Is a memory still a memory if you don't remember it?
Profound, I know.
You may think it's too late in this brand new year to continue dwelling on 2014, but I'd argue with you. After all I enjoy arguments and I happen to think I had a particularly strong year. As you struggle with your New Year's resolution (for 2014 mine was to take better care of my feet (possibly more on this later), for 2015 it was to write this post) remember that power is in limited supply, so welcome to the majority. You know what I'm talking about! Anyway if you're looking to T-bone for wisdom, help, or strength in your resolve, then you're probably already drunk.
My brother, J. R. Shirt, asked me to list the best 'overall' beer and best 'new' beer I've had in the year 2014, which led to us talking. I said some things and he said, 'No that was this year'. I said a couple beers, beers I had happened to have recently, to which he replied, ' well we also drank this, this year.' So... list! Easier said than done.
He told me his preliminary winners, (final version now available on beergraphs!) couldn't say I disagreed, but I didn't want to cut/paste his choices or methodology.
So, some context:
In 2014 I drank a lot of good beers in a basements. The collective BAR of beers drank by me during Beersport: 139.12, and the average BAR: 4.35.
The Best BeerSport Beer of 2014: Hoppin Frog's Fresh Frog Raw hop.
Honorable mention: Firestone Walker Wookey Jack
BeerGraphs has helped me find a lot of good beers outside of that basement. Whether I use the leaderboards for guidance or a take trip to meet the people.
The Best Last Words of 2014: 'Today is about quality over quantity.' - Ponytail Phil just hours before Mad Monk's Monday.
One such trip started at a restaurant called Big Star (Alex Chilton would be proud, I think, I mean he might own the place for all I know) with Revolution's Anti-hero, transitioned to Three Floyd's Zombie dust, etc. etc. Dark Lord, etc. etc., and ended with the forgotten. The forgotten being beers I don't remember. Cantillon Vigneronne, De Struise Brouwers Black Damnation V: Double Black, and Pipeworks Ninja vs. Unicorn. I drank those, look them up if you want to, I know I had to.
That trip had a second day, the beers I remember from the second day are Revolutions Citra Hero, Firestone Walker Pivo Pils and Half Acre Pony Pils. The beers I don't... KBS? Well, that's because it was there, but I didn't have the sense to charge it to someone else's tab.
The third day I just don't remember. That 3rd day I had Toppling Goliath's Pseudo Sue. There's a record of it, but it evokes no personal organoleptic memories.
My review of Toppling Goliath's pseudo Sue would go something like this: Eno really liked it. That is to say, my knowledge of a man impregnating another man with a release of spore-like sperm is limited, but I'm lucky to not be carrying a third Sarris child. We are all lucky.
That wasn't my only trip for the sake of beer in 2014. When quality meets quantity the end result is a grown man with a ponytail losing his face. Some beers on the list that fateful day in March: Russian River's Pliney the Younger, the Elder, and Blind Pig. I might have been late for work that evening. You can read about some of those beers here: Link to Monk's Russian River article.
The beer most worth the trip in 2014: Three Floyd's Zombie Dust. It's oomammimous.
Long story short - I knew almost nothing about craft beer before 2014. Now I know a little bit. But the most important thing I learned about craft beer in 2014, the thing I hope I don't forget: the years won't be defined by beers. Well, not entirely.
You can not reach T-Bone through the internet. If you want to try and reach T-Bone through the internet, tweet questions to J.R. Shirt (@beeronmyshirt) and T-Bone may disappoint you with a response. Thank you.