Best of 2012 – The People’s Choice

2012 !

Each year since Brewpublic began in 2008, we’ve taken special pleasure in rounding up the best-of-the-year lists. Most often you’ve witnessed these year-end inventories in the form of top 5′s. And, to not let down, we’ve rounded up this year’s superlatives in a multi-part series we will bring you throughout the rest of the year.

For 2012, much like we did last year, asking craft beer experts, industry workers, enthusiasts, and friends to conjure up their fondest beer memories of 2012 as well as sharing what they eagerly anticipate for the future in the coming year. We’ve also asked these folks to attest to top trends witnessed in the craft beer scene over the past year as well as some favorite events of 2012.

While we realize that such lists are next to impossible to formulate with any real certainty, the process of thinking back on all of the remarkable brews tested and tasted is a fun and nostalgic process. We will not hold these reputable individuals to their beer choices with absoluteness, because we realize, as mentioned in the past, that choosing just one beer, or even only five for that matter, as a favorite, can be as constrictive and limiting as choosing a favorite song, work of art, or even friend. Variety is the spice of life, just as hops is readily that of Northwest craft brews. So, without further adieu, let’s hear what the people have to say.

D.J. "La Chouffe" PaulName: D.J. Paul

Position/company: Brewpublic Contributor

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

Less extreme and more mild beers. I also look forward to the opening of the Breakside Brewing production facility in Milwaukie, OR and Worthy Brewing in Bend, OR.

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

Brewpublic's D.J. Paul at Saraveza's 4th Anniversary partyWhat was your go-to beer of 2012?

Gigantic IPA

What were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

Brewers going to more extremes to find and use more unique ingredients. Some are hits but along with them comes a lot of duds.

 

Dan "The Hopfather" Culver discussing fresh hopsName: Dan Culver

Position/company: Contributor for Brewpublic

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

Trying new and excellent beer of course.

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

So many great ones, let’s go with most memorable:

What was your go-to beer of 2012?

Green Flash Rayon Vert

Brewpublican Dan Culver inspects a pour of Breakside's Rye Kolsch run through a fruit randallWhat were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

Brewpublic Killer Beer Fest 3.5, Eugene Beer Week, GABF, Brewpublic Killer Beer Week 4, and Everett Craft Beer Fest.

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

More great collaborations, yet more expansion of craft breweries, the whole “enjoy by” campaign, prevalence of barrel aged beer, and the increase (and demand) of wild ales. Oh, and too many beer fests…

Learn more about Dan in this interview with #pdxbeergeeks

 

 

Tim "El Jefe" Ensign Name: Tim Ensign

Position/company: El Jefe of Sales and Distribution, Fort George Brewery

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

I’m really looking forward to my new full-time position with Fort George Brewery and the Festival of the Dark Arts in Astoria on February 16th.

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

Since there are so many beers to choose from I’m going to mention some of my favorites hoppy beers (listed in no specified order):

What was your go-to beer of 2012?

This would have to be Fort George Sunrise Oatmeal Pale Ale (I know why it is the staff favorite at the brewery!). We were ecstatic to have this beer selected recently as one of the Top 25 Beers of 2012 by Draft Magazine.

What were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

Powered By Yeast's Tim Ensign brewing Powered By Hops IPA at Fort George BreweryAgain, there have been so many. You know that I love Killer Beer Week, it was off-the-hook this year. I also really enjoyed the Pacific Northwest Brew Cup, NAOBF, Holiday Ale Fest and it was amazing to make it back to Denver for GABF after a 5 year hiatus.

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

This year we saw more of everything I love. Cans. Big hoppy beers. Sour beers. Barrel-aged beers. I love beer being pushed to the fringe. Newer, unique breweries like Ale Apothecary, Logsdon Farmhouse Ales and Pfriem Family Brewers are creating very specialized beers that bring a fuller experience to craft coinsures in our market. I’m thankful to have access to such an array of great beer.

 

Oakshire Brewmaster Matt Van WykName: Matt Van Wyk

Position/company: Brewmaster, Oakshire Brewing

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

Slinging a sixer of  Watershed IPA over my shoulder. Cans are on the way for Oakshire. Plus we will be opening an offsite Public House in early 2013.

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

What was your go-to beer of 2012?

I don’t think I’ve ever had a go-to beer or ever will. Maybe an idea for our second canned offering. Stay tuned…

What were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

Oregon Brewers Games 2012The renewed Brewers Games in Hood River, Killer Beer Fest of course, Oregon Beer Month, Burger Brawl at Hop and Vine, NAOBF

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

So much beer…. so many breweries…… The variety of craft beer today seems endless.

 

Eric SteenName: Eric Steen

Position/Company: Director of Focus on the Beer and Beers Made By Walking

What do I look forward to most in 2013:

Lots of people joke around about the innovations and crazy experimental beers that have happened in the past few years. I really enjoy a lot of those beers but in 2012 I spent some time coming to grips with the fact that I just love a good tall pint of pale ale, amber ale, and the like. I don’t need anything crazy although I’ll gladly drink it. In 2013, I look forward to drinking more pints at the pub with friends, and being less concerned with all the experimental bottled beers.

Beers Made By WalkingName 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

What was your go-to beer of 2012?

In the summer it was definitely Ska Mexican Logger, in the colder months it has been Deschutes Jubelale…as always.

Eric Steen of Beer and SciFi enjoys a Ms. Jackie Brown pumpkin saison at Twisted Pine BrewingWhat were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

  • Vail Big Beers and Barleywines Festival in Vail, Colorado – Definitely the best beer event I’ve ever been to. Nothing compares to a two day beer festival in the Rocky Mountains complete with a giant mountain to snowboard on.
  • Beers Made By Walking in Denver – This may be a little selfish of me but this event was really special for me. I had worked on it for a whole year and it took place during the Great American Beer Festival, I worked with ten fantastic breweries to make beer based off nature hikes they went on, and I thought the beers were amazing.
  • Beer Bacon Breakfast – Another selfish decision but I spent more time organizing events than going to them this year. This was a 6 course breakfast, each course contained bacon and paired with beer. I collaborated with a local barbecue joint called Front Range BBQ.
  • Saison Festival – At Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs, this is a wonderful event, can’t speak highly enough of it.

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

Overload – It’s been literally impossible to keep up with beer things this year, both in my reading, writing, and with my wallet even though I’ve spent more time than ever before trying to do so. There are tons of new breweries, so many of the older ones are expanding, there’s lots of new writers, lots of new people on twitter, etc. etc. etc.

Session Beer Day – This was great, even though there weren’t any Session Beer events in my town, I noticed a lot of people talking more about it because of the official day and I’m really happy about that.

Indigenous Beer – A new category in the BA list of styles. I’m not sure that I saw an outstanding list of examples, and I think some of the guidelines could be honed in more, but I am very excited that brewers are looking to their own local landscapes (I wish it was even more local than what it is currently) for inspiration. Very cool.

Brettanomyces – It seems, at least here in Colorado, that more and more breweries are taking on Brettanomyces in new and interesting ways. I believe the charge is led mostly by Crooked Stave, with others like Trinity and AC Golden also really doing their part. The point is to create delicate beers, to defy what was previously known of the yeast, to not use it just with souring. It’s a lot of fun, but my body can’t handle Brett the same way it handles Sacc, so I have to be careful with those beers.

It’s not just beer, it’s so much more – I’ve noticed more and more breweries taking on interests outside of just beer culture. Deschutes has started those River Recordings, Dogfish Head is making beer inspired by music, New Belgium has always worked with bike culture but is more hardcore than ever about it. Breweries inspired by black metal, breweries inspired by the outdoors. These have always been around but I’m noticing that it’s not purely a marketing thing, it’s more an authentic interest in the collaboration of beer with other hobbies and lifestyles. This is nice because life is more diverse than geeking out on beer.

 

Mike HigginsName: Michael Higgins

Position/company: President, Buckman Botanical Brewery

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

Beard Beer

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

Rogue Good Chit PilsnerWhat was your go-to beer of 2012?

Rogue Good Chit Pilsner

What were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

West Coast Brewery expansion to East Coast. Growth of craft distilling. Shear number of existing breweries, coupled with those in planning.

 

Dan BartlettName: Dan Bartlett (aka the Beer Admiral)

Position/company: Astoria Ale Trail Guide

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

More beer.

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

What was your go-to beer of 2012?

Fort George Vortex or Fort George Roscoe IPA

Oregon North Coast Beer TrailWhat were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

Great Canadian Beer Festival my all time favorite fun time; Great British Beer Festival , Pouring at the Coast (Seaside) and Pacific Northwest Brew Cup. Did the GABF but found it to be too loud; too crowded and too many beers for so little time.

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

The sour thing may be passing. It seems more folks are doing good session beers.

 

The BeerMongers, Jim Bonomo, sampling some Fresh Hops from his own vesselName: Jim Bonomo

Position/company: Manager, The BeerMongers

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

Barrel-aged Bigfoot from Sierra Nevada

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

Jim Bonomo (top right) and friends at the Midas Touch My Balls eventWhat was your go-to beer of 2012?

Firestone Walker Pale 31

What were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

Breakside Anniversary Party, Elysian Great Pumpkin Festival, Stone Vertical Epic Day

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

The increasing popularity of craft cider among beer drinkers, an overabundance of mediocre black IPAs, increasing prices.

 

 

Saraveza beertender Erika Huston at Saraveza's 4th Anniversary partyName: Erika Huston

Position/company: Beertender & FOH Manager at Saraveza Bottle Shop and Pasty Tavern

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

Well, for starters, The 9th Annual Strange Brewfest in Port Townsend, WA! And Sasquatch BrewFest and IIPA Fest and all the fun releases and one-offs!  There is no such thing as “Craft Beer Month”, it’s called, “Craft Beer YEAR”!

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

What was your go-to beer of 2012?

Hop Valley “Alphadelic” IPA in a can

What were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

Strange Brew Fest – Port Townsend, OR

Sasquatch Brew Fest – Eugene, OR

IIPA Festival – Saraveza – Portland, OR (I’m not partial or anything)

Portland Beer and Cheese Fest – Portland, OR

Holiday Ale Festival – Portland, OR

One of Saraveza's finest: Beertender Erika HustonWhat are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

I am loving the Belgian and French influence that is occurring in our local breweries. It has been a long time coming, but I feel that our brewers are truly beginning to master working with foreign and “wild” yeast strains and the complexity and variety of beers being produced has increased tenfold. I was also so excited to see such widespread recognition of our Oregon Breweries at GABF this year! It was a great year for beer here in the Pacific Northwest and I think it will only continue to improve; the sky is the limit!

 

 

Molly GilbertName: Molly Gilbert

Position/company: PR Rep, BridgePort Brewing Company

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

Oregon Brewers Fest (again, but this year as the sponsored brewery).

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

What was your go-to beer of 2012?

BridgePort IPA

What were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

BridgePort BrewingAh!

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

Herbs, sours and beer cocktails.

 

 

Saraveza founder Sarah PedersonName: Sarah Pederson

Position/company: Publican and founder, Saraveza Bottle Shop & Pasty TavernBad Habit Room

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

Fine tuned session beers with fun adjuncts, more high gravity canned, converting more people into craft beer drinkers!

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

Saraveza's 3rd Annual IIPA FestWhat was your go-to beer of 2012?

Burnside Sweet Heat and Breakside Aztec

What were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

Saraveza’s Berliner Weiss Oasis (inside the IIPAfest!), Amnesia Holiday Ale Fest

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

 

 

Brewvana Bus Tours founder Ashley Rose SalvittiName: Ashley Rose Salvitti

Position/company: Owner & Beer Lover, BREWVANA Portland Brewery Tours

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

BREWVANA growing and being able to introduce more people to craft beer.

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

BrewvanaWhat was your go-to beer of 2012?

Hopworks Abominable. Once they started canning- I had access to the low fills, and kept my fridge stocked at ALL times. It NEVER got old. I still LOVE it.

What were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

I have a hard time remembering past this weekend, but:

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

The opening of so many breweries (Sasquatch, Gigantic, Stickmen, Base Camp, Pfriem, Old Town, Kell’s, Humble, etc) as well as the expansion of others (Breakside, Hopworks, Alameda, Natian, the Commons, etc) has proved the steadily increasing trend of the craft beer industry in Portland and Oregon. This makes my job SUPER exciting!!! Stoked about 2013!!!!

 

 

The Commons' Josh Grgas trying out some barrel blends for The BeerMongers Anniversary party.Name: Josh Grgas

Position/company: Jack of all trades, Commons Brewery

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

Having more space in our brewery and releasing some of the beers we currently have in barrels. I also have a visit to Belgium marked which means it was nice knowing yoos guys.

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

Allagash Resurgam – yet again proving that spontaneous fermentation beats cultured wild yeast. This is easily the most magical beer I had this year.

Marble Brewery Cuvee d’Abricot – a sessionable american wild ale with a strong apricot profile from New Mexico.

Commons Plum Bretta – I cut a lot of plums to make this beer taste as good as it did.

The Bruery Cask Smoking Wood w/ Bacon – one of those moments where you think something is going to be awful, but it’s not.

Hof Ten Dormaal Winter 12 – saison with Dog Rose petals added from one of the coolest breweries in the world. Google them!

What was your go-to beer of 2012?

Deschutes Chainbreaker – I’m pretty sure this beer was designed just for me.

The Commons BreweryWhat were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

  • Breakside Anniversary Block Party – Drinking in a sunny street is always fun. It’s made even better by great beer, friends and food.
  • Commons Anniversary – I still cannot believe how many people came. We’re very lucky guys.
  • Great American Beer Festival - This was my first year attending and I felt every bit a newb.
  • Belmont Station’s Puckerfest – This event has a permanent place on my list every year. The hole in my wallet can confirm.
  • WWJB – I could tell you but I’d prefer not to.

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

The growing appreciation of more sessionable beers has made my (not so) inner old curmudgeon smile. There was also two WTF just happened moments when our beers medaled at World Beer Cup and GABF.

 

 

Ashley V RoutsonName: Ashley V Routson

Position/company: Director of Awesomeness, Bison Organic Beer and founder of Drink With The Wench blog

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

So many awesome things on the horizon! The brewery I work for is planning to release a bunch of new seasonals as well as a brand spanking new IPA (shhhh!). Saison de Wench, my baby, will be among the seasonals getting packaged this year (yay!). I’m also looking forward to presenting a panel on social media at the Craft Brewers Conference in 2013 – my first real speaking gig in the craft beer industry. Last but not least, I’m most looking forward to celebrating my 1st anniversary with my ever-amazing husband :)

Ashley aka The Beer Wench at Berryessa Brewing grand opening partyName 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

What was your go-to beer of 2012?

The Beer WenchIt would either have to be (Russian River) Pliny the Elder or Moonlight Death & Taxes. Both beers are on tap at a few of my favorite local bars and I always try to have a Pliny or two on hand at the casa.

What were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

GABF is usually my favorite event, but this year was a little rough for me because I was sick the entire time. As for best events, I’d have to say that the Legendary Boonville Fest probably tops the list. Nothing beats camping out with beer industry friends, lots of great beer, and lots of awesome food. Other than that, SF Beer Week was a blast – as always – and I had a great time partying at KillerBeerFest 3.5.

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

The nanobrewing trend exploded last year. What used to be a small niche has now become a huge trend. It’s exciting, for sure, but I’m anxious to see where this trend goes from here.

 

Devin FlanneryName: Devin Flannery

Position/company: Project Specialist – AVI-SPL Sports & Entertainment Group

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

I am looking forward to the 2013 special releases and discovering new brands, bars, breweries, and festivals out here in the South East.

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

Central Florida Home BrewersWhat was your go-to beer of 2012?

Cigar City – Maduro Brown

What were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

 

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

I have noticed a greater awareness of craft beer though the use of social media networks. Through Instagram I have been able to follow craft breweries and aficionados, which has given me insight into which beers are trending and new releases that I should be on the lookout for.

 

 

Jonathan Carmean with a tray of Russian River Consecration for Saraveza's 4th Anniversary toastName: Jonathan Carmean

Position/company: General manager, beer steward, expert at Saraveza Bottle Shop & Pasty Tavern

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

I look forward to seeing even more people in the U.S. pushing the boundaries of what they’re willing to try. It’s already been exciting over the past several years to see folks that were staunchly committed to bland domestic offerings suddenly asking about IPAs, Imperial Stouts, Farmhouse Ales and even beers that are a little wild and funky. We’ve seen this progression over the last four years at Saraveza and it’s been reassuring; the renaissance of this time in this country continues to be the elevation of standards in all the essential pleasures of life. Better food, coffee, wine, beer and all else is met with increasing demand as these become more and more readily available as the new standards. Good for us.

Saraveza's Erika Huston (left), Sarah Pederson (center), and Jonathan Carmean at the 2nd Annual IIPA FestName 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

What was your go-to beer of 2012?

Hop Valley’s “Alpha Centauri”

What were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

Saraveza's Jonathan Carmean prepares beer signage for My Beery Valentine 3I think people are starting to relax a little about craft beer, and I don’t mean they’re becoming complacent or disinterested, just not so exclusive and elitist about it. There seems to be less of the “Oh, you think you know something about craft beer, eh?” -type attitude that I sense was far more pervasive in tap rooms before this year. Why make someone feel stupid for wanting to try something new and learn about it? What a wasted opportunity to better the whole scene!

Are people still scrambling like mad to be the first to try something new and/or rare? Hell yes they are, maybe even more so; just ask anyone who had to answer the phone at their bottle shop on December 12th. Everybody had the fever that day. The intrigue and excitement creating that feeling when you try something special will always be integral to the strength of this industry. Equally important is sharing that feeling with anybody who’s curious and willing to try it, even if they don’t know much about craft beer…yet.

 

 

Michel J. BrownName: Michel J. Brown

Position/company: Sales Manager, F. H. Steinbart Co.

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

More session beers, and more smaller neighborhood brewpubs and breweries

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

Oregon Brew Crew's Michel Brown (left) and Widmer brewer Ike Manchester What was your go-to beer of 2012?

Ettaler Kloster Edelhell

What were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

Seeing the end of the beer wars. Everybody trying to see who can outdo who in the gravity and hop competition. This brings beer back more in line with traditional standards of brewing practices and will make for more sessionable beers striving for flavor, aroma, and depth of character.

 

 

Erin Grey Kemplin Name: Erin Grey Kemplin

Position/company: Oregon Regional Brewery Rep for Stone Brewing Co.

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

Continuing to work on and increase our barrel aging program at Stone which means more barrel aged beers to Oregon and the Northwest.

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

What was your go-to beer of 2012?

Flemish Kiss

Erin Grey KemplinWhat were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

  • Continuing growth of all things barrel, sour, bourbon, etc
  • Collaborations continuing to gain popularity with more and more breweries working together
  • Popularity of Growler Fills, doesn’t seem to be slowing down
  • Canning

 

 

Amber Lin JansenName: Amber Jansen

Position/company: 2BeerGuys.com

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

A continuing forward momentum in the craft beer industry.

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

Amber Jansen with Boston Beer Works Winter Warmer and Winter Works GruitWhat was your go-to beer of 2012?

Jack D’Or- Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project

What were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

My Favorite beer event was The Festival in Worcester, MA

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

I am excited to see that many American’s beer palates are changing in general and that sours are ever more popular and available!!!

 

 

Marc DemeuleName: Marc Demeule

Position/company: Brewpublic correspondent form Québec

What do you most look forward to in 2013? All those new brewery projects. It seems it will never over-saturate.

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

Québec beers.

Marc DemeuleFrom the world

What was your go-to beer of 2012?

Boréale IPA from Brasseurs du Nord

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

All those new players who put some high quality products on the already crowded shelves. A nice headache.

 

 

Jen MuehlbauerName: Jen Muehlbauer

Position/company: Beer writer, blogger, connoisseur at EastBayBeer.com

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

The opening of Faction Brewing (Alameda, CA) and Rare Barrel (Berkeley), and visiting Beltane Brewing (Novato) and Altamont Beer Works (Livermore) which just opened this month.

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

Staying away from the rarities and big names I’m sure everybody else will be mentioning, and bearing in mind I could still easily list 100.

  • Hops on Rye from Firehouse Brewing (Sunnyvale, CA), which may never be the same now that brewer Steve Donahue doesn’t work there anymore :(
  • Double Mountain (Hood River, OR) Hop Lava single-handedly revived my love of IPA this summer
  • Ale Industries (Concord, CA) Unity As In Edward. I’m friends with these guys so I’m biased, but this begins their legacy as brewers of sour beers.
  • Campfire Stout from Highwater Brewing, brewed at Drake’s (San Leandro, CA). I didn’t WANT to like this. SO GOOD. Why???
  • Pick any Craftsman beer and put it here. I can’t tell you how happy I am that this outstanding SoCal brewery distributes in the Bay Area now

Jen Meuhlbaur (center) with Ashley V Routson (right) and Jared Shoup (right)What was your go-to beer of 2012?

My husband’s homebrew out of the kegerator.

What were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?


 

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

I’ll let the others muse on the trends among the beer elite. I beertended all year, so here’s what the average beer bar customer seemed to be thinking this year. We as beer nerds have some educating to do.

  • Many beer drinkers FREAK out if their one favorite brand is not available.
  • Many beer drinkers are still exclusively drink the gateway style trifecta: wit, amber, hefeweizen.
  • Sours! Suddenly half the world wants sours! Who cares if it’s good, make it sour!!!11!

 

 

Isaac GrindelandName: Isaac Grindeland

Position/company: writer, Focus on the Beer, BJCP judge

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

Moving to Bend, OR, and experiencing the vibrant craft beer scene in that town as well as Oregon. Having lived in Colorado for seven years and being part of craft beer community here, I am excited to compare and contrast the two states. Eric Steen has been relentless in stating the Oregon is the best, but I want to make sure Eric hasn’t been corrupted by the Willamette mafia.

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

What was your go-to beer of 2012?

Ska Modus Hoperandi

L to R: Eric Salazar, Isaac Grindeland, Michael Bussmann and Lisa Cryer at New Belgium Brewing (photo by Daniel Flanders)What were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

Expansion of the craft beer industry very quickly. It seemed like this year there was a new brewery or two opening up every month in the state of Colorado. What used to be a somewhat easy brewing community for gathering beer news has now turned into an almost impossible feat due to the increased number of breweries.

Less secret stashes and half empty events. Gone are the days of finding Pliny or other highly sought after beers on the shelf in Colorado. Say goodbye to that lesser known liquor store with a couple dusty bottles of Cantillon. The days of the half empty beer fest with no one in line for that awesome barrel aged imperial stout are also over. The beer consumer appears to be more interested and knowledgeable in craft beer, and there appears to be many more craft beer drinkers in this category.

 

 

The Beer Traveler - Charlie HerrinName: Charlie Herrin

Position/company: Founder and star of  The Beer Traveler

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

What isn’t there to look forward to, it’s going to be a great year. Honestly, all the different companies associated with craft beer that we get to visit and film. We are so excited to tell the different stories in this amazing business. I don’t think enough people in the U.S. have any idea whats going on with the industry and we intend to introduce them to this incredible movement.

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

Seriously! It’s all good, just some are a bit better. Thats like asking me to tell you which of my three boys is my favorite, not fair. Since it’s for Brewpublic I’ll try, but I say damn you Angelo!

  • BridgePort Brewmaster Jeff Edgerton (left) with The Beer Traveler Charlie HerrinUpright Seven
  • Pfriem Belgian Stout
  • Commons Enkel
  • Block 15 The Demons Farm
  • Logsdon Farmhouse Seizoen Bretta

What was your go-to beer of 2012?

Whatever was exciting and new at the time. I did drink a fair amount of Full Sails Limited Edition Lager No. 6

What were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)? Always love

The Beer Traveler, Charlie Herrin (right) with the Widmer Bros, Kurt (left) and Rob (center)OBF (Oregon Brewers Fest), NAOBF (North American Organic Brewers Fest), Hood River Hop Fest, Holiday Ale Fest, and KillerBeerFest, which is hands down my favorite. It is the one festival that you get to catch up with both friends in the industry and craft lovers.

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

That’s a tough one, since I had my head buried in my project that I actually missed some great things that went on in the industry. One trend that I am really enjoying is the blending houses that are coming on the scene. I love to see the merging of the new techniques with old world. The Brewers continue to amaze and fascinate me with their love and artistry you find in each beer you drink. If ever there was a time to be a part of this I would say it’s NOW! Can’t wait to see what the brewers introduce all of us to next. I personally couldn’t imagine doing anything else at this point in my life.

 

Amnesia Brewer Sean Thommen at SeanFestName: Sean Thommen

Position/company: Brewer/Amnesia Brewing

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

Expanding independent hop distributors and increased relations from farm to Brewery.

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

L to R: Saraveza's Tyler Vickers (left) , Amnesia's Sean Thommen, Commons' Sean Burke, Brewpublic's Angelo De Ieso at Sean Fest

What was your go-to beer of 2012?

RPM- Boneyard

What were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

Several larger scale microbreweries opening in Portland and Oregon wide will reshape the malty landscape for the future of the Northwest craft brewing scene. For better or worse. I can see the article in Beer West now… “Approaching The Fizzy Cliff?- Will the bubble burst on an exploding Northwest brewing industry?”

 

 

 

Alex GanumName: Alex Ganum

Position/company: Owner & Brewer, Upright Brewing Company, Co-Owner, Grain and Gristle

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

Hanging with my pal De Ieso Spades when he comes up to Portland!

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

What was your go-to beer of 2012?

Red Beers at Podnah’s

 

 

Sean Jansen at Deep Ellum with Beer Here Dark Hops Imperial CDAName: Sean Jansen

Position/company: Co-Founder of 2BeerGuys.com, Man of mystery, Beer Lover.

What do you most look forward to in 2013?

The 4th Annual Beer Bloggers Conference coming to Boston. We’re excited to showcase the great beers from New England.

Name 5 of your favorite craft beers of 2012.

What was your go-to beer of 2012?

Heady Topper by Alchemist in Waterbury, VT.

Sean Jansen (left) at the 2012 Beer Bloggers Conference in Indianaopolis, INWhat were your favorite craft beer events of 2012 (name up to 5)?

What are trends or defining moments in craft beer that have emerged or stood out to you in 2012?

The opening of new breweries – many breweries started the process to get their license in 2011, but opened in 2012. With all of the new breweries, it’s hard to keep track of who’s who and what’s going on. Its interesting to see how different each one is… whether it’s a Belgian style brewery, or a “all lagers” brewers, OR it’s a nano, a contract model, or a gypsy – everyone is finding their own nitch. Craft Beer loves and business folk are diving into the market. We wish good luck to all and to remember to stick to your beliefs. What 2013 will bring is the year of “fighting for shelf and tap space”.

 

 

If you were not included in this post and would like to share your answers, please do so as a comment below. Cheers!

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Posted under beer events, beer history, Beer personalities, Oregon beer, places to drink beer

4 Comments so far

  1. Dan December 28, 2012 8:07 am

    Love It!!!

  2. Ron Setzer December 28, 2012 8:23 am

    What a fun round up. I learned a lot and I was just skimming. Need to did into this more. Thanks.

  3. Wescoastin December 28, 2012 6:05 pm

    Hey cuz, what are your five best brews?

  4. Travis Widdifield December 28, 2012 7:44 pm

    Props for the Brewers Games! Nice! Thanks Matt! 2013 games will be even better! -Travis

Trackbacks

  1. Best beers of 2012 « Pint Press December 28, 2012 12:25 pm
  2. Looking back on 2012: The Brew Site December 31, 2012 4:01 pm

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