As I sit on my couch and contemplate 2012 over a freshly bottled Nugget Nectar (oh, the perks of working at my favorite brewery!), I can't help but think that 2012 may have been the absolute best year for me, not only beer-wise, but in general! I successfully parlayed a hobby (writing about craft beer) into a career (working at Troegs Brewery). That in itself is worthy of "best year ever" status in the annals of Ffejstory!
But let's backtrack a bit to last year around this time, when I published The Pour Travelers' 2011 - The Beer in Review after our first full year as a bona fide beer blog. I constructed a list (and a pretty lofty one, at that) of my top ten resolutions for the coming year, which looked something (OK...exactly) like this:
1. Finally host my long-talked-about stout tasting.
2. Return to Portland for a REAL beer trip.
3. Finally get to Selin's Grove's Hops and Vines festival.
4. Get Ffej of JulIPA brewed for the 10th Anniversary of Ffej of July.
5. Have a Troegs beer named after me (OK, a long shot, I know)!
6. Visit Barcade Philly. Classic arcade games + beer = awesomeness!
7. Make Imminent Liquidation an annual event.
8. Get back out to Great Taste of the Midwest.
9. Increase my overall number of beer blogs on this site.
10. SAN DIEGO... AGAIN!!!
Numbers one, two, three, five and nine never happened, although I will say that, looking back, my quality over quantity vastly improved (in my humble opinion, anyway), rendering number nine... number nine... number nine... (sorry, couldn't resist a good Beatles reference) a success, at least in my eyes.
Number one might happen this year, as I am continuously adding a variety of Imperial Stouts to my beer cellar. Number two needs to happen ASAP, as we never even scratched the surface of the beer mecca that is Portland, OR, during our inaugural trip back in 2011. Brewslut also needs to get to Portland, ME, but that's a different story! I'm afraid number three will never happen, as it always seems to coincide with my annual Ffej of July festivities (sidebar... if you are an avid reader of The Pour Travelers and want an invite to this epic shindig, shoot me an email). And as for number five... well, even though I didn't get my name attached to a Troegs beer in 2012, I can say quite happily that I get my name on a paycheck every other week from Troegs, so I guess that counts for something, right?
I'm proud to say that the other five resolutions were met. Number four was accomplished after my good buddy Al of Pizza Boy Brewing Company brewed a special batch of his Citra IPA and dubbed it Ffej of JulIPA for the 10th anniversary of Ffej of July. We finally made it to Barcade in Philadelphia, which you can read about by clicking here if you'd like. Thank God they have a killer beer selection; otherwise, I'd have an extremely difficult time luring Brewslut to this man-cave of a beer bar. As for number seven on the list, I think it is safe to say that "Imminent Liquidation" has secured a slot in everyone-who-is-a-beer-geek-in-Central-PA's calendar, planner, or date book. It's coming up on its third year in March (this year's event will be held on Saturday, March 2 at The Warwick Hotel in Hummelstown). I was ecstatic to check number eight of my list of resolutions in 2012, as Brewslut and I consider our trip to Great Taste of the Midwest to be the pinnacles of our 2012 beer season. (FYI - the link included here only represents part one of a multi-part blog... yeah, this was an epic trip!) And finally, number ten. Yes, San Diego. Anyone who reads this blog is sure to notice our collective love for this southern California beer goldmine. This past year saw perhaps our most epic trip to San Diego yet, as we visited the fine city for a total of eleven consecutive days. (Note that this link is only part one of a SEVEN PART mini-series.) We also were able to meet my goal of visiting Pizza Port Ocean Beach every day for at least one beer per visit. It's good to have goals in life, right?
Some other highlights of 2012 were:
1. The Sly Fox Goat Races and Bock Festival (always a perennial favorite!)
2. Multiple trips to Philadelphia, one of our favorite beer cities not only in PA, but the country!
3. Our annual Beers-giving trip, this year to Charleston, SC.
4. Getting hired by Troegs (this goes without saying).
5. Winning the coveted "Metal Brewer" award at Troegs
With that said, let me present my ten resolutions for 2013:
1. The Stout Tasting (yeah, I know... I fucked up last year)!
2. Portland, OR and Portland, ME (not on the same trip, though)!
3. Great Taste of the Midwest.
4. Put Harrisburg Area Beer Week on the map and make it an annual event.
5. Hit 1000 unique beers on Uptappd.
6. Make "Imminent Liquidation" a bi-annual event.
7. Help brew the Metal Brewer-winning beer, Beet It Red Saison, as a Troegs Scratch beer and also for Pizza Boy Brewing Co.
8. Visit Florida for a beer trip.
9. Get Brewslut to write a beer blog.
10. Keep working for Troegs!
Thanks to all who follow The Pour Travelers and read about our little beer excursions. We've met some amazing people along the way (many of whom we call friends) and that makes traveling in the name of beer all the more rewarding and worthwhile. Cheers to another new year that will find our glasses brimming with the liquid we all know and love!