Today is the last day of 2011. It was a great beer year for me, here are some of the highlights:
I reached 500 beers on Untappd this year, achieving the “Legendary” badge. An awesome accomplishment considering I am a father of 3 and don’t drink that much during the week. Of course, Murphy’s Law kicked in, and only days after I achieved Legendary status on Untappd, they went and created two more badges; one for 1000 beers and one for 2500 beer. Goals for 2012 and beyond, I guess…
I’ve been going to the Great American Beer Festival for about 15 years now. When I moved to Colorado in 1997, I started attending the GABF and have attended almost every year since. But this year was the first year I took full advantage of the GABF and the events surrounding it. My brother and his friend came out, we went to the Rare Beer tasting, attended lots of events around Denver and stayed at a hotel in Denver. This has started a new annual tradition. My brother and his friend will come out to Denver from Florida every year from now on, and my Dad and some other family friends are even coming out in 2012. A new family tradition has begun.
Pliny the Younger
I finally tried Pliny the Younger (PtY)…a beer that some consider the best beer in the world. PtY eluded me for many years, but this year I finally caught it and drank 3 glasses. Admittedly, while I think it was a great beer, I think the experience and excitement of the release was greater than the beer itself.
My cellar is growing. At the beginning of 2011, I had maybe 5 beers in my cellar. I now have 40, and have plans to grow it to 100 by the end of 2012.
I started out with my own blog which had a major identity crisis. I was asked to join Brewing Some Fun which allowed me to focus on beer blogging much more. I also started writing for Drunk & Unemployed, a fun blog that allowed me to venture into writing outside of beer. I finally settled on The Beer Whisperer, the blog you are now reading. This blog is allowing me to focus my writing the way I want to do it. I introduced the “Anti-Review”, which is a work in progress and allows me to tell the world what I think about beers in an unstructured way. I don’t write often, usually once per month, but I like it this way.
Spreading the Word
I have introduced a number of people, about a dozen, to Dry Dock Brewing Co, and some of them now go there regularly. I also have 2 friends that I am getting into craft beer pretty hardcore. Soon, they will be like me…
I joined Crooked Stave’s Cellar Reserve Society. Even though this should be more of a 2012 accomplishment, I did join in 2011. I am so, so, so looking forward to the releases from Crooked Stave…I can’t wait!
In general, I have grown as a beer connoisseur. I no longer consider myself “just a beer drinker”. Taste and experience is now more important to me than “the buzz”. I have become a beer hunter, tracking down exactly what I want. I have become a beer traveler, seeking out new beer and new experiences in every city to which I travel. I have become a beer trader. A beer gifter. A true beer lover.
Hey Beer Whisperer, how about some “best of” lists?
No. Seriously, I cannot choose the best beers I had this year. I had many, many great beers this year. So many different styles and so many exciting beers, no single beer stands out. Sure, I can name a dozen of the best tasting beers and beer experiences, but that’s not how I roll. Like music, my mood, setting, the people I’m with, and so many other factors come into place when deciding what I like best. But feel free to check out my Untappd feed from the past year and ask me what I thought of beer X.
I’m looking forward to 2012…but not sure it can top 2011. It was a great beer year!