Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Empty Glass

Well, this is the end of The Beer Year. I have drunk 366 beers in 366 days (remember it was a leap year), and then reviewed them for all to see. My glass is now empty. I have to be honest, at this point I feel no different. I don't feel that I accomplished anything spectacular. However, in a week or two (after I give my liver a break) I will be sitting at a bar, and there will be a beer on tap that I had months ago and haven't been able to have since. And I will order that beer and enjoy it with having to go home and review it. While I am enjoying that beer I am sure that I will reflect upon this moment and be able to feel pride in my accomplishment.

I had a few goals coming into this thing:

1. I wanted to learn as much about beer as I could. I can honestly say that I know a shit-ton more about beer than I did 12 months ago. I have learned how it is brewed and even brewed some myself. I have learned about the numerous classifications of beer as well as the great number of breweries. I have even learned to like more beers than I did before I started.

2. I wanted to be a better writer. I do it for fun as a hobby and I think I suck at it. Actually I still think I do, but I have gotten better at describing things. So that's good...

3. I wanted to see if I could commit myself to something and stick with it. I think that one speaks for itself. 

So, I guess one question some people may have is, "What am I going to do after The Beer Year is over?" A couple of choice answers could be, " Go sober for a year" "Keep going for a second year" "Start a new blog in which I actually do something productive for a year". Well those are all wrong. Well, sort of. I don't know what I am going to. But wish me luck, I'm going to need it. 

I would also like to say a couple of special thanks, because while this whole thing may not have been a big deal, it was really fucking hard to do sometimes. So let me thank all the bars, the friends that went and drank with me, the bartenders that served me, the brewers, the bottlers, the stores who sold me beer, the people who sent me beer or bought me beer, the people who have read my blog, and of course, my wife for letting me do this ridiculous adventure. I truly thank you!


Kyle R. Abrams

Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 366: Pabst Blue Ribbon

Name: Pabst Blue Ribbon
Brewer: Pabst Brewing Co. (Woodridge, IL)
Classification: American Adjunct Lager
Alcohol: 4.74%

Thoughts: If ever there was a Nectar of the Gods this is it. Pabst Select won the Blue Ribbon at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago for "America's Best Beer" and became Pabst Blue Ribbon. It's like when that man won the Super Award at the Krypton County Fair and became Superman. Since then it has not only remained America's Best Beer, it is the Universe's Best Beer, including Krypton. PBR is my life blood. I shit you not. I drink whenever I can and it brings me joy every freakin' time! It's the Santa Claus' of beer! I know that there are some skeptics out there who may think I am being sarcastic or that it is in fact a crap beer, but I don't joke about PBR (check out the rating below). PBR is more than look, smell or taste. It is more than its iconic label or can. It is the cerebral, surreal feeling I get when I drink it. Some of my greatest memories involve PBR ... among other things. I purposely saved it for the last and final day of The Beer Year because I  honestly love this beer more than any other beer I have had over the past year. I wanted to make sure it stood up to the test before I proclaimed my undying love and admiration for it. Some may see this as rambling, but I see it as my "Ode de la PBR". 

Rating: 100/100

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Day 365: Hop Stoopid Ale

Name: Hop Stoopid Ale
Brewer: Lagunitas Brewing Co. (Petaluma, CA)
Classification: Imperial IPA
Alcohol: 8%

Thoughts: With only a couple of beers left on the beer year I wanted to bit an "American Legend" on the stand before I have my grand finale tomorrow. I had a lot of options but when it came to having some bang for your buck I went with Lagunitas' Hop Stoopid Ale. And the reason, I assume, that Stoopid is misspelled is because there are so many fucking hops in this thing that it throws off all of your senses. I honesty cannot remember the last time hops took over my whole spectrum of senses like this beer has. It pours a crisp, clear gold with a white, frothy head resting on top of it. There is a nice, full hop bouquet with mango, pineapple, grapefruit, and pine notes. There is also a very noticeable and solid caramel malt backbone that adds a lot of balance to the aroma. However, I swear my taste buds have been melted off by the Godzilla/King Kong/Mothra sized hop annihilation. I get a big wallop of citrus fruits, and some spicy and floral hops right off the bat. The malt tries to balance everything out with some light caramel and buttery biscuit, but those damn dirty hops just keep holding on to your palate. Despite the huge hop profile the beer not overly bitter, but it does finish rather dry. I happen to think this is a good thing, because you need to wet your whistle right after you take a sip, and what better way then what you already have in your glass. This is terrific stuff! If you are the type of insane maniac that can drink something hoppier than bunnies on Easter, then this is the drink for you. 

Rating: 90/100