Russian River Brewing has won Beer of the Year from readers of American Homebrewers Association Magazine, Zymurgy. It’s a three-peat for the brewery’s Pliny the Elder, a double IPA.
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 took 43rd place.
The magazine also ranked the breweries based on the total votes received by each of their beers. Russian River ranked fifth, followed by Petaluma’s Lagunitas (ranked #12); and Bear Republic Brewing in Healdsburg (#24).
Deas said he credits brewmaster Vinnie Cilurzo with Russian River’s continued success in the beer world. “He’s the most meticulous and humble guy you’ll ever meet. Everything has to come out the right way every time with him.”
“We’re proud of our beer and proud to be a part of the Santa Rosa economy,” said Deas.
Pliny the Elder is on tap throughout the year at Russian River Brewpub (725 4th Street, Santa Rosa). The brewery’s triple IPA, Pliny the Younger, is released just once a year in February.