I thought I'd work on the "New Year's Resolution" one since I still am within 2 months of the new year's beginning. The Session in question is:
So we want to know what was your best and worst of beer for 2009? What beer mistakes did you make? What beer resolutions do you have for 2010? What are your beer regrets and embarrassing moments? What are you hoping to change about your beer experience in 2010?
I'm going to go through these methodically, so the first question is, "What was your best and worst beer for 2009?"
I probably didn't do as good of a job rating beers in 2009, and of course, I tried a few new ones on New Years Eve, and those definitely didn't get rated on ratebeer.com, so I'll try to be concise with this, based on the beers I did rate.
The Worst: Hillas pale lager, brewed in Greece. They were selling these along with Bud products at the Greek Fest in New Buffalo that we went to late summer last year. Basically, I paid $4 for a Budweiser knockoff. I also gave Sam Adam's Coastal Wheat a shitty rating, but really, it's a good beer for the style. It just sort of pisses me off that 1) This, along with the Cranberry Lambic was shoveled in with the other Winter Sampler beers, which are pretty good. If you wanted a lighter ale to throw in there, why not just go with the Sam Adams Light, which I think is pretty great, and 2)You already have a kickass seller in the Summer Ale, so what are you gonna do now when you've already replaced the poor-selling White Ale with the Noble Pils? Huh? Is Coastal Wheat going to stand on its own?
The Best: My top rated beers were Boulevard's Double-Wide IPA, which, despite the confusing name, is not a double IPA. I think I enjoyed the one I had earlier in the year more than the couple I had later in the year. It was a total hop bomb in the spring. I had the New Holland Night Tripper at Three Floyd's Dark Lord Day in April. The catch was, that it was last year's Night Tripper, so it had aged a year. I thought it tasted great, but then, it could have been just the atmosphere of DLD. I got another bottle in May and aged it about 2 months, and it was pretty good, but not how I remembered it.
Two other beers worth mentioning that I tried in 2009 were Lazy Magnolia's Southern Pecan, a brown ale brewed with pecans. This is by far, in my opinion, the best brown ale brewed in America. It was just wonderful. Nutty, and sweet, but not annoyingly sweet. Stone's Levitation ale was another first-try at DLD, and at 4.4% ABV, it had a surprisingly awesome hop nose, without being overly bitter.
What Beer Mistakes did you make?
Probably not brewing enough beer. There were shortages between my buddy and I, but we both had busy summers, so we just didn't buckle down and brew a lot. Also, I should have exercised more to counter all the beer I drank. I've been going strong for 4 weeks now and I feel a ton better. There were also a ton of beer brewing mistakes that I made, but as for the pairings discussed in the root article for this session, meh. I didn't get crazy with food pairings so much.
I'm just going to combine the last questions of What beer resolutions do you have for 2010? What are your beer regrets and embarrassing moments? What are you hoping to change about your beer experience in 2010?
First of all, I don't have any beer regrets or embarrassing moments. 2009 will be noted as the year I stopped drinking the American Lagers produced by Bud, Miller and Coors. There were several times I went without a beer when all that was available were these products. Luckily, though, the craft beer industry seems to be infiltrating places not usually associated with what I would call "good beer". I never went to a NASCAR race, though, so I'm sure I'd go without at that event.
Resolutions and changes for 2010?
1) Enter at least one beer into a contest this year.
Ideally, I'd like to enter 3. Some dude out there has already entered an amount in the teens, and it's still January as I write this. Yeah, I guess I won't worry about being "Homebrewer of the Year" in 2010.
2) Get a local homebrewing group going.
Seems like a lot of people want this, but no one is leading the effort. I don't think it will be too hard, and I enjoy throwing a soiree every now and then. I need goals, though. But not anything that will scare people who just want to scratch the surface.
3) Improve my homebrewing techniques.
This is a continuous improvement process
4) Make the 2nd version of the Black Sabbath Imperial Stout
This is my annual big beer, but probably not my only one, since I've got plans for another Belgian as well as an American Strong ale.
5) Be more consistent with my beer blogging.
I was thinking about posting something every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but if I can just make every Friday for the rest of the year, I think that is good enough.