Monday, August 29, 2011

Wow, It's Been a Year

As I said early last week, I've somehow been writing this blog for over a year now. Honestly never thought I'd make it past a month, but here we are. I started writing it August 23rd 2010 with my first beer review on August 24th. Looking back over some of those early posts, I hope my writing has at least gotten better. For my sake but mostly yours.

I never knew what to expect when I started this. My wife suggested it since she was tired of listening to me constantly go on about beer and thought it might give me an outlet. Turns out, I talk about beer more now and have a growing collection of seasonals and one-offs. Joke's on her! However, it's given me a ton of awesome experiences that I would never give up.

Here are just a few highlights from the year:
  • Beer Releases: Before this, I never even knew they existed. Now, I await them with glee and try to attend any that are close. Splinter Blue, Splinter Black, Weyerbacher Riserva, Captain Lawrence Rosso e Marrone. All different experiences but with a surprising number of the same people. It's also funny how my preparations have changed between them all.
  • Awesome beer trips: While Jo and I have always enjoyed visiting breweries, we never planned trips specifically for it. After the blog and my huge spike in beer research, I found out about a ton of places we could visit. We went to Cooperstown for the Bed & Brews weekend at Ommegang, Central PA over New Years, and I dragged us to some awesome places in San Francisco.
  • Beer tastings: While I always tried new things at bars, I never had people over specifically to share beers. Now it seems so normal to have some friends over to share some off the shelf stuff or my friend Craig (who I met because of this blog really) over for crazy, once in a lifetime beers. Either way, it's awesome.
  • The Hulmeville Inn: If it weren't for my love of beer, I don't know if I'd drive 35 minutes outside the city to Hulmeville as often as I do. The standout was the first Beer Geek BBQ. It included one of the best beers I had all year, in the form of Dark Horse Bourbon Plead the Fifth, and getting to meet one of the nicest guys I met all year, Lew Bryson.
  • Capone's: The other place I probably wouldn't visit if not for my obsession. It shines because of its beer list, the bottle shop and the owner Matt Capone. I still remember the first time I went there with both friends and then with my wife.
  • All of the people I've met: There's entirely too many to list, but I've met a ton of awesome people over the year. Between beer releases, bar events, and PhillyTapFinder, it still astonishes me how generous and awesome the people I've met have been and it has been the best part of the whole thing.
  • Beer Traditions: Between my lunches at Jose Pistola's and my new tradition of Tuesday beers at the Kite & Key, I've gotten to know even more people and I'm finally sort of a regular somewhere.

There's a lot more really, too much to call out specifically even though I really want to. A lot of the above links go to the first in a series of posts. And I'll finish this off with some stats, some of which even surprise me.
  • Number of breweries tagged: 135
  • Number of unique beers tasted: 399. It's really quite a bit more than that between beer fests and samplers. Also, realize I said unique beers not just beers. I've been busy this past year.
  • Most Written about Beer Style: Russian Imperial Stout + Imperial Stout at 57 with Barleywine at 27
  • Most Written about Brewery: Weyerbacher at 24 with Troegs at 16
  • My favorite three Beers (at the moment): Dark Horse Bourbon Plead the Fifth, Cigar City Apple Brandy Hunahpus, 2005 Weyerbacher Insanity. Oh hey look none I can just get off the shelf. I'm the worst.
  • Worst Picture: Oskar Blues Ten Fidy. It's a dark beer, but not this dark.
  • Things I never thought would happen: I have a Twitter account and a Facebook account. Of course, the Facebook account was set up by my wife and I specifically said it wasn't allowed to have my real name. But it's there!

So that's about all I can think of right now. This blog gave me an excellent hobby to pass the time. It failed in one respect in that I'm at a whole new level of beer obsession at this point, but I'm okay with that. Hope everyone continues reading and enjoying my various takes on beers, events and places.


  1. Rich - congratulations on making it a year! Great anniversary post too. I can't believe you drank more than 399 beers this year. Excellent effort on your part (the beer and the writing)! I am glad to have been tangentially involved and I look forward to checking out some more places with you in the Bay Area!

  2. Wow! Way to Rock out! When are you going to review the famous PBR?