2014 Year in Review

2014 was a good year for me and possibly an even better year for my beer drinking. I got to travel to some great beer destinations and events in Europe and also had a few excellent US craft beers from my trip home. I went deeper into my appreciation of IPAs, reaffirmed my love of stouts, and became more acquainted with various styles of lager. I'm looking forward to my last 6 months in Europe and returning to the US. I have plans (some more solid than others) to travel to Athens, Krakow, Lisbon, Porto, Istanbul, Munich, Nuremberg, Bamberg, Copenhagen, and Budapest. While some of these destinations are not known for their beer, I still hope to have a pint or two along the way even if it just happens to be the local pale lager. Once I'm back in the US the traveling will slow dramatically, but I still hope to go on beer adventures wherever life takes me. Before I get started on this next chapter, it is time for a moment of reflection on 2014.


Favorite Beer

While deciding certain year in review choices will take some thinking, favorite beer is surprisingly simple. No other beer came close to my enjoyment of Victory at Sea. I had deep moments of reflection and flavor as I was knocked around by waves of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla. I can't wait to have this beer again, and I plan on trying all of Ballast Point's limited release beers when I get a chance.



Favorite Bar 

I've been to many amazing bars this year. I could have chosen one of the beer places from my trips to Prague, Edinburgh, Malaga, Barcelona, Biarritz, or Rome, but when I look back at my year it actually isn't a beer bar that I remember as my favorite. It is the Palm 5 Beach Bar in Benalmadena, Spain. It is also the only bar I went to more than once on any of my trips, and I didn't have a beer either time I went. Even though I love craft beer, I'd still rather gaze out at the ocean on a beautiful day than at the back of bar in a dark room.


Least Favorite Beer

No beer particularly stuck out as terrible to me this year despite having several mediocre beers on my travels. I almost wanted to give it to the Barcino Gòtic Pale Ale but decided it would be better to revisit a beer I had in 2013 that I actually hated instead.  Ahh Störtebeker Glüh-Bier with your color so bright, I think I'll pour you down my drain tonight. It is pretty rare that I find a beer absolutely gross. This was gross.


Least Favorite Bar

I quite possibly had the worst experience I've ever had in a bar or restaurant at Ale & Hop in Barcelona. I hope something like this never happens to you!


Highest ABV Beer 

I had a sample of the Schneider Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock with a chocolate pairing at Winter Beer Day 2014 in Hamburg. It was delicious, and while the 12% ABV was evident in it, I still found it enjoyable.


Best Value Beer

A better value than free is hard to come by and my friends where quite thoughtful when they gave me a Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute Ale and Terrapin Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout from their six packs. They were both awesome beers, and I would gladly pay for either, but I certainly don't mind getting delicious craft beer for free.


Most Drank Beer

This is one area I can't give an answer, because I don't think I had any particular beer more than two or three times all year. There were just to many interesting things to try!


Most Popular Article 

While it didn't actually get the most page views the one that generated the most interest was my review of the Czech Beer Festival in Prague. This was by far the best beer event I've been to in my life, and it sets the bar quite high for future events. I doubt I'll ever get the chance to go back, but if you find yourself in Prague during the several weeks that it occurs take the time to stop in and sample some of the amazing beers. Just make sure to spend all the money on your card!


A Post That Might Actually Help You

Even though this post on How to Choose the Correct Craft Beer for Holiday Dinner with your SO's Parents received the most page views in the last I can't say it was the most popular. I shared my attempts at beer comedy on Reddit to little fanfare. I actually received the cruelest comment I ever have gotten on the internet about it, but unfortunately for that sad little troll I haven't been deterred from beer blogging or beer comedy. At this point you might be asking about if this is a post that might actually help you, and while I can't say it will give any great advice, I hope it will help you laugh.


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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