My 2022 got off to an extra-fun start with a ruptured appendix and a hospital stint, followed by a slow-but-steady recovery, and this put a hamper on my already slow content generation, but I have finally pieced together a better-late-than-never beer thoughts and links column for January. Please ignore the fact that I am publishing it a week into February, I'm doing my best. Regardless, here are my thoughts, plus an extra special clickbait article of the month at the end!
January always features a bunch of end-of-the-year wrap-ups as well as predictions for the year to come. I only found a few this year, but that could be due more to my crazy schedule than any other factors. Gear Patrol has a list of the best beers of 2021, which is always a fools errand and nearly won the award at the end of the column. Worcester Magazine beer writer Matthew Tota runs down some thoughts as another year begins. Hop Culture has a list of trends to watch in craft beer in 2022. I actually agree with the vast majority of these, or in a few cases I just hope they come true.
Good Beer Hunting documents a 24-hour trip to Portland, Maine, and laments how incomplete it feels. I always feel this way when I visit Portland, I can pack in so many great restaurants, bars and breweries and still feel like I missed so many more.
Sebago Brewing has decided to close their Portland brewpub, focusing their business on their other three locations. This is disappointing, I've enjoyed meals and beers at this spot in the past, and I'm sure the pandemic was a factor in the decision.
After multiple starts-and-stops 3cross Brewing has re-opened in Worcester, this time as a combination restaurant/brewery.
The Northeastern University website has a profile of Massachusetts Trappist brewery Spencer Brewing and their lead brewer Father Isaac Keeley.
Josh Noel wraps up his Dry January by writing about many of his favorite non-alcoholic craft beers. Non-alcoholic beer has moved past the O'Douls dominated market, you can now find many of the same flavors you love in craft beer, just in an alcohol-reduced package, and there seems to be a significant market for these products. WBUR also has a discussion on the emergence of non-alcoholic craft beers.
Lord Hobo Brewing has a new brewmaster. Keith Gabbett, who was previously the lead brewer at Goose Island, will take over the brewing operation to help perfect the core lineup and continue expansion.
Exhibit A has released Everyday Lager, an inexpensive, draft-only lager that was developed to show their support for the neighborhood bars and restaurants that have been devastated by the pandemic.
Redemption Rock just celebrated their 3rd anniversary, and despite a tough year with the pandemic they are more committed than ever to giving back to the community and brewing a wide range of creative and delicious beers.
The Craft Beer Docuseries has a new episode where they visit hop farms and learn about the process of developing and testing new hop varieties.
Beerology and Bier Sommelier Mirella Amato are offering an in depth course on pairing beer with food. Seems interesting, especially for people who work in the hospitality industry.
Clickbait article of the month: I have a very special winner this month, for the first time in clickbait article of the month history, the winner is me! Naturally I am referring to my listicle of the 21 best beers I reviewed in 2021. I think it is a fun article to write (and hopefully a fun article to read), but it is kind of clickbaity all the same.
That wraps up the first links/thoughts column of the new year. Hopefully I can keep knocking these out, and maybe I'll even publish the February article in the correct month (highly unlikely). Thanks again for reading and for following/sharing/liking/commenting on social media!