Favorites of 2012: Beers I Drank

Gone are the years of drinking The Dirty 30 and The Beast due to the fact that I didn't have any money. Now I can afford to have a nicer beer or two before I polish off the case of Keystone. This year, I had the privilege of drinking a variety of beers in a variety of cities. Here are the Top 5 Beers I Drank in 2012 and where I enjoyed them:

Dogfishhead 60 Minute IPA Randall'd
Easy Tiger - Austin, TX
Pale Ale

Way back in the year 2011, I did not like hoppy beers. I couldn't enjoyably drink an IPA. Then, one day during a trip down to Austin this summer, everything changed. EVERYTHING.*

I was sitting at the beer garden  Easy Tiger while my buddy was describing this machine that a few hundred bars in the country have. It's called Randall the Enamel Animal and it is beautiful. It takes your Dogfishhead 60 Minute IPA from the tap and essentially runs it through hops again. And Easy Tiger has one.

Of course, at the time, I thought this sounded terrible. Why would I want to have MORE hops?

Little did I know that a beer with more hops would change my beer palette forever. The Randall'd Dogfishead 60 Minute immediately jettisoned to the top of my beer list. Now, I drink IPAs all the time and not just to look cool. I enjoy the taste. And I look cool doing it. Thank you, Randall the Enamel Animal.

*everything about my beer selection

Guinness/Smithwicks (in Ireland)
Various Bars - Dublin, Ireland
Guiness - Irish Stout

Guinness and Smithwicks tie for a spot in the Top 5, but the major asterisk here is ONLY when from Ireland. I was lucky enough to spend a few days in Dublin this year, taking advantage of their national pastime: beer.

People say that the Guinness tastes differently over there and they aren't kidding. I can't stand Guinness here in the states. I've always thought it tastes like cigarette butts (which I've developed a very specific palette for). But when I drank it in Ireland, it was one of the smoothest beers I've ever had. They say it's the iron in the water that does it. Whatever it is, it works.

Smithwicks - Red Ale
Before my recent IPA conversion, red ales were about as hoppy as I would go. And I would steer less hoppy with those. Out of the red ales I've had, I have always liked Smithwicks here in the states. But it's mainly just a go to beer that I enjoy.  Having it in Ireland (more iron in the water?) elevated it to a Top 5 beer of the year for me.

Rogue Dead Guy Ale
Ninth Ward - NY, NY / Union Bear - Dallas, TX
German Maibock

I've had Rogue Dead Guy before. It's an expensive beer to buy bottled. When I moved to New York, I found a handful of bars that had it on tap. My favorite of the handful, Ninth Ward, has a 2 for 1 Happy Hour so you get two Rogue Dead Guys on tap for $7. WHAT?

During a trip to Dallas, I was eating at the very great Union Bear when I realized their special of the day was Rogue on tap for $4. WHAT AGAIN?

This year, it's like the universe was begging me to drink Rogue Dead Guy Ale. And I obliged.

Kelso Brown Ale
Brooklyn Bowl - Brooklyn, NY
Brown Ale

This may be the biggest surprise of my year. I was at a concert (a free Man Man show) at one of the coolest venues I've been to, Brooklyn Bowl. It's a concert venue and a bowling alley. And they server local beer, hence the Kelso taps from Brooklyn. Their Brown Ale was and is delicious and only $5 at a concert venue.

Maybe I'm just associating the beer with the good music I heard there (Man Man, Yellow Ostrich, Los Campesinos!). So what? Anytime I drink that beer, my mind will go back to those memories and may make the beer taste better, but this is a "Favorites" list, not a "Best" list. So it stays.

BONUSFavorite Spot To Fill Up A Growler
Top Hops Beer Shop 
Favorite growler spot goes to Top Hops Beer Shop in the Lower East Side in Manhattan. Cheap, friendly, and a great selection make this easily my favorite place to fill up a growler and maybe enjoy a beer on-site.

If you live in NYC, go there. You won't regret it. Neither will your belly.


Other 2012 Favorites:


  1. You are sooooo hipster

  2. It's really an attractive and well described post regarding Beers .I appreciate your posted topic and wonderful photos.Thanks for sharing such an interesting post.


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