Monday, December 31, 2012

The Evolution of a Craft Beer Geek

A year ago, I was excited to write my first longtable review for the Pumphouse Pub’s New Year’s Eve dinner. When I went back to look at my post from December 23, 2011, my first thought was that it was almost embarrassing. But that’s how we evolve, right? By trying more beers, becoming more educated about what we’re drinking and asking questions. So when I look back at 2012, here is what happened in our beer lives:
§  Joined Untappd Jan 28, 2012 ** as of this post, I’ve tried 778 unique beers in 11 months
§  Beer Trips:
o   Seattle (1)
o   Portland (2)
o   New York (1)
o   Squamish (Howe Sound Brewery)
§  Beer Festivals Attended:
o   Portland Spring Beer and Wine Festival (April)
o   Seattle International Beerfest (July)
o   Great Canadian Beer Festival (GCBF) –Victoria (September)
o   Portland Fresh Hop Festival (October)
§  Longtables Attended:
o   Alibi Room (1)
o   Biercraft (2)
o   Pumphouse Pub (6 – including tonight)
o   Sharkey’s Seafood Bar and Grille (1)
o   Smiley’s Public House (1)
§  Cask Festivals:
o   Central City Summer Cask Festival (July)
o   CAMRA Harvest Cask Festival (October)
§  Vancouver Craft Beer Week (May)
o   Tap Takeover (O’Hare’s)
o   Hoppapalooza (Alibi Room)
o   Brothers in Hops (Smiley’s)
o   Elysian Tap Takeover (Pumphouse)
o   Driftwood Pairing Menu (Blue Canoe)
§  Other Beer Events
o   YVR Beertweetup (3)
o   O’Hare’s Pub Friday Night Beers
o   Beerthirst/Half Pints Re-Launch
o   Beerthirst Summer Patio Party at Fog n Suds
o   Surrey Beerclub Tweetup
o   CAMRA Gastown Carouse
o   Beerthirst/Rogue Launch
o   Pink Pints – Cocoa Nymph Event
o   Hopsctoch
o   Modern Malt’s IPA Night
o   Tour de Richmond
Whoa. That’s a lot of beer events. There were also a few bottle shares during the year with other beer geeks where we each brought three or four bottles to share amongst the group. It’s a great way to try new, and sometimes unique, beers without having to buy multiple bottles.
Well, I can tell you this about 2012 – we met a lot of fabulous craft beer people both in person and on Twitter and had an amazing year trying out new beers, as well as revisiting our favourites. I acquired a huge love for sour beers this year and I see that according to Untappd, my top five most popular unique beer styles of 2012 were American IPA (121), Double/Imperial IPA (65), American Pale Ale (37), Saison/Farmhouse Ales (35)  and Imperial/Double Stout (28). Sounds about right. 2012 also marked my first Westvleteren 8 and 12 as well as Pliny the Elder.
So what’s in store for 2013? More beer trips – we’re planning on the Seattle International Beer Festival again in July, a Seattle/Portland/San Francisco driving trip sometime in the summer, GCBF for both days in September and who knows what else. We’re off to Vegas in early March and plan to check out their local craft beer scene, which is something we haven’t done on past trips to Vegas.
I also would like to educate myself more on the styles of beer. This book is kicking around at home, amongst a few others, and it's probably time I cracked it open.

As for this blog, I’m not sure if I’ll continue writing reviews of longtables as they’re probably all starting to sound the same. I wrote a few other posts this year and I may just stick to our beer trips and other beer news that piques my interest. Of course, Alexander Keith’s pissed me off this summer when two USA beer industry people ordered an IPA and got served that imposter, so we’ll see where that may go in 2013.
To all you craft beer loving people, a very happy new year and I hope to share a pint or two with you in 2013.

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