If you troll the beer blogs, chat boards, websites and such, you’ve likely by now come across news of the results of Zymurgy Magazine’s annual poll naming The Best Beers in America. And you may have even been impressed by the fact that 1,192 different beers from 450 breweries were represented in the poll or that, for the second year running, Russian River’s Pliny the Elder was named Numero Uno.
Not that any of it matters.
I say it doesn’t matter not out of disrespect for Pliny the elder or Russian River Brewing – it’s a very fine beer from an excellent brewery – nor because I’m dismissive of what homebrewers, the target market for Zymurgy, have to say about beer – they’re generally a passionate lot and know their beer, for certain. No, I don’t think the results matter for one simple reason: there were a total of only2,867 votes cast.
For a poll that merited a press release and fairly large amount of repeating and debate within the Internet-o-sphere, that’s a shockingly low number of votes, comparable to the number of “Tasters Choice” ballots that might be cast at a small-scale beer festival. I wouldn’t lend much credence to one of those, and similarly I suggest no one read too much into the Zymurgy poll.
It’s really just a big yawn, is all.