Breweries "Visited"

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Beer of the Year!!

Day #411 Chester County Bitter / Sly Fox Brewing Company, Phoenixville, PA
Previously from this brewery: Grisette and Phoenix Pale Ale from me, and Ichor from Marci

Once again, after a short delay it's time to get back into Blog Named Brew awards ceremony mode, and tonight I'm handing out my most coveted prize, Beer of the Year.  One of the most enjoyable parts of undertaking this adventure and subsequently writing about the experience has been sampling an enormous variety of beers, from breweries quite literally around the globe.  From previous experience, I could have predicted a few beers that were going to end up on my Top 25 list for the year, but more often than not I was blown away by something new or unexpected.  I won't recap the entire Top 25 here, but allow me to point out the beers that were hands down, far and away, THE best beers from the entire list of 366.  The exclusive and amazing nominees for Beer of the Year are:

Dale's Pale Ale, Oskar Blues Brewing Company
Fantome Saison, Brasserie Fantome
Barrel 45 Wet Hop Wild Racer 5, Bear Republic Brewing Company
Sang Noir, Cascade Brewing Barrel House
Supplication, Russian River Brewing Company
Petrus Aged Pale, Brouwerij Bavik
Bitter Monk, Anchorage Brewing Company
Heady Topper, The Alchemist
Duchess du Bourgogne, Brouwerij Verhaeghe

All of these beers stand head and shoulders above the crowd and are winners in their own right, but in the end, there could only be one to cut down the nets, or hoist the trophy, or do a victory lap, or whatever sports analogy you want to drop in here.  And that beer is.....

Bitter Monk, from Anchorage Brewing Company!

In the spirit of full disclosure, I wrote that last sentence, stared at it, deleted it, and wrote it over again about five times.  I had Sang Noir in there, I had Heady Topper, I had Dale's, I had the Duchess in there.  But in the end, I chose Bitter Monk.  Any of the beers I just named could have been the big winner, and I would have been 100% comfortable with that decision.  Considering that I'm going back to memories and notes from beers drank over the past year (and then some), there's more art than science in this decision.  Maybe in year two, I'll apply more science, but until then, join me in congratulating Anchorage Brewing for an amazing, outstanding beer.

Now that I'm salivating thinking about all of the killer beers I've had over the past year, I'll go ahead and drop today's review in - Chester County Bitter, from near-by Sly Fox Brewing.  In the glass, this beer has a pleasant apricot color with a fluffy white head, and was poured from the hand pump.  The aroma is light, with good malt and hop presence.  When you take a sip, you notice the creamy texture first, and then find some light lemon, toffee and caramel from the malt, and then a decent bit of hops and pine.  A very nice beer from an old friend.
That just looks delicious
If you visit Sly Fox in person, they have a large number of beers on tap which are not (as of yet) distributed in cans.  So... you should go ahead and visit.

Thing to Think About Today:
I took the afternoon off to get a new battery put in my car.  Not exactly how I wanted to spend my afternoon, but it beats jump starting my car every morning.  I was about due for a new one, but the Arctic weather in our neighborhood these days sped that timeline up greatly.  Courtesy of the nice people at Berger Family Dealerships, I'm back in action and ready for whatever else Mother Nature throws at us for the remainder of winter.  To celebrate my car again having power, we close with The Power, by Snap.  Stay warm, my friends, stay warm.

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