One of the best decisions I’ve ever made (in relation to things that don’t matter) was downloading the Untappd app for my Android. It allows me to check-in every time I enjoy a frosty beer, rate it, keep track of everything I’ve tried, and see what friends are drinking. Several co-workers and close friends like Patrick and Charlie are avid users as well, and I am able to toast their check-ins. Not only do I just like having a documented list of everything I’ve tried, but this allows me to try something new every chance I get. I rarely buy a beer these days–whether a single pint or a six-pack–that I’ve had before.
On the flip side, I can see how many different beers I’ve tried, and the list is alarmingly long. Like, so long that I am uncomfortable sharing it here for fear of being judged by someone.
In a city like Austin where craft breweries are popping up by the dozens each year, and the time that we’re living in with this craft beer craze amongst Millennials, and having a wife who gets a discount on these beers from Whole Foods, I have an astounding number of options to choose from. At Whole Foods Domain’s bar, there are 40+ beers on tap and they are all craft brews and they are constantly changing. I would never have to worry about running out of kinds to try. There is also the flight option, where I can try 4 tiny glasses of whichever kinds I want.
Now you probably have some image in your head of Ryan the raging drunk, falling down the stairs trying to carry little Johnny to bed and then vomiting all over himself and waking up sleeping in the garage on top of Baxter. But that’s not very accurate. I like to have one or two new beers at night after work, after Johnny goes to sleep, while I sit and do freelance work and watch TV. Nothing wrong with that, right?
While I do give each beer a 1-5 star rating, I am terrible at deciphering flavors and explaining what it is I’m tasting. For instance, a real beer connoisseur would say something like “Thick off white head that’s very creamy, lasts a while and is surrounded by a thick lacing. The body is clear with a medium amber center” when reviewing a beer. I can’t do that. I have no idea how to put things like that into words. I usually just say “it’s good!” or “it’s really good!”
Despite my inability to get descriptive, here are my favorites of the past year. Those of you Bud Light fans out there probably won’t even recognize most of these names.
- Rogness Beardy Guard
- Odell Runoff Red IPA
- 512 Pecan Porter
- Anchor Old Foghorn
- Rahr & Sons La Grange
- Odell IPA
- Sixpoint Hi-Res
- Surly Furious
- Ballast Point Sculpin
- Deschutes Jubelale
The first two are by far my favorites. Rogness Brewery is located just north of my office and they have Friday night events at their brewery for the whole family. I’ve been wanting to go for years but we’ve never made it work. And Odell is one of the best breweries in the country, based in Boulder, Colorado. Everything they make is amazing. But that Runoff Red is the best, and it is hard to find when it hits the shelves in the spring.
Okay, if you’re still interested in seeing the current list, here it is.
With you being such a beer connoisseur, maybe your Uncle Brian would let you name one of his brewery creations. Those that you listed have really weird names…I’ll be you could come up with something original.
I hope that you Lauren and Johnny can travel to North Carolina to try some of our beers at the Waterline Brewing Co. in Wilmington. Like you I’m a huge connoisseur of craft beer; so much that I had to open my own brewery. We will be brewing in about 2 weeks and serving in about 5 weeks.
Our initial batting order, from lightest to most robust is…Kolsch…light and refreshing; a good summer beer that we will carry all season. Pale Ale, crisp and moderately hopped. IPA (we have several that we will put into rotation. My favorite is the Waterline Rye IPA (RIPA)). Our Red Ale is really good with a hop level approaching IPA but with a pronounced maltiness that makes this beer really balanced…by far my favorite. We have a Belgian Tripel that is very good and an Oatmeal Stout that is very chocolaty with hints of coffee.
Be kind on Untapped. Many of our colleagues in this city (who make really good beers) have had really mean comments left. If you don’t like a beer just be factual about what is wrong and less editorial. I see idiots who write, “You know I don’t like Saisons but thought what the hey I’ll give this one a chance and I took one swig and and had to spit it out.” Hey dummy if you don’t like a particular style of beer then don’t buy it and please don’t rate it.
Odell is in Fort Collins, not Boulder, silly.