Top 5 All Time – Beers of 2017

As 2017 shows itself out the door like a houseguest that’s overstayed it’s welcome, it’s time for one of my favorite exercises of the year. I have to say, last year’s list was much easier to compile. I definitely drank a ton of good beers this year, so I can’t really tell if the average quality of the beers I drank went up to the point that there were no standouts, or if 2016 was just a whale-hunting type of year. I did manage to get to some high-profile breweries this year again, including but not limited to: Cigar City, J. Wakefield, Bearded Iris, and the holy grail… Hill Farmstead, who honestly could have all 5 spots on this list if I was lazy (luckily I’m not). Either way, it was fun going through photos, jotting down names, being reminded of a certain beer or experience or hangout session or bottle share, and putting it into words. Here goes.

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You’re Gonna Make It, Kid

This month marks the 10 year anniversary of October 2007; one of the most pivotal moments of my life. I was 10 months into my first job out of college, one that I got by replying to a Craig’s List ad. When you applied for jobs on Craig’s List in 2006, they rarely gave you any indication as to what the industry you’d be interviewing for, let alone the company. All you got was a randomly generated email address that would reply to your submission, which is exactly what I got 11 months earlier in December 2006. I went to the interview dressed in a brand new suit and power tie (both college graduation gifts), to make sure I put forth the best impression. The intimidating office building two blocks south of Columbus Circle had a ground level with a ceiling of at least 100 feet high (</hyperbole>), and when I got up to the right floor, there was an odd feeling to my surroundings. It was at this moment that a short, unassuming Korean man with glasses approached me wearing sneakers, jeans and a polo and deadpanned “Jesus, I feel like I’m getting audited.” This was my introduction to Sam Frank.

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Top 5 All Time – Beers of 2016

This year has definitely been my biggest beer year yet. I visited a TON of new, high quality breweries; including, but not limited to Crooked Stave, TRVE, and Maui. I ventured to the biggest beer festival in the country. I even started a beer podcast. I went all in on beer in 2016. And while I am not sure what 2017 will have in store for me, I know that it will most likely include some good beer and breweries as well. I wanted to task myself with sitting down and thinking about what were the best beers I had this year, and why. It might have to do with experience, or it might just be that the beer tasted better. All that factors into what makes a beer great. Beer is an experience. Well, it can be an experience. Of all the new beers and breweries I was able to try in 2016, below are my Top 5 and why. If you can get your hands on any or all of these… I would say do it.

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