It’s that time of year again – the gym is packed, McDonald’s is empty and everyone’s making promises they know they can’t keep – eating more celery, doing more work, starting a new hobby or, dare I say it, drinking less beer.
I’ve decided to follow the example set by Draft Magazine (well, the beer bits – not so much the running stuff) and set myself a couple of resolutions I stand some chance of keeping. Actually, I did much the same thing last year, so first I want to look back and see what I achieved from my 2013 beer ‘to do’ list. Being up the duff for much of the year somewhat hindered my progress, but I pretty much managed to check off everything on the list. I found an awesome local weissbier (thanks CBC), I traipsed round some amazing British pubs watching my hub drink an array of ales, I tasted Früli again, discovered I still love it and added Liefmans Cuvée Brut to the list of fruit beers I adore.
Last year’s IPA day proved I’m not the only one who loved hops and a few microbreweries confirmed that there’s more to beer than light lager or easy-sipping session ales (Devil’s Peak, Triggerfish, Ndlovu, Irish Ale House and Cockpit spring to mind for their beer-wine hybrids, their barley wines, their barrel-aged beers and their Russian Imperials.
In fact, the only thing I didn’t tick off the list was the lambic tasting, so that moves to the top of this year’s list. Here it is in no particular order. Please share your 2014 wants and musts in the comments section – they might just inspire the rest of us as well…
1. Go to Belgium
Brother’s getting married in the UK, went to the UK last year, Belgium’s a short hop away – it’s a no-brainer! The goal is to sample a selection of lambics and to never drink the same beer twice for the four-day jaunt. I’d also love to spend some time in a Trappist monastery…
2. Judge a competition
Last year, along with 19 like-minded beer geeks, I took the BJCP test. Results are still pending, but I’m looking forward to judging my first contest as a BJCP-accredited taster.
3. Taste beers from every new SA microbrewery
By the end of 2012 I’d tasted beers from virtually every brewery in the country. Then last year, 20-or-so new spots opened and I fell behind. This year, a load of beer trips are planned. And brewers, if you’re reading this and you’re not in the Cape, please send me some beer to review!
4. Taste Westvleteren 12
It’s considered the world’s best beer. It’s Belgian. I’m going to Belgium. I simply must try this beer.
5. Be honest
The South African craft beer world is small. Everyone knows everyone and most people are friends, so sometimes it can be difficult to be honest. This year I want to tell the truth – if I feel a beer needs some work, I’ll tell the person who brewed it – tactfully of course! It’s tough to criticise something that someone has put their heart and soul into, but being honest can only help in the long run.
This post was first published on The Craft Beer Project.