Friday, January 1, 2010

The Session #35 – New Beer's Resolutions

As we find ourselves in the annual look-forward/look-back mode that New Year's inevitably prompts, Christina and Hallie over at Beer for Chicks have asked the beer-blogging community to do a bit of reflecting and prognosticating for this month's Session. Here's the complete request:

So we want to know what was your best and worst of beer for 2009? What beer mistakes did you make? What beer resolutions do you have for 2010? What are your beer regrets and embarrassing moments? What are you hoping to change about your beer experience in 2010?

Some tough questions up there – a deep reach inside my not-always-reliable memory banks is in order for many of them. I can say that I drank many a great beer in 2009 – Ballast Point Sculpin, Founders KBS and Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze are a few that come to mind – and a handful that were not so great, as well. (Possibly the worst offenders would have been homebrews that I'd judged at a competition or sampled at a club meeting; heck, maybe my disastrous Dubbel qualifies.)

On that last note, and as for part two of this month's topic, I made an error or two in the course of my homebrewing. It happens – often from unfamiliarity with an ingredient, or perhaps from plain-old absent-mindedness. But in this hobby, often mistakes are learning opportunities, and foul-ups are followed by better times 'round the bend.

Beer regrets and embarrassments? Certainly, I'd woken up to my share of mornings in '09 where rue and throbbing pain dueled for primacy in my head – the two going hand in hand, of course. But that is nothing to be embarrassed about; rather it's simply a testament to the fact that times were sufficiently good the night prior. Pain is temporary; memories (where not covered over by a boozy haze) last a lifetime.

Looking forward to this year, I may just put a little more thought into my brewing calendar and plan batches out further ahead of time than I have in the past. This is especially important for brewers who, like me, harvest yeast and like to keep a couple of strains in the rotation. I'll also continue adding to my brewing gadgets collection, try out more different styles and ingredients, get out of my comfort zone. As repetition is the key to success, I will diligently brew, brew and brew again.

I'll try to get out and judge at more homebrew competitions in the region. I'll try to travel to more nearby beer events and visit some of the hot spots out there. And I'll try to attend and help put together more tastings locally. Beer is so much more fun when you can share it with other people.

And in 2010, I'm looking forward to having more fun than ever.
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