Breweries "Visited"

Monday, December 10, 2012

Beer 366: The Finish Line and Icelandic Lava

Here we are. 366 days later. 282 empty beer bottles later.

One would presume another 84 draft beers later. More for both those counts if you count the “Oops, I already drank this brewery’s sister operation’s beer” beers. There were enough of those that I stopped counting them.

We covered 6,771 miles during the great beer-cation of 2012. There have been countless trips to TJ’s in Paoli and Teresa’s Next Door in Wayne at roughly 6 miles a pop round trip. The one number I don’t know is how much we spent on beer this year. Some things are best left untallied. Let’s just say that I’ve made an economic impact.

There have been quite a few beers from Belgium, Germany and England. But we also covered Australia, Norway, Czech Republic, Peru and in a few sentences…Iceland. We hit 37 U.S. states. California and Pennsylvania were most popular. Some truly amazing beer has been discovered. I did my best to create a Top 25 list, but that fell apart as I fell in love with new styles of beer. My Top 30 list and some honorable mentions are here in this post. Some truly awful beer has been uncovered as well. I’m looking at you, St. Cloud.

But some of the awful ones were macro-brews from exotic lands. How often do you drink beer from Thailand or Peru? I get to say that now, although I won’t be seeking those beers out again.

There was a beer with a label that creeped me out. Yes, Rosee, that’s you.

There was a beer that I bought solely because I geeked out on the typeface on the label. And then I geeked out about it being a good beer. Birra Rossa, check it out.

There was beer that I thought I hated, but realized that I had to have been drinking from skanky taps. Because when Gary had one recently, it was quite good. Westmalle, if you're curious.

This blog started out as a way to channel my energy after the death of my mother. It helped guide me through the loss of a great coach. It helped me deal with the loss of the greatest dog in the world. (Sorry, Sal and Picasso. You guys are a very close second.) It helped me celebrate milestones – amazing achievements at work, a Penn State football team that would not quit. It let me celebrate my friends and the greatest husband in the world. It let me be me and I can’t let that go.

This is a very longwinded way to write that there is life after this 366 day journey. There will be a year two. Mr. Blog Named Brew and I have been debating the rules, because we like rules. OK, because I like rules and he knows to agree with me sometimes.

Year Two Rules:
1. Either Mr. or Mrs. posts every day.
2. Breweries are up for grabs again if we encounter a new beer from them. We’ll even try to keep it organized and link to other posts about that brewery.
3. Finding new breweries will always be our goal.
4. Have fun, travel and see the world. We have big things planned for this one. I can’t wait.

And now, with great satisfaction, I give you Beer 366:

Hailing from Olvisholt Brugghus in Iceland, tonight's beer is the Lava. It is a smoked imperial stout with an ABV of 9.4%. The brewery has an active volcano visible from its front door. They even put an artist's rendering on the label.

It pours pitch black with a dark tan head. It smells very tannic and smoky. This is where I claim it smells like meat and all my meat eating friends roll their eyes. But I swear it smells and even tastes a little meaty. It's chocolatey and malty. There's a lingering smokiness at the finish and just enough bitterness to slow you down to savor it.

This is exactly the kind of crazy-ass beer that should finish out Year One. Unique. Delicious. Excellent.


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