I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season and is having a great start to 2015. It’s going to be a great year for craft beer…like last year, and the year before, and every year since you’ve gotten into craft beer. I thought it would be fun to make a list of a couple Brew Year’s Resolutions (see what I did there) that not only am I going to try to abide by this year, but I think you should as well. I know this list is a little late, but if you’re anything like me, you don’t make any resolutions anyways…maybe if they involve craft beer, you will change your mind.
1. Give a Brewery a Second Chance
I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency that when I try a particular brewery the first time and it doesn’t make a great first impression…I will tend to avoid it going forward. The beer industry is constantly changing. Brewers get better at their craft just like everyone else does with more experience. I won’t list which ones, but there a few local breweries that I had given up on. I vow to give them another shot this year to see how much they improved and to see if they can surprise me.
2. Go Back to Basics
Another thing I am definitely guilty of is looking for the next “new” and “different” style of beer. How many different flavors can you add to a stout before it becomes a jumbled mess (in my opinion, it must be quite a few because some of the ones whose flavor profiles are really long, are the ones I really enjoy), but whatever happened to just your basic styles. Very rarely will I order just a traditional pale ale or amber when I go out drinking or pick up things from the store. I’m going to try to do more of that this year.
3. Go on a Beer-cation
My brother and I decided we weren’t going to give each other presents for Christmas this year. Instead, we agreed that sometime when it gets warmer, we were finally going to take our beer trip to Vermont. I’ve been talking about doing it for years, but this is the year. It doesn’t have to be Vermont for you, but go to a city that’s known for its beer and check out everything amazing it has to offer. If you haven’t been to Asheville…it’s relatively close, relatively inexpensive, and definitely awesome. Check out my Asheville Beer Guide for a list of places you should definitively check out should you decide to go there.
4. Educate Someone on Craft Beer
All it takes is exposure. There are so many people out there that are still drinking crappy beer just because they don’t know any better. They’ll say something like, “I tried something different once and I didn’t like it…” Well, if all they drink is Bud Light and then they try to drink something like a stout, then that’s not surprising that they don’t like it. It’s not what they are used to. If they have someone who can maybe suggest the right “bridge beer” though then maybe they will start to enjoy the craft side of beer a little more. If they don’t like IPAs, don’t continue to suggest hoppy stuff…have them try something on the other end of the spectrum. From there, the sky is the limit. They say it takes trying something 30 times before your taste buds start to change, but if you take baby steps, you can then expose them to all the wonders that exist in the craft beer industry.
5. Beer it Forward
If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know I believe strongly in beer karma. What better way to set up yourself to have a great beer drinking 2015 than by sending beer out into the universe for people to enjoy. Have a friend that lives in another part of the country? Ship them a box of beer. (See my Beer Trading Blog Post for some information about the best way to pack your beer to ship) Don’t know anyone in another state? There are multiple sites out there designated strictly for sending beer out in this fashion. Is there an upcoming auction for charity? Donate some of your rare beer. You’d be surprised how much money you can help raise for a good cause. These are all great ways to score yourself some serious beer karma points.
It’s not too late to set resolutions for the year. Hopefully these have gotten the wheels turning as to how you can help set yourself up for a great year of beer drinking.