Before we get too far into 2022, I want to re-visit 2021 again and look at my year in beer.
643 individual servings of beer were had and well over half were IPA. I would say bad me but I will save that for another point in this post. Of those IPAs, 114 were West Coasties and 105 were of the Hazed variety. DIPAs were 54 and TIPAs 19.
Pilsners and Lagers combined for 49 entries with Barrel- Aged right behind at 45. Sours, which I seem to be eschewing more and more ended at 15 and the beers from Foreign lands a pitiful, measly, really bad me 7. Right there is one of the reasons why I persist in this Excel exercise. So that I can see the stark numbers.
Speaking of stark numbers, I drank, on average, 158.7 ounces of beer a week. The lowest mark since I have done this. The ABV average was 7.38% per beer.
On to who I drank the most of, it as as follows:
- Firestone Walker
- Smog City
- Stone Brewing
- Radiant Beer Co.
- Eagle Rock Brewery
- El Segundo Brewery
- Los Angeles Ale Works
- Highland Park Brewery
- The Bruery
Yup, a 100% California list and 50% LA local to boot!
Finally, of note is that each week I “crown” a Beer of the Week. This year, Firestone Walker tallied an impressive 5 as did Anaheim newbie Radiant Beer Co. Smog City racked up 3 for the proverbial bronze.
Time to check out the best of August. Since, I do not imbibe on Mondays and Tuesdays, beer August is done for me.
On to the best, all but one being hoppy including one that lands on the top 3 IPA list.
Starting with the barrel-aged stout collab between Mumford and Finback. Yes, it was overly sweet and some ingredients didn’t seem to break through the veil of sugar but this was a sticky, syrupy change of pace.
Staying with collabs, The Highland Park and Cellarmaker and Coleman Farms IPA, simply named Coleman IPA was bright and fresh with citrus notes. Smog City and Alvarado Street’s Park Hopper IPA was very well done and rose above other fine Smog IPA options.
But let’s get to the beer that cracked the IPA rare air…
I was concerned about the ABV and the five different varieties of hops but this was fruity with just the right swagger of bitterness to it without going overboard. So it grabs the three spot.
- Beachwood / Highland Park Natural Born Shredders
- Offshoot Beer Co. DDH Visions
- Chapman Crafted Old Towne Block Party Year 5 DDH DIPA
This month the Best of battle boiled down to two styles. IPA vs the barrel. Four beers were in contention and placing just out of medal Reach was Infinite Wishes from Smog City. This was a luxurious beer and the ABV was hidden behind that so well that the chocolate and bourbon had the forefront to themselves.
Bronze goes to Firestone Walker and their latest Luponic Distortion. #16. A swirling mix of peach and pear with just the right amount of balancing bitterness. The other IPA comes from Bearded Iris. I had never heard of them but Jimmy at the Glendale Tap pointed them out to me and Homestyle IPA was fantastic. Big aroma. Hops everywhere but no palate wrecker.
Which brings us to the winner….
Firestone Walker’s Cherry Barrel Blossom. This was such a layered beer. A touch of smoke here, Cherry note there, salt perking up the beer. Then the final barrel impact just made for a fantastic beer.
Each month, in addition to highlighting cool beer names and labels, I will do a quick rundown of the best beers drunk during the month. Why? A list at the end of the year of beers that are no longer available just isn’t as useful (though still a good exercise). Granted, some beers drunk early in January might well be gone too but the chances are much better.
Here are the best of this month…
This month, I was “wowed” by the East Coast. LIC dropped cans onto Sunset Beer and the one that I picked up, Hollows was a winner. Big bouquet and a consistent taste all the way through. Plus a unique can design as well. I reviewed the Spencer beers and all but the IPA were excellent but the pilsner and the Trappist ale were the too close to call winners of the (4) beers sampled.
Here is my best of 2010 list.
My only rules
I had to have tasted it for the first time in 2010.
Only 1 beer per brewery.
Kern River Brewing – Citra IPA
Southern Star Brewing – Buried Hatchet Stout
Anchor Steam Brewing – Our Special Ale 2010
Duck Rabbit Brewing – Milk Stout
Eagle Rock Brewing – Stimulus
Rising Tide Brewing – Ishmael Alt-Bier
The Bruery – Loakal Red
Peace Tree Brewing – Hop Wrangler