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Friday, January 04, 2008
My Personal Beer Agenda of 2008
I would not necessarily call this a resolution or prediction list, rather looking into what I might be doing on the beer scene during 2008. I might say that my 2008 beer year officially begins tonight. As a prelude to tomorrow's Baltic Thunder unveiling at The Drafting Room in Exton, PA, I will knock off a Perkuno's Hammer or two and maybe a Lunacy for good measure. Come to think of it, there's several OTOP and off-the-wall goodies from Heavyweight on my shelf too. Then, tomorrow brings the official public release of the highly anticipated Perkuno's Hammer step-brother. All reviews to date have been promising. Check Lew's, Jack's, or Don's site for their impressions. Then, January really gets rolling with a Union Barrel Works dinner, a Robbie Burns celebration at Sly Fox, a cask night of Tröegs at General Sutter, and the Iron Hill Belgian event in West Chester. February sees a year of Monk's dinners kicked off with Tomme Arthur of Port Brewing in California. Also, the General Lafayette Winterfest, and (if I can get myself to CA) some Bay Area festivities at Toronado, The Bistro, 21st Amendment, and Magnolia. Pasadena also welcomes Belgian Beer Fest to Lucky Baldwin's. There's a very outside chance that I could get there. The only thing howling louder than March winds will be Philly Beer Week. From cask tastings to tours to food pairings to lectures to Michael Jackson tributes, the 10-day event will be one of the industry's highlights in 2008 and I can't wait to be a part of it. It's amazing how fast the time has flown since the concept was first announced close to a year ago. During these first few months of the year, Earth Bread & Brewery, Philadelphia Brewing, Yards will all be getting their new legs under them. It will be interesting to watch them grow into their new spots in the industry and I'm sure their fans will be anxiously waiting to taste the goods. I'm especially anxious for EB&B to add to the NW Philly beer scene and the return of the much-missed Tom Baker. I'm sure that I'll need some drying out time after the first half of March is over. The big question will be whether we will be going to Ommegang or not this year for their annual beer festival-goer's rite of passage, Belgium Comes To Cooperstown. We had a family wedding to go to that particular weekend, but now, unfortunately, that seems unlikely to happen. We had considered that given the wedding, we would fly to Portland for the Oregon Brewers Festival. It's been long on my list to get to Portland and discover what everyone is talking about when Portland is often named as one of the country's top beer cities. Another option for that same weekend would be to find out the other hot festival everyone seems to talk about...this one in State College, PA. Then, we get into the fall and that is much too far out to talk about planning at this point. Oh, wait, except for the Kennett Square festival in October, of which I'm confident the overcrowding issue of 2007 will have been resolved. Finally, where does Belgium fit into all of this year's planned activities? Many of you have heard me talk about how Belgium was quickly moving up the travel list. It won't be in the first few months of the year. Will it be in the fall? Will it be in the winter time, around Christmas? (Greg and Paula say it's a lovely time of year over there!) So, there you go. For those of you who claim that I never give any warning where I'm heading for a beer event, this is the best roadmap that I can give you as of right now, at this moment, as best as I can foresee. All subject to change...of course! The one thing we all do know is that 2008 will offer no less options than 2007 gave to us. And, if the overall quality is better than last year? Then, even better for all of us. Cheers to a Happy New Year!