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So, it's that time, what were yours?
I'm always suspicious that these kinds of lists are made up of the best [insert selected noun here] that people have had in the last few months... so, I kept a record of my favourite beer each week for the entire year. I'd love to have done a blog on each one but there's no way I'd have the time.
I'd be hard pressed to pick anything that impressed me more than Mikkeller's Sauvignon this year but I'll look over the list in the next few days and think about what the very best ones for the year were.
No homebrews in the list, that's just not cricket.
Week: Beer (where I got it, how it came)
30/12: Emerson's JP 2010 (Malthouse, 500ml bottle)
23/12: Twisted Hop Challenger (Hashigo Zake, handpump)
16/12: 8 Wired Tall Poppy (Regional Wines and Spirits, 500ml bottle)
09/12: Pink Elephant Mammoth (New World Island Bay, 330ml bottle)
02/12: Mikkeller Black Tie (Innspire, 500ml bottle)
25/11: Tuatara 'X' (Hashigo Zake, 750ml bottle)
18/11: Emerson's Grace Jones Porter (Malthouse, tap)
11/11: Monkey Wizard Steam Punk Ale (@jedsoane, 750ml bottle)
04/11: Tuatara Ardennes (Malthouse, tap via pears in Modus Hoperandus)
28/10: Fuller's 1845 (Four Square Strathmore, 500ml bottle)
21/10: Orval (Regionals, 330ml bottle @ Playing Favourites tasting)
14/10: Bridge Road B2 Bomber (Bridge Road via @innspire, 750ml bottle)
07/10: Cooper's Vintage 2010 (Dan Murphy's Kawana, 330ml bottle)
30/09: Little Creatures Pale Ale (Mudjimba Bottlestore, 500ml bottle)
23/09: Wigram Imperial Stout (Malthouse, tap via coffee beans in Modus Hoperandus)
16/09: Moa 5 Hop Winter Ale (Pollux, handpump)
09/09: Townshend Rosedale Bitter (Hashigo, handpump)
02/09: Townshend Cathcarts NTA (Hashigo, handpump)
26/08: Moa Barrel-aged Imperial Stout (BrewNZ Awards, bottle)
19/08: Cooper's Sparkling Ale (Malthouse, tap)
12/08: Croucher Pale Ale (Hashigo Zake, tap)
05/08: Townshend Wedding FSA (Wedding, handpump)
29/07: Emerson's JP 2010 (Regionals, bottle)
22/07: Hallertau SOBA NHC Coconut Porter (Malthouse, tap)
15/07: Hallertau Statesman (Hashigo Zake, tap)
08/07: Eugene City Tracktown 200m IPA (Hashigo Zake, tap)
01/07: Townshend Dubloon (SOBA Matariki Winter Ales Festival, handpump)
24/06: Invercargill Sa!son (Invercargill Brewery, rigger)
17/06: Baird Brewing Dark Sky Imperial Stout (@seatounsteve, bottle)
10/06: Mikkeller Sauvignon (@jedsoane, bottle)
03/06: Tuatara APA (Malthouse, tap)
27/05: Mountain Goat Surefoot Stout (Mountain Goat Brewery, tap)
20/05: Rogue American Amber Ale (Hashigo Zake, tap)
13/05: White Cliffs Organic Ale (Regional Wines and Spirits, 2L rigger)
06/05: Epic Oak-aged Armageddon (Malthouse, tap)
29/04: Galbraith's Best Bitter (Galbraith's Ale House, handpump)
22/04: Moa Resurrection (Marchfest, tap)
15/04: Flying Dog Ragin' Bitch (Hashigo Zake, bottle)
08/04: Green Flash 'Double' Stout (Beerstore.co.nz, bottle)
01/04: Mac's Brewjolais (Regionals + Bar Edward, conditioning tank rigger)
25/03: Rodenbach Grand Cru (2yo from Island Bay New World, bottle)
18/03: Emerson's Old 95 (Miramar New World, bottle)
11/03: Mata Blondie (Liquorland Beer Festival, tap)
04/03: Yeastie Boys PKB Remix 2009 (Malthouse, tap)
25/02: Townshend Cathcarts NTA (Ruakura Campus Club, handpump)
18/02: Emerson's JP 2009 (Regional Wines and Spirits via cellar, bottle)
11/02: Thornbridge Raven (Kelly Ryan, bottle)
04/02: Green Flash "Le Freak" (Sam's friend, bottle)
28/01: Hogs Back "Santa's Wobble" (Rumble's, 330ml bottle)
21/01: Hallertau "Minimus" (Malthouse, tap)
14/01: 8 Wired "Hopwired" (Regionals, 500ml bottle)
07/01: NZ Natural Brewing "Deliverance Dortmunder" (Hashigo Zake, tap)
Wishing you all a late Merry Christmas... and a just in time happy new year.
OK, I'll have a crack (in no particular order):
8 Wired Hopwired
Yeastie Boys Return to Magenta
Yeastie Boys Nerdherder 'B' (think this was early 2010 when I had it)
Invercargill Brewery Pitch Black
Twisted Hop Challenger
Townshend Cathcart's NTA
Fuller's Golden Pride
SKA Modus Hoperandi
Cheers Christian... those possibly my two favourite Yeastie Boys beers this year as well, although it's hard to choose a favourite child. The Nerdherder 'B' was the only beer we've ever put out that was pretty much 100% as I envisaged it. Someone called it something along the lines of 'Hopsmacker on steroids' and that was incredibly flattering... It was certainly inspired by Hopsmacker, and Rennaissance Perfection, though certainly not a clone attempt at either (and had a significantly lower ABV).
I really love pretty much all of those beers in your list.
I miss Hopsmacker. *sniff*
Me too !
Was probably one of the first real craft beers I tryed
Amen brother Chris,
Me too !
Was probably one of the best beers I tryed
Excellent Stu, love it
And to think you've only put one of your own beers on the list too
Biggest suprise, 'Four Square Strathmore' is there, that's got to say something for distribution of beer, yea ?
Biggest suprise, 'Four Square Strathmore' is there
I know. I popped in there for some milk once and ended up having a long chat about craft beer with the young guy there.
I suck at "best of" lists. I think it's because I live very much in the moment, and enjoy every good beer for what it is at the point I am drinking it. I also tend to not hold "beer grudges". A faulted beer will have to be repeatedly faulted over many batches before I give up on it entirely, so very few beers get a chance to make my "worst of" list either! :)
That said, I've had a few stunners this year, so I'll attempt to list beers that have made me go WOW at some point during the year, along with where I was and why (in rough chronological order, useless memory failings and all).
I am sure I've forgotten a few, but those are the ones which have burned themselves on my cortex. Thank you to all our craft brewers, whether represented here or not, for making 2010 a truly remarkable year in beer in New Zealand. Thanks to every brewer making great sessionable ales and lagers of non-WOW, but truly great quality. I love you all. :)