Posted on 01.02.09 7:09PM under The Session
The first Friday of every month is the Session, a group beer blogging project. This month is hosted by Beer and Firkins, and it’s a timely topic about the passage of time and what’s to come in the new year. Specifically: What will you miss about 2008 and what do you expect will excite you most in 2009, in the “Beer World”?
Looking back on 2008, it was an up and down year for beer. From giants merging to everyone emerging from the raw materials shortages relatively unscathed, a lot has been happening. Many breweries had many special releases, and fortunately, most of these are not one time deals. Most of the special releases are seasonal, so though I’ll miss them while they’re out of season, I can still look forward to their return in the coming year. But there are a few very special beers that only come out once. Ever.
The once ever released beer that I will miss in 2009 is Avery’s Ale to the Chief. Sure, it’s just another Avery IPA, but it fits a special place that the others don’t. It’s not as big and brutish as the Maharaja, but at the same time it’s more in your face than the standard Avery IPA. It fills a void in the IPA lineup. I guess you could say it’s a nice, balanced, middle of the road IIPA. Is that an oxymoron?
The list of runner ups is every brewery’s annual anniversary special release, from Weyerbacher to Unibroue to Stone (including Vertical Epic) and I’m sure many others that I wish I’d prioritized when they came along. Most of these one-time releases, I didn’t grab, and I just let them come and go at the local beer store. For shame.
This brings me to things to look forward to for 2009.
I’m looking forward, of course, to newly released beers in 2009. Number one on the list is Sam Adams Utopias. I got one bottle of this in 2007, but I feel compelled to hold onto that one bottle for several years before opening. I was sorely disappointed to find that for 2008, there was no Utopias, but rather Chocolate Bock. Hmm… chocolate beer…
But I understand it will be back in aught-9. Yippee! This time around, I’ll get two bottles. One for tomorrow and one just for today. Utopias me two times, baby! I’m expecting a beer like not a beer, but more like a cognac or something. Either way, I’m excited to have a shot at the highest ABV beer in the world, Reinheitsgebot be damned.
Besides the Utopias, there’s all the anniversary releases that I wished I had gotten in 2008. I will make sure that I will get them in 2009, given my remorse for lack of these unique special beers. I just need to find some more space in the beer cellar for a bunch of these annual gems.
All in all, 2008 was a great year for beer, and I expect nothing less from 2009.
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