The Beer Chicks have asked us for our best and worst beers of 2009. There is a tie for best– between the sublime BrewDog Zephyr, and Pete Brown’s traditional Burton IPA– the same beer brewed for his voyage which he documented in Hops and Glory. After fermenting for two years, it took on all sorts of mysterious, vinous, lambic-like characteristics. Really haunting and complex, made moreso by its role in such a marvelous narrative.
In 2009 this blog turned one. It started as a whim and has now become central my lens on life and London. The days of the lone blogger are over; I’m part of a community. It’s introduced me to fascinating people, many who are now friends.
My biggest leap of faith in 2009 was investing in BrewDog. Why did I do it when so many in the blog-o-shire put forth compelling arguments not to? When it’s not really an investment? When the Equity for Punks promo material was clearly sexist? When the guys at BrewDog went one stunt over the line and reported their own beer to the Portman group? I confess the lifelong 20% sweetened the deal but really, I believe if anyone can inject new life into brewing in the UK and turn on a younger generation to craft brewing, it’s BrewDog. Their beers excite me and capture my imagination. James’ sincerity and passion have won me over. I want them to do this thing– the new brewery, the brewpub, everything. It’s going to be amazing, the kind of thing that is already alive and well in the US. The Equity for Punks scheme is a bit crazy, but it just might work, it might be this kind of craziness that’s needed to ring in this sea change. What a coup it will be if they pull this off. These are exciting times in terms of craft beer, especially in Scotland, but in the whole of the UK. I don’t want to miss it and I want a front row seat.
My big mistake of 2009 was not brewing enough of my own beer, not finding enough time, bottles, gumption.
The Beer Chicks have also asked us what kind of beer-o-phile do we want to be in 2010. For me that would be a home-brewster beervangelist of a higher order. Brewing stronger, bigger, tastier. I want to take the beer message to the people. And by people I mean non-beer drinkers. In 2010 as in life, I want beer to dictate my travel itenerary and season my travelogue. I want to eschew the role of foodie in favor of beer bard and alethropologist. I want to have a green knees up in Hastings at Beltane. I want to be my own surveyor of a beer map of Scotland and hunt for booze in Bruges. And all this I can do, provided the Border Agency sees fit to keep me.
Happy New Year, beer-0-sphere!