9, KBS #11, All Day IPA #34, and Backwoods Bastard #49. This year, Bells was ranked as the third best brewery with Founders right behind it at number four. That is slightly off from last year when Bells and Founders were ranked #2 and #6 respectively.
Bells and Founders continue to win awards across the country from experts and consumers in best beer and brewery categories. We’re lucky to have these two breweries and also more than 200 others in our state. In the 2014 Rate Beer Awards, Bells had three beers and Founders four on their top 100 list. Two Hearted was notably absent from that list, but was named the 12th best IPA.
For me, I think Bells getting this recognition is great. The brewery sells some amazing beer, but is often recognized for its key Oberon brand both good and bad. While I am a fan of that wheat beer, there are so many other good selections from Bells, included Two Hearted. Deadspin even named Oberon “America’s Most Overrated Beer”. While I have to respectively disagree with the author, Oberon is too often the only Bells beer people outside of Michigan have tried. The author of the article did offer a surprisingly upbeat review of Two Hearted, which was a plus. The author criticized Oberon Day, the unofficial holiday celebrating the release of the beer. While I see his point of celebrating a wheat beer, I think there is more to this day. For a state that sees such harsh winters and unpredictable weather, Oberon Day is a nice way to celebrate warmer weather on the way. It is also a great day for restaurants to offer some good food pairing and infusions with the wheat beer.
If you haven’t tried any of the beers listed above, consider them the start of your Michigan craft beer essentials. Also check out the IPAs and Stouts you should try lists. As always check back with the breweries section of the site for updated lists and reviews of the best beer from our great Mitten State.