Though it’s late in January, on Jan 1st I took some snapshots of my previous 365 days in beer via Untappd. I check in all unique (or, I should say, perhaps about 98% of all unique beers I try. Occasionally I either don’t add a beer because of one of a few reasons:
- It’s not listed on Untappd (ie, a unique one-off or new beer) and I don’t have the info handy to add it. (I’m a bit anal about data and if I’m at the brewery and the staff or brewmaster can tell me the ABU etc, then I usually add it)
- I only quickly sampled it. I don’t add in beer that I merely taste (for example, I try a sip of Liz’s beer, unless it’s spectactular and I have to make a note so I can try it again, I don’t bother checking it in) I WILL check in tasters, though. And I love that Untappd has a feature now that allows you to identify the way you drank it: Draft, Bottle, Can, Growler, Taster, etc
- I am away from a proper WifI or cell signal (or it’s cost prohibitive to attempt it) at the time and I neglect to make notes of the beer to add in later
- I have simple had way too much and am incapable of properly entering the info accurately. (Yeah, okay, I’m human and this does happen – apparently, the more alcohol one consumes, the more reduced ones capacities things like keeping accurate notes becomes – who knew? LOL)
So, with that in mind, here are some of the more interesting beer stats from my 2018.
That spike you see on Feburary 4th was when Liz and I had returned to Portland and enjoyed a number of unique brews at some of our favourite breweries as well as some new ones. I actually wrote a post about that particular trip (where I shot a live video where you might see me having had a few too many while trying to relay a ghost story), as well as our previous Portland trip – both were about haunted places.
The next highest spike, in September would be the unofficial books and beers tour that I organized when attending NINC (Novelists Inc) writer’s conference in St Pete, Florida. (That day is something that I MUST write about – I’m actually surprised I didn’t write that up – I certainly have a ton of great pictures from that day). And, just ten days prior to that, Sept 15th, was a beer fest we had attended in Kitchener. That day, which included a pretty hearty walk for us, included a trip to the beer fest itself as well as a number of bars and breweries we stopped in at on our long walk home.
Unique Check-Ins: 760 (This is down from 827 in 2017)
Unique Beers: 714 (This is down from the 776 unique beers from 2017)
New Beer Ratio: 94% (I will check in a beer I have already had if I want to record other factors, such as unique locale, unique company, setting, or perhaps to change my previous rating – tastes change over time)
Beers Per Day: 2 (Same ratio as in 2017)
2018 saw me trying beers in a pretty decent spread across North America.
Total Venues: 149 (Exact same as 2017 – going to have to see if I can break that and hit 150 in 2019)
Unique Venues: 117 (In 2017 it was 118 – should I try for 120 this year?)
New Venue Ratio: 79% (In 2017 it was 75%)
Looking at the Top Styles of beers I drink, it’s obvious I’m still a fan of IPA and Pale Ale beers. But you can also see Liz’s influence on my trying of different beers (that and a bit of a recent trend in the craft beern industry), with a significant rise in the Sour style beers.
Though I moved away from Hamilton at the end of 2017, my favourite haunt (which, between 2014 and 2017 was my neighbourhood local bar) The Winking Judge, remained the top venue for check-ins. That’s because the place still feels like home to me. The owners, the staff, the regulars, are, in many ways, like an extended family. So I continue to haunt the place as often as I can.
And, of course, Arabella Beer Park in Kitchener, which is my favourite local haunt since moving to Waterloo, came in second place. Perhaps The Judge only out-performed Arabella was because of the number of beers Liz and I enjoyed at the annual Winking Judge beer fest.
The top 4 beers I had in 2018, based on ratings, were:
Haunted Home Sweet Home – Pumpkin/Yam Beer (5 Paddles Brewing Company – Whitby, Ontario) – Enjoyed at home
I love most of the beers 5 Paddles makes, and their regular Home Sweet Home is a regular favourite that I usually buy when I stop in on my way through Whitby. But the “Halloween” version of it is uniquly delicious too!
Chai Porter – Porter (Cage Brewing – St. Pete, Florida) – Enjoyed at the brewery
(It’s too bad you can’t edit your checkins on Untappd – I meant to type “heaven in a glass” but it came out “heaven on a glass”) – I was MOST disappointed, because when I brought some friends back to Cage Brewing a couple of days later, they had RUN OUT – after I had talked the beer up. Can’t wait to see if they have it when I return to St Pete this coming fall)
Cocobutter – Schwarzbier (Pinellas Ale Works – St, Pete, Florida) – Enjoyed at the brewery
Pinalleas Ale Works (PAW for short), is a cute dog-friendly brewery with a lot of dog themed beers. Most of them are delicious, although I didn’t get a chance to try them all, despite visiting twice. Interestingly, they are across a four way stop from Cage Brewery. What a phenomenal neighborhood!!!!
Death by Coconut – Porter (Oskar Blues Brewery) – Enjoyed at TapWerks in Oklahoma City, OK
This is one of those exceptions where I’ll check in a beer that I’ve already had in order to change the rating. On my first check in of this beer, in 2016 in Colorado Springs, I gave it a 4.75. I had it a few more times on that trip, because it was a spectacular beer. When I had it again in December 2018, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t given it a 5 before. So I checked in to fix that. (Speaking of that checkin, there were so many great breweries we visited in Oklahoma City that I will have to write about in a future post)
As I am writing this post up, I realize, as I just mentioned, that there are so many great beer experiences had in the past year that I neglected to write about. I know it’s the end of Janurary and not a time of resolution. (For most, it’s usually the time of breaking any new resolutions) – But I am resolving to go into the archives and share some of the great spirited places and beer adventures I’ve been on.