One Beer Writer / Ten Great Moments

Several weeks ago, I got the idea of wrapping up the year with some memorable moments in my 2015 beer adventures. A couple days later, the list had hit 30+ moments and 1000+ words. With apologies to all the people, beers and moments that didn’t make the final cut, here’s Not My Father’s Beer’s 2015 Top Ten List.

#10 Beer Consumed Furthest from Home: Kingfisher (September/October, various locations in northern India)

A typical macro lager. Not a lot more to say.

#9 Most Beautiful Brewery Visited: Sierra Nevada, North Carolina (July, Mills River, NC)

I would have said that even without Ken Grossman or the German brewers and musicians or the North Carolina barbeque. The actual brewery is hands down the most beautiful one I’ve seen. Ever.

#8 Funnest Photo Shoot: At Peter B’s Brewpub (January, Monterey, CA)

Okay, my only photo shoot, but it was a lot of fun. Inside the brewery with the brewers working around us. Arranged by my great go-to photographer/graphic designer Steve Zmak.

#7 Most Anticipated Beer: First one at the 2015 Craft Brewers Conference (March, Portland, OR)

I can’t remember what that very first sample was at the reception sponsored by the German Hop Growers. I was too blown away by the great, long tables full of hop samples–and by the presence of the 2015 German Hop Queen!

#6 Funnest Beer: I Am a Jelly Doughnut (November, Portand, OR)

A cranberry Berliner Weisse at Hopworks Urban Brewery. Photo courtesy of Eric Steen and Hopworks.

#5 Most OMG Moment: Sitting in the back at Fritz Maytag’s talk at California Craft Beer Summit and… (September, Sacramento, CA)

…Ken Grossman slipping into the seat directly in front of me mid-way through Mr. Maytag’s talk. I didn’t take a photo of the back of his head, but here’s one a hour or so later when Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River) was interviewing Grossman.

BBC15 group photo

#4 Best Conference: 2015 Beer Bloggers Conference (July, Asheville, NC)

Intimidated, awed, humbled in the company of beer writers with stellar credentials like published books and major magazine articles and thousands of social media followers. These were–and are–the folks I learn from, following them on Twitter, Facebook and their blogs.

#3 Most Complex Beer: 2009 Vintage Noyaux  (November, Portland, OR)

At Cascade Brewing Barrel House. $8.00/4 oz. Described as “Wine and port barrel aged Blonds and Triples on raspberries and apricot noyaux.” Savored in the company of husband Hugo Patiño and fellow beer blogger, Tasha Godard (yep, we met at the Beer Bloggers Conference), who was celebrating her fourth day as a Certified Cicerone®.

#2 Most Surreal Moment: Walking into the kiln area of Perrault Farms during hop harvest (September, Yakima, WA)

I’m not a good enough writer to genuinely communicate what this experience is like.

#1 Best Beer: Pliny the Elder (July, Santa Rosa, CA)

Specifically, the Pliny I drank at Russian River. An incredible IPA in its own right, but yeah, drinking it at Russian River might have influenced the vote.

And one last 2016 teaser…

Most Surprising Email Reply of 2015: There were some real doozies over the year, but the one last week from Jeffrey Stuffings, founder of Jester King outside Austin, TX, may take the cake. You’ll get to read about it in January.

Wishing you a very merry, beery 2016!


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