It's not off topic if it's about beer
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Before we get too much into 2018, let's recap the best and worst beer-related happenings in your life from 2017. Just reply back with your opinion on the year that was.
  • Best new beer (new to you in 2017)
  • Worst new beer (new to you in 2017)
  • Best beer experience (tasting, festival, trip, get-together, etc.)
  • Best/worst of anything beer-related (here's where you can praise or criticize, extol or dismiss, an event, a beer, some beer news or whatever you want)
For me I'd have to say
  • Best new beer: Has to be Ceci N'est Pas un Gueuze. Great beer from CBA.
  • Worst new beer: Rare Bird Maple Ale. Garbage
  • Best beer experience: Has to be the Craft Beer Attraction, but we had a few nice little private tastings here and there that were splendid as well.
  • Best/worst of anything beer-related: I am dismayed at the continued buy-out of independent brewers by multi-nationals. I hate boycotting Mill Street, but I can't support AB-Inbev. I haven't bailed on Trou du Diable (MolsonCoors) yet, but perhaps that's coming too.
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Best new beer: Flat Black Jesus from Unfiltered in Halifax. Damn!

Worst new beer: Pale Session Ale from Goat Locker in Alberta. That was awful.

Best beer experience: touring the Annapolis Valley and local breweries with my brother. Great people, great beer, great destination.

Best/worst: Dealing with the NLC. We are finally seeing good beer. Then the incompetent asses sell all the good product to one local restaurant and the rest of us cant get any. Boxing Rock Courage anyone?
  • Best new beer: IPA du Nord-Est, Boreale (Brasseur du Nord) from Blainville, Quebec. This was one of my first NE IPAs and still easily the best. Major surprise from this Brewery, they have an Untappd average of 3.45, but this beer clocks in at 4.30, and it's well deserved. Had it on a weather delayed stopover in Montreal.
  • Worst new beer: Pale Session Ale from Goat Locker. I'm in agreement with Cagiva on this one. One of my few drain-pours of the year.
  • Best beer experience: Civil Society Brewing, Jupiter Florida. One of the top up and coming breweries on the east coast. At the time, they did can releases every other Saturday. Decided to drive 1.5 hrs for a can release. Got there an hour early, nearly 50 people already in line. By the time they opened, closer to 150 people in line. Cool chance to see some of the hysteria around 'trendy' beer that happens south of the border. Excellent beer.
  • Best/worst of anything beer-related: Best. News that the brewers from Folly (in Toronto) were returning to St. John's with the hopes of opening a new brewery. If I could regularly get Folly-level beer in St. John's, I would spend an awful lot less time in NLC stores.
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Best new beer
A nine-way (!) tie, all of whom received 9/10:
  • The Bruery So Happens It's Tuesday (2016)
  • Bellwoods Brewery Bring Out Your Dead (2014)
  • Stone Brewing Company Imperial Russian Stout (2016)
  • Russian River Brewing Company Pliny the Elder
  • Mikkeller Hallo Ich Bin Berliner Weisse Raspberry
  • Modern Times Beer Blazing World
  • Modern Times Beer City of the Dead
  • Bench Creek Brewing Apex Predator
  • The Lost Abbey Track #10 (Bat Out of Hell)
Worst new beer
Worst with a bullet, at 3/10, was:
  • Iconic Brewing Dusty Boots Hard Chocolate Orange
But dishonorable mentions (all at 4/10) should also go to:
  • Tsingtao Brewery Co. Ltd. Tsingtao Beer
  • The Bruery 9 Ladies Dancing
  • Mill Street Brewery Downtowner Dopplebock
(If that Goat Locker Session was the worst of your year, you did all right! That one was a 6/10 for me!)

Best beer experience (tasting, festival, trip, get-together, etc.)
Getting to visit Russian River. Hands-down the most consistently excellent brewery I've ever visited, and one of a very few that I consider worth the hype. I'm seriously considering being in Santa Rosa for Pliny the Younger on February 2.

Best/worst of anything beer-related
Best: The news that Chris Conway is coming back to the province to start a new brewery. Can't wait.
Worst: The continuing buyouts of craft by macro. Like Steve, I hate boycotting Mill Street, but the fact is there are true craft breweries in the province who deserve our support. Every nickel that goes to ABInBev via Mill Street is one that doesn't go to e.g. Yellow Belly or Port Rexton, and I just can't do that. (And, of course, the NLC always gets a place at any discussion of the worst - allowing their entire stock to be bought by a restaurant is just unacceptable.)
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The Mega Blend was one of my best of the year and the Vandervelden was awesome and slightly more refined.

The worst by far was that German Advent Calendar. There was not a single beer in there that got above mediocre! The missus was trying to get me to stop drinking them but I wouldn’t just on principle.

Probably my best experience was the CBA, I felt it went off very well all things considered.

Worst? The NLC is really not being as helpful as we’d like moving the leftover beer we still have. There is a fair chunk of Tom and my $$ still hanging.

And the news that TDD sold to Molson, I was very surprised to hear that. I haven’t completely boycotted ABInBev but I’m close.
Best New Beer Vandervelden 135 at the Craft Beer Attraction!!!!! I managed to nab 5 from the floor at NLC a couple months ago.

Worst Beer: I gagged all the way through it!!! It was a local and I don't want to say which because I love them!!!!! Ones I will mention however is 4 Brothers "Toffee Apple" and their "Apple Cider" ick ick ick

Best Beer Experience was the Craft Beer Attraction!!! Worth every dollar spent. I thoroughly enjoyed the Utopias tasting even though there was a drunken scavenger sitting at the table! Then the floor. HA!!! Ah yes and the afternoon "delight" tasting on Sat.
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Best new beer: Funny, at the CBA I preferred the Ceci N'est Pas un Gueuze, but when I got a chance to taste the megablend later I preferred that. But if I was to sit down for an evening with a beer, I think I'd prefer the Big Bad Baptist! So in conclusion, I enjoyed many fine beer this year :)

Worst new beer: I rarely buy bad beer anymore (no longer after untapped 'ticks', my bank account thanks me) - however, I did buy that 12 pack of beer brewed across canada that Central City put out. Thought many of those were on the terrible side....

Best beer experience: Craft Beer Attraction for sure! Was great meeting up with a few of the folks from here and drinking tons of great beer (and so, so many sours!)

Best/worst of anything beer-related: The Trou de Diable purchase was a real shock to me - one of my favorite breweries bought out by the big guys. I'm really torn on this and still don't know what to do, it's tearing me up inside...
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Bahahaha! :lol: You and I were at the same table. I must say, the host handled the situation patiently :lol:

" I thoroughly enjoyed the Utopias tasting even though there was a drunken scavenger sitting at the table! Then the floor. HA!!! Ah yes and the afternoon "delight" tasting on Sat.
Best of the year.... that's a tough one. It might be worth organizing this by region.

Local best: Chasing Sun or The One With the Citra. PRB have made a significant positive impact on the local beer scene.
National/International best: Rose de Gambrinus (2016) - Cantillon; Sip of Sunshine - Lawson's Finest Liquids. Honourable mentions: Luponic Distortion, Revolution No. 007; Big Bad Baptist; The Substance - Bissell Brothers

Worst: Definitely the Cocanuck Stout in the Beer Advent Calendar - like drinking fousty sunscreen. Others in the 'god awful' camp were: Brewdolph, Landshark Lager, and most of the Central City Across the Nation selection.

Best event: The CBA and the promise of new breweries in NL. Thank yourself lucky! I had to sit next to the Utopias tasting crasher, and catch his beer when he toppled over. Poor sod.

Saddest aspect of 2017: The continual absorption of small breweries, hands down. I also struggle with Mill Street; while they regularly have new offerings, I'm concerned about where my money is going. The randomness of the NLC selection and the loss of purchasable beer due to the 'public vs restaurants' competition is also highly irritating.
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Best new beer: Though it's not a new beer to the marketplace, best new beer TO ME was Blindman Brewing - New England Pale Ale (out of Alberta). I think it's Citra/Amarillo (gotta be my fav combo, other than Citra/Mosaic). Reminds so much of the Trillium pale ales.

Worst new beer: Any of the fake New England-style IPAs I've had. New England IPA on the bottle/can but not inside. I've had a couple of these at NLC, NSLC and Alberta locations. It's still the "hottest" style, so I understand the temptation to do it.

Best beer experience: The beer festivals. The recent event at Club One and the one at the curling club were my favourite ones. Really looking forward to the one in April.

Best/worst of anything beer-related: Worst thing beer-related?The lingering restrictions of the NLC. Big improvements over the past year or 2 (Chimay, The Bruery, 50/50 soon, Duvel, Houblon Chouffe, Rochefort....) but still a LOT of beer being brought in that are horrible and with a quick check on BeerAdvocate or Untapped would show that some of these beer are REALLY poorly rated. These ratings are subjective, I know, but still! The best thing, beer related? Doing bottle shares and trades. 4 of us try to get together on a regular basis and I trade with 1 other person, outside that. Best thing about anything beer-related? The people. Cheers!
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