366 Beers – Update

Some of you know about a lofty endeavor that a couple guys from JStreetBeer and I have undertaken.  It’s the 365 Beers in a Year Challenge, which this year ended up being 366.

The point of the challenge is to try new beers; a new one for every day, to be exact.

The rules are simple:

  1. For a beer to count on the list, it has to be the first time you’ve ever had it.
  2. You must have at least 4oz of the beer for it to count.  So, samplers and flights will work, but you can’t take a sip from a friend’s glass and count it.
  3. Variations of a beer can be counted.  For example, you can count Anchor Christmas multiple times since each year the recipe changes.  Pour styles count too, if you have a regular beer and then its cask version, or barrel-aged variant, you can count them all.  Basically, we rely on untappd.com to settle disputes.

We’re a little over halfway through the year and we’re rolling along.  Shintern and I are about a month ahead of schedule.  DK, sadly, is having a tough time keeping pace.  Currently, we’re at day 199 of 2012.  I’ve worked my way through 224 different beers so far this year, Shintern is at 241, and DK is at 110.

If you’re interested in seeing the list of beers that I’m enjoying, feel free to friend me on untappd.com, my user is jtonzi.  I’ll friend you back; I enjoying seeing what others are drinking.

Beer Hoptacular

Saturday night I was able to stop into the Beer Hoptacular.  I was excited; it’s my first true beer event since SAVOR back in DC.  I had some high hopes for it since it would have a bunch of local breweries and a few national breweries bringing some hard to find brews.

The High Points:

  • I got to try out 12 new beers and even a few liquors from local distilleries.
  • Goose Island brought along Bourbon County Stout making me a very happy individual.
  • My favorite beer of the night came from Half Acre.  It was a barrel-aged Belgian sour.  It was fantastic.  Although, there were a lot of people getting it who thought “barrel-aged” meant it would be a stout and were unpleasantly surprised by the sourness.

The Medium Points:

  • Food was decent.  They had a good selection to choose from, and the jalapeno and cheese stuffed pretzel I had was quite good.
  • Lines moved fairly quickly and considering the crowd (which I’ll mention later), everything moved smoothly.

The Low Points:

  • It was dangerously crowded.  The Aragon was not designed to hold that amount of people for an event of that type.  Given that the center of the floor and outer edges were taken up by the brewers, there wasn’t much room for everyone attending to move around.

    Click to Enlarge

  • I overheard a few of the brewers saying that the evening crowd was much calmer and more polite than the earlier session.  It was pretty crazy during the evening session, so I’m glad I didn’t go to the earlier one.
  • I left after a couple hours because I couldn’t deal with the crowd.  I’ve been to Great American Beer Festival and that event is completely packed full of people, but you never feel like you can’t move.  At the Aragon, you couldn’t move.

The Beer Hoptacular was good.  With a shorter guest list or a bigger venue, it would’ve been great.  I’m sure I’ll go again (I can’t just give up on good-sized beer events), but I’ll make sure I’m earlier so I can get as much done as possible at the beginning.