As I sit here watching Dynamite! 2010 on HDNet DVR, I can't help but think this has been a most amazing year. Starting with the Houston beer scene, we saw the emergence of several new breweries, which had some honorable mentions for the best beer of the year (Ranger Creek Oatmeal Pale Ale and the Wytchmaker IPA by Jester King). Not to mention the killer Houston Beer Week by my babymamma Cathy Clark and beering for the first time at Petrol Station, River Oaks, and being 3 beers away from my 200th beer at the Flying Saucer. For a great wrap up of the beer events in Houston, please see my good friend and fellow MMA enthusiast barleyvine for a wrap-up. However, as I sip on my second Lagunitas Imperial Red, I cannot help but think of all the great places I was fortunate to visit this year.
I almost think that I should start with just after Christmas, which was a trip to Long Island, New York for some dear friends of ours. Two friends of ours got married in the LI and the wife and I had a great chance to try a number of New York beers like Captain Lawrence and Brooklyn. This year took to me to places like Indianapolis, New Orleans, Atlanta, and of course San Francisco. Sometimes you have to wonder about the beer travelers.
Sometimes I wonder, what if I actually find what I'm looking for? What if the Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA I smuggled from San Francisco's Bevmo in November be the best beer I've ever had. Or is is my 2010 beer of the year, the Real Ale Oktoberfest. What will I do if it turns out the best gastropub in the world is a soul food lunch place in Montgomery, Alabama we went to during Thanksgiving. (Nothing like Mac-n-cheese and fried chicken with Kasteel Tripel).
We made it to a number of different places this year without ever leaving the country. I still have to write up all the beers and city/restaurant reviews of these locales, but DAMMIT what a country for beer. San Fran, New Orleans, Lafayette, Mobile, Austin, Indy, and of course the newer spots in Katy and Cypress. This year I met small set of homebrewers that brew beer for Texans games and are in the same lot as me. I ran into hippies at Magnolia in Haight Asbury, threw fireworks for the Saints in Covington and of course later made it to the Abita Brewpub in Abita Springs. My only regrets is that I could not find the time to get back to my hometown of Charlotte or my wife's old stomping ground in Boston.
I didn't get anything international this year, but next year I'm looking forward to a trip to South America, maybe for another Marathon run, and I am dying for another trip to Europe, perhaps something in Denmark or Belgium. The wife and I are looking forward to a trip to Boston, and several more trips to New Orleans, Austin, and maybe a week longer to Canada. Holla back baby