Thirsty Nomad Brewing

Thirsty Nomad is a small craft brewery and taproom in the Charlotte, NC area. We have a steampunk aesthetic with a healthy dose of geekiness. We love great beer, great friends, and great experiences. Starting 7/29, we're open Fridays 4pm - 10pm, Saturdays 12pm - 10pm, and Sundays 12pm - 8pm

Best beers in America?

The American Homebrewers Association published their annual "Best beers in America" list recently. I let it get to me - I know, I know - and I'm in a mood, so I'm going to rant about it. 

Let me first point out that I doubt the AHA means for this poll to be anything more than a way to engage readers. I'm sure they realize that they are wantonly indulging in selection bias. They're limiting the voters to a small subset of craft beer drinkers home brewers who are AHA members and will take the time to fill out a poll.

Dressing up a simple online poll as something that it is not - an actual barometer of a subjective judgment (best beer) - does rankle a bit. The geographical selection bias does irk me as well. I'd wager there are simply more AHA members out West, which is in my humble and limited experience more open to craft beer. 

What gets me is the lack of variety of taste demonstrated in the top results. Let's run it down by style (according to

  1. Double IPA
  2. IPA
  3. Double IPA
  4. Double IPA
  5. IPA
  6. Imperial Stout
  7. Strong Ale (arguably an IPA, IMO) 
  8. IPA
  9. Double IPA, IPA, Double IPA

Really, home brewers?  

You know what that list reminds me of? When Epic Brewing first opened out in Salt Lake, I actually had multiple people tell me that their beer was better because it had more alcohol. Riiiight...

Just so we're clear, I do like a good IPA.:


I just like more variety than that.  Follow me on untappd - and Twitter and Facebook - and you'll get a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about. 

There's a lot of great beer being made in America right now. And it's not all IPA made in or near California. I'd hate for anyone to get the opposite impression. Especially as the craft beer industry is at the stage where the early adopters are becoming evangelists and bringing new converts into the tribe. 

And one final thing. Everyone please stop making unscientific polls and passing them off as anything more than fluff. It makes my clockwork heart quiver, and that's not good for anyone.