2013 Year in Review

2013 was a big year for Average Guy's Guide to beer mainly because this blog was started! I drank lots of beers and even got to travel to some new places. Living in Europe has reaffirmed my love of US craft beer while expanding my appreciation of high power Belgian ales, UK session beers, smooth German lagers, and artisanally crafted brews from surrounding countries of Sweden, Italy, and the Czech Republic. I'm looking forward to posting more beer, bar, and event reviews in the coming year. I also hope to writing more opinion articles in the coming year to better articulate my thoughts on beer culture and happenings. But before we move forward into the New Year lets take a look back at a few of my favorite beer moments from the past year.


Favorite Beer

I've come to a few unexpected realizations since starting this blog. The first of which is that the average German beer is not very good. The second of which is that there isn't much of a craft beer scene in Germany and until recently experimentation and exploration haven't been encouraged in brewing. The third of which is that there are quite a few excellent IPAs being brewed in Germany. The Fritz Ale Imperial IPA was the first German IPA I ever tried and it helped to restore some of my faith in German brewing and beer culture. Despite not being my favorite beer from the last year it was right up there with the best and it helped spawn the third realization and made my life as an expat so much easier and therefore is my favorite.


Favorite Bar

This was by far the easiest designation to make. Hands down Kulminator was the most unique and fun bar experience I had last year. If you find yourself in Antwerp make your way down there after some sightseeing and fries. Don't be put off by the unique ambiance or the cats running about and grab a table anywhere you can. I suggest ordering a sample of their draft beers and sitting back and enjoying the ride. If the draft list doesn't impress you than the bottle list certainly contains many beers that you've wanted to drink. This bar is truly a must do and bucket list item for any beer lover ... just make sure you don't have an early day the next day ...


Least Favorite Beer 

This notable dishonor goes to the Neuzeller Kloster-Baru Schwarzer Abt I had while at the Rock und Wiking Bar in Berlin. I for some odd reason thought Abt = Abbey, Abbey = good, good = I want to drink you. This beer was way too sweet. I also just felt mislead by the ideal of some guy in a robe brewing me an excellent beer but instead being given an alcoholic cola better suited for a beer hating teenager hoping to get drunk. I'm prone to trying new things so I'm sure I'll have another least favorite beer for next year!


Highest ABV Beer

I don't have a post dedicated for this but the Mikkeller Black I had at Kulminator was 18%. This beer was delicious and surprisingly easy to sip. Just don't try and turn it into a session beer.


Best Value Beer

I'm continually amazed how cheap beer is in Germany. Generally the better craft beers aren't cheap but there are quite a few excellent finds at great prices in grocery stores. If you are short on funds and want a few beers but only have pocket change then the Unser Norden Landbier Dunkel is the answer to your prayers. Depending on the exchange rate you could buy a half liter of this beer that tastes like a stout but drinks with the smoothness of a dunkel for about .75 US cents. My poor math skills calculate that out to a great deal!


Most Drank Beer

I haven't reviewed this beer yet for some reason but in 2013 if my hand was reaching toward a familiar beer it was the Köstritzer Schwarzbier. This beer has great malty flavor and is easy to drink. Some other strong points are that it is a great session beer at 4.8% ABV, widely available, and reasonably priced at under one Euro per bottle.


Most Popular Article of the Year 

I was actually surprised how much readership my article, Ratsherrn does the Unthinkable and Tries to Trademark "Craft Beer" in Germany, received. Beer lovers and bloggers across Germany took up keyboards and angrily smashed scathing exposees about this dastardly attempt at turning a concept and movement into nothing more than a marketing term. The attempt to trademark craft beer had already failed by the time the outcry was voiced but it was refreshing to see so many people come together to stand up for something they care about.


A Post That Might Actually Help You 

Ever been thirsty for a new beer to try but your local store just isn't bringing anything in? Want to get that rare beer but it isn't distributed to your state? Need to get the beer lover in your life the perfect gift? Well then you could buy beer online and use the post, Top 10 Online US Craft Beer Retailers, as your guide. Be warned that not all these sites ship to all states and shipping beer is really expensive but if you want beer you can't get locally your options are buy it online or travel to it. I'm guessing shipping it will be slightly cheaper.


Looking Forward to 2014

I don't have definitive travel plans yet but I do plan on continuing my beer traveling adventures and reporting back throughout the upcoming year. I've recently been back in the US and I'll have about a case full of craft beer reviews coming up soon. I also want to focus on publishing some more bar reviews especially in my current home city of Hamburg. I'm mainly looking forward to all of the diverse and delicious beers I'll get to enjoy in the next year!

Thanks to everyone for reading!


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About Colin Smith

Hi, I'm Colin, I love a good hoppy IPA, but I can find immense enjoyment in a solid session beer, imperial stout, quadrupel or a nostalgic beer from my past.

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