As I take care of some year end wrap-up type stuff, I figured I'd take a look at the best sellers for the year. I thought I had a good handle on what they might be, but it never hurts to check the facts, even if it's just to confirm your hunches.
But first, I'd like to speak for myself and the cast of characters that have worked the shop over the course of 2015 in saying thanks for shopping with us. This thing doesn't work without the interest you've all shown in what we do here. We work hard to make sure everyone who patronizes the shop has a great experience both in the shop and with the liquid you take home, and we'll continue to strive toward the same goal in 2016.
Next, if I may be so presumptuous, I have a challenge for you, and the challenge is twofold. In 2016 make it a point to return to a few old favorites and also try to some things out of your comfort zone. The first part should be easy, you remember the beers or wines that began, or were somehow instrumental in your journey towards better drinking, these drinks are very likely still worth checking back in on. Revisiting both your personal classics and classics that you haven't had can be a great way to re-calibrate your palate and glimpse in on the drinkers we used to be. As the saying goes, "How can you know where you're going, if you don't know where you've been?" The second part is tougher. As you will clearly see, the 2015 top 20 list is hop heavy. You guys clearly like hoppy beer, but there is a whole other world out there! Venturing to parts of the shop you may not frequent can be intimidating, but don't forget, we're here to help! While you may not be wild about everything on the shelf, you can rest assured that each item has something good to offer. You never know when that next "Aha" moment is going to come!
So without further ado, here are our top 20 of 2015:
1. Stormalong Cider - Legendary Dry (My jaw dropped when I saw this, you guys really support local producers!)
2. Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin IPA (My reaction: the opposite of #1, saw it coming a mile away.)
3. Switchback Ale
4. Jack's Abby - Hoponius Union IPL
5. Maine Beer - MO
6.Firestone Walker - Union Jack IPA (My personal biases may be at play here)
7. Marisco - "The Ned" - Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (Wine! Let's keep that going!)
8. Schoferhoffer - Grapefruit (Everyone's guilty [or not so guilty] pleasure)
9. Ballast Point - Sculpin IPA
10. Brewmaster Jack - Hoppiness is a Warm Pun Double IPA
11. Maine Beer - Peeper
12. Sixpoint - Resin Double IPA
13. Firestone Walker - Easy Jack IPA
14. Allagash - White
15. Singlecut - Bon Bon Double IPA
16. Brewmaster Jack - The Little Brother Double IPA
17. Evil Twin - Molotov Lite Double IPA
18. Wormtown - Be Hoppy IPA
19. Sixpoint - Bengali IPA
20. Singlecut - Billy Full Stack Double IPA
Honorable mention: #21 Pretty Things - Jack D'Or (Couldn't leave this one out)
Some of these surprised me, others most certainly did not. How many have you had?
Finally, in the realm of year end wrap up, I came across this great infographic about craft beer acquisitions in 2015. Lot's of movin' and shakin' going on, for good or ill, and I don't think it's going to slow down this year. Whatever you're thoughts are on these developments, let's just hope that the movement that does occur lands our old standbys in responsible hands. I'll leave it at that. :) Image Courtesy of Vinepair.com.
Until the next time I feel like blogging... happy new year!