January 1, 2019

Favorite Beer Experiences of 2018

One of my favorite posts of last year was "Favorite Beer Experiences of 2017" I think, because drinking beer to me is more about the experience than anything else. I don't want to do a normal "best of" list or anything like that, I love tons of beers from a lot of breweries and I hate to pick the top ones. However, every year I seek out awesome experiences related to beer. Here's this years, in no particular order...

Jester King Reposé

A bucket list brewery for my wife and I has always been Jester King and we finally got to go this year back in February. It was everything I'd hoped for and more. This brandy barrel-aged Bière de Garde was a highlight as we walked around the grounds and soaked in an awesome farm/brewery. Will go back for sure.


Sierra Nevada BFD

My wife and I enjoy Ed Sheeran together and we got a chance to go see him with some best friends in Nashville at Nissan Stadium. It was a great show and I had this tasty hoppy blonde while enjoying it. Great memory.

New Belgium Paonia Peach

On a trip to Asheville we visited New Belgium Brewery and got a private tour and everything about it was amazing. The brewery is state of the art, the people were fantastic and views of the river on the deck made a wonderful atmosphere and a memorable experience.This very nice tart peach beer was a perfect addition.
 

Sweetwater Tropical Berliner

This beer was released and debuted while I was at 420Fest in Atlanta having a blast. Lots of great music, tons of people and SO MUCH BEER. I drank a lot of Sweetwater, got to visit not only the brewery but their Woodlands barrel-aging facility and just had a damn good time. This fruity tart berliner may or may not have been pouring down my throat as early as 9am one morning.

Rebel Kettle Black Reign

Rebel Kettle's anniversary party in early April, so in Arkansas that's typically going to be pretty warm. Not this year. Damn cold. And it's outdoors (mostly). But boy did we still have fun. We drank some great beers, including this ass-kicking bourbon barrel-aged Russian imperial stout, and watched Drivin' N' Cryin' while freezing our butts off. It was glorious.


White River C-Street Pale Ale

For my birthday this year, the wife and I went to one of my favorite regional cities, Springfield, MO, and had some great beer at one of my favorite breweries, Mother's Brewing. We also ate, wandering around and basically celebrated me surviving another year. A highlight was going to see the Springfield Cardinals play at Hammonds Field, as I hadn't been there in years. Had this very nice pale while enjoying the boys of summer doing what they do.

Independence Stash IPA

Back in February we went to UFC Fight Night 126 in Austin and saw one of my favorite fighters, Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone, knock out Yancy Medeiros in the 1st round. So yeah, that was awesome. Also saw Derrick Lewis, James Vick, Thiago Alves, Sage Northcutt and more... Just a great night. This IPA from one of my favorite Austin breweries made it even better.


Hawk Moth Black IPA

It was good to see a friend of mine get his new brewery and tap room open up in Rogers, AR and we stopped in for a visit passing though one day. Love Hawk Moth facility, love the beers, love the folks. I wish them well and will be getting by there as often as possible. I mainly got beer to go, but while getting a personalized tour from the owner, I had a delicious Black IPA. Why more people don't make this style I'll never know. I always love finding a good one.


Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing

Location, location, location... I had a delicious can of this heavenly liquid sitting in a rocking chair several stories up at The Grove Park Inn in Asheville where we watched the sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Breathtaking.


Urban South Lime Cucumber Gose

While in New Orleans, one of my favorite cites, over Easter weekend we did a brewery crawl and walked a few miles while hitting 4 breweries and eating/shopping/laughing etc. Urban South was on the trail and our day was made even better by this delicious gose and a gigantic anniversary party they were having with tons of crawfish. Probably just a normal day in NOLA.


Real Ale Four Horsemen (Mysterium Verum)

At the end of our Austin trip, on the final night, we decided on just one more beer at Easy Tiger as we walked back to the hotel. My final choice of a killer beer weekend was this black quad aged in American oak spirit barrels with lots of vanilla with nice big hints of booziness This is how to end a trip. I still remember sitting there with my wife, soaking up the feeling.


Guinness

I can never do my yearly best of without mentioning the awesome weekend we have in Tulsa every year for the McNellie's Pub Run. We love to run, we love to drink beer, and we love the friends we join over there every year. Ever chugged several Guinness while running 4 miles? You should try it. Delicious.


Prairie Now Now

Just to sort of pick one beer from an incredible weekend in Oklahoma City, this straight up creamy strawberry vanilla milkshake IPA from Prairie's OKC brewery is totally worthy. We visited the taproom both days and had great beer not only there but other OKC breweries like Anthem, Roughtail, Twisted Spike and Coop. We're going to need to explore this city again. Soon.


Lagunitas Sumpin' Easy

And finally, no list of my favorite beer moments of the year, any year, could possibly be complete without me sitting at Dickey-Stephens Park watching our AA farm club of the Seattle Mariners, the Arkansas Travelers, play baseball. I did it a lot. I drank this beer a lot. I'll do it again this coming year too.

 

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