Beverage Lab Best of 2010

Another year comes and another year goes. While I haven’t been writing for a full year yet, I still would like to take a look back on my beer experiences in 2010. Below is my attempt to give a shoutout to the beers,people and breweries that made 2010 bubbly, hoppy and most importantly tasty! Since there will be alot of jumping back and forth from East coast to West coast I will throw in some links for those who want to learn more. Drum roll……

Top 10 Beers of 2010

It’s too tough to pick one brew that really outdid all of the other awesome brews I have had this year. Here is a hit list of my top 10 (In no order)

Best New Style of Beer- Gose

In this category I would like to highlight a beer style that was new to me. Portsmouth Brewery’s Gose. It is a partial sour German wheat beer brewed with coriander and Salt. There is something about the sour/salty/spicy combination that makes me want more. They recently released a Dunkel Gose (photo above) and it is just as good!

Best Beer Event- Burlington Brew Tours

This category had a lot of nominees but a clear winner, Burlington Brew Tours. My girlfriend took me up to Burlington for my birthday where we spent 2 days going from brewery to brewery in a white van packed with other beer lovers. Read more about that trip here. One of the best birthday gifts I have ever received!

Best IPA- Stone IPA

This is the IPA that converted me from an IPA hater to an IPA lover this year. This strong IPA was put on the taps of the Brewery for a couple weeks in the summer which lead to me trying more IPAs like the Portsmouth 5C’s and the almighty award winning Smuttynose Big A IPA and all of the Stone brews. I am ‘hoppy’ to be a hop lover now.

Best Stout- Wachusett Milk

I impressed the guys at the local Seacoast Homebrew Club with this one. The Milk Stout produced by Wachusett is a great beer to go with a meal, with nothing or even a box of cookies. I had to travel across the border to MA to pick this up and it was well worth it. You can find this beer in 22oz bottles or in a mixed 12 pack, where you will find 3 12oz bottles.

Best Seasonal- Gardner Octoberfest

About 8 miles (map) down the road from Wachusett Brewing you will find the Gardner Ale House. This was my favorite brew at the NH Brew Fest this year and definitely my favorite seasonal. I hope to get down to the Ale House in Gardner soon to try the rest of their brews.

Best Beer from Back Home- It’s a Tie!

I couldn’t pick a clear winner, shame on me, but good for you! Western MA represents well with both of these beers. Paper City Brewing out of Holyoke, MA and sits high on my list of favorite home-area beers. It’s just that dam good, pun intended. Also right a long side is BBC’s Coffeehouse Porter which is an extremely awesome porter that you can find almost anywhere in New England. Both of these are my pick for favorite hometown beer!

Best Label- Laughing Dog Dogzilla Black IPA

Just a really cool label by Laughing Dog, but notably the worst brew I have had this year 🙂

Best Can- Saranac Pale Ale Pint

We are starting to see a lot of canned brews hit the shelves. My favorite can of the year goes out to Saranac and their Pale Ale Pints. Well done! This can packs 16 oz of refreshing goodness that I couldn’t find in another can.

Local Place to Watch in 2011- Portsmouth Gaslight Co.

This bar has impressed me a lot in the past couple of months. I had the great pleasure to sit and talk with Beverage Manager and Brewer of their signature Brick Oven Brown Ale, Eddie, and he has brought a lot of new and exciting taps to Portsmouth. He is always hard at work trying to bring new brews and events to town that other bars can’t. Recently the Gaslight held a Harpoon night which featured one of their newest 100 Barrel Series beers, Oak Aged Dunkel. Don’t pass by this place anymore as you may be missing some great deals, some great food and of course, some great brew!

Best Bar of 2010- Brouwers Cafe, Seattle, WA

This was an easy decision. I had the opportunity to go West to Seattle on business and on my off time I found my favorite bar of the year, Brouwers Cafe. This is a beer lovers paradise and at the time of my visit all 64 taps were pouring beers from Washington, most excellent! Check out the recap of my trip to Seattle here.
East Coast Runner Up- Moan & Dove
I have the pleasure of visiting this bar every time I visit home. This bar has an excellent variety of taps and bottles.

Cheers to 2011 and thanks for reading these past 9 months! I hope you continue to enjoy and support the Seacoast Beverage Lab!