Year in Review and 2020 Plans in Beer

I’m just realizing that I skipped the 2019 post. What a shame. Seriously. Here are previous years:

That’s right. 2014 and 2019 didn’t have a post. Not sure why. This has become semi-traditional but since beer is such a core element to my lifestyle now meaning the chase, the buying, the travel, the tastings, the events, the cellar taking up a 3rd of my basement and one off-site as well, I don’t really think to compile everything like I used to. Here’s the college-try after being in the beer hobby since late-2010. 

One thing I did do at the end of 2018 was I merged my Beer & Main blogs. This happens quite often for those not following along religiously. I create a new blog, post regularly for 3-4 years and then merge all of the posts back into my main one. I do this because I don’t want people to be turned off by posts about a new hobby and stop reading but overtime, when that hobby becomes a lifestyle and less of a sponge-mode and exploration thing, I’ll close down the old blog, merge posts and like today just post the occasional beer, photography, cars, bikes post to my main blog that I’ve been posting regularly to since 2001. Some of those old posts are lost forever due to my own incompetence back in the day of managing databases but overall, I’ve been writing for 20 years now…I really should make that its own post. 

2019 was a weird year. I started the year by not drinking for a month and I ended the year by not drinking much in November & December. That is reflected in this graph:

Checkinsperday2019 untappd

I’m primarily using Untappd this year for tracking because RateBeer is only new ratings and as you can see from the graph below, I consumed 634 beers and only 226 were “unique” now Untappd defines unique to include vintages as well so if I’ve already rated Orval but check into a 2009 bottle, that goes into my Unique score despite not being a new RateBeer rating:

Total beers

RateBeer indicates I had 201 beer ratings in 2019. Slightly less than Untappd’s ‘new beers’ All of the spikes in the first graph are beer tasting days where we have friends over so it’s pretty easy to see that we had at least 10 get togethers in 2019 with 2 or more friends or at beer events / tastings. I’m okay with around 1 per month to have more than 10 ‘tastes’ note we’re not drinking entire bottles ourselves, it’s split 3-10 ways.

When you compare the years, you’ll see overall new beer ratings are way down:

Beer ratings over time

Those HUGE spikes were always beer trips where we travel to a huge festival and 6 of us take turns grabbing more beers. My biggest event still to this day was the Alvinne Craft Beer Festival I think 2016 where I rated 125 beers in one day. Those were the good days.

Averaging around 18 new beer ratings a month is in my opinion sustainable but will continue to drop because these days, all but about 50 of the beers in our 2,000 beer cellar are ‘new ratings’ the rest are beers I’v had before and will check into on Untappd but won’t re-rate. 

Where did I drink in 2019:


It was a good year. I didn’t make any west-coast trips but I did have a few beers in Detroit, Belgium, neterhlands and Berlin along with some in Florida and down the bread basket states on my way to a motorcycle rally in June. 

Top Venus/ beers and styles:

Top beer styles venues

I’m still a lover of Imperial Stouts follows by Saison and as you can see, an occasional IPA. Gueuze almost beat out IPA this year and this is because Heather and I have 2,000 non IPAs at our disposal and 4 kegs of bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts so we don’t buy IPAs. I went to Alchemist once this year and got a mixed case of IPAs and drink those within 3 weeks and then went back to what’s in the cellar and that shows here. Obviously I drink a lot at home, and at a bar in Belgium and Goose Island and so you could say I’m a home drinker and I wouldn’t argue that but heather and I drink a few beers a week at home from our huge stash. 

Check ins by hour

I really enjoyed this stat. Very little week-day drinking (which is a big departure from the past) and most checkins from 8-10PM. I could easily highlight the few morning check-ins but these are 100% because I went to Europe twice this year and so my hours were skewed early. Other than that, I drank a few beers at Goose Island on Black Friday at 11:30AM but other than that, I don’t day-drink anymore. I’m too old for that.

Top countries and breweries

Great stat here, I’m still Vermont biased and California is purely because of my Bruery club subscription. Belgium, no surprise there and the 5 days I spent in Berlin led to 12 checkins.

I’m not going to break down UPS stats this year because I’ve stopped trading beer so my shipping totals are no longer accurate. 

For 2020….meh, more of the same! I won’t be renewing my Bruery RS for 2020. Heather and I have 5 cases of 15%ABV+ Bruery beers so we’re all set there and good for the next 4 years at our current rate and these beers age so poorly there’s no point in stock-piling them. We’ll continue to drink local, I’m going to cancel my Eden membership though because I have dozens of their ice ciders and don’t need anymore and as for Schramm’s I don’t need anymore Schramm’s mead but at the same time, I have started to relish my verticals of all of their meads. I joined their club the 1st year of operation so I have batches 1-7 of Heart of Darkness, Statement, Black Agnes and others. IDK. Not sure if I’ll continue but we’ll see. Of course Hill Farmstead remains my favorite brewery and the best local brewery. Talk of a cheaper club tier for people like me who only buy 1 bottle from the release is in the air and I’m only buying 1 case of their CW allocations per quarter so I’m in that camp and it would allow more people to join which I’m all for. I went up there once every 2 months this year, my lowest ever but with cars, bikes, work, travel I just couldn’t do my bi-weekly trips like I used to. 

This post is a bit rushed but I’m trying to get a lot done before the 2019 end of year hits and I’m on vacation so at least I can say I did one of these posts this year.

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