- Tweeting news of a poll tends to pervert the outcome.
- The little guys are making big noise.
- There is no consensus on "best" IPA.
More surprising was the broad support small breweries received. Let's assume Ninkasi would have finished strong even without the tweeting. The were joined by four other breweries all receiving 7% of the vote: Oakshire (27 votes), Double Mountain (27), Laurelwood (26), and Terminal Gravity (24). All of the these breweries beat the two bigs on the list, Full Sail (which received 23 votes) and Deschutes (18). Since these breweries sell tiny fractions of the volume of the big breweries (and are therefore not known to as many drinkers), their tallies are quite impressive. Pelican, it should be noted, slid to 5% with 20 votes, but keep in mind that this is a brewery producing fewer than 5,000 barrels.
Okay, last point: there is no favorite. This is very good news. These beers are not all brewed alike, and drinkers appreciate the differences. I wouldn't be surprised if many of you, like me, don't really feel comfortable trying to select a favorite. It depends on one's mood. Terminal Gravity, which I've called the king of Oregon IPAs, is a muscular, punk-rock beer. Pelican's is a subtle tour de force, like a John Coltrane set. Hop Lava is like a screaming wall of metal. You may love punk, but sometimes you're in the mood for jazz. The best IPAs have found a mood and they serve us in different situations.
Thanks to all who voted, and congrats to those who came out on top. I'll leave the poll open for a few more days, so keep voting if you wish.
Update. I forgot to include the "other" write-in votes. They are listed in comments. Also, I should have included Caldera IPA in the list--it's another fantastic beer. An oversight.