Happy New Year! I like to start each year by recapping some of the highlights of the previous year on Hoppy Boston and setting some goals for the coming year. As always thanks again for reading the site and following Hoppy Boston on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. I am looking forward to another exciting year ahead featuring many more delicious local beers!
Most Read Hoppy Boston Articles of 2019 (links lead to the full articles):
- Some Thoughts on Mystic Brewery: After the news that Mystic was closing their doors for good I summarized what I loved about Mystic and the importance of the brewery in my growth as a craft beer fan.
- How We Can Break the Craft Beer Hype Cycle: The hype cycle is real and drives way too much of the purchasing habits of beer geeks, here are some things we can do to help break the cycle and appreciate beers as more than trophies.
- Local Beers to Drink Instead of Beers From Founders: Founders sucks, and I will not drink their beer any more. Here are local options that can easily replace each big Founders release (and many of these local options are objectively better beers).
- In Defense of Beer Flights: There are a number of brewers and beer geeks who are anti-flight, but here are some reasons why I love beer flights as an option.
- Put Packaged on Dates on Your Beer!: This should be self-explanatory, but it is amazing how many breweries still decline to date-code their product. I refuse to buy hoppy beer without clear date codes, I’ve been burned way too many times.
- Some Thoughts on Beer Ratings and Reviews: I continue to write beer reviews, and have good reasons why, but I think there are some issues with ratings/reviews, especially on crowd-sourced review sites like Untappd.
- How Hard is it to Name a New Beer?: I’ve heard plenty of complaints about how hard it is to name a new beer, usually used as excuses for duplicate or offensive beer names, so I tried my hand at naming pretend beers for my imaginary brewery and checked to see if the names were taken already.
Best Beers I Reviewed in 2019 (links lead to the full reviews):
10. Bissell Brothers Umbra: Bissell Brothers is known for their hoppy beers but don’t miss out on this malty and smooth oatmeal stout.
9. Allagash Haunted House: A way better Halloween option that pumpkin beer, this hoppy Belgian dark ale hits all the notes.
8. Orono Brewing The Way Life Should Be: My first beer from Orono Brewing and it was exceptional. I will be trying many more in the near future.
7. Greater Good Pulp Daddy: A beer that proves you don’t need to wait in line to get top-of-the-line NEIPAs, this beer is readily available and delicious.
6. Bissell Brothers The Nuclear Whim with the Fuse of a Mile: Another exceptional NEIPA from Bissell Brothers, tons of hop flavor and balanced drinkability.
5. Cambridge Brewing Co. The Hopheads Guide for the Galaxy: CBC has jumped into the NEIPA game and they completely nailed it with this one.
4. Night Shift Dynasty: One of my favorite imperial stouts, just layers of rich malt flavor.
3. Exhibit A Sunday Paper: A big and boozy coffee stout that is dangerously easy to drink.
2. Allagash River Trip: One of my favorite new beers of the year, huge flavor, but light and crushable. A mainstay in my beer fridge.
1. Maine Beer Company Dinner: A massive hype beer that totally lives up to its reputation. Huge hop flavor, precise and easy-drinking.
My Goals for Hoppy Boston in 2020:
- Write more about Massachusetts beers and breweries: I feel like I spent a lot of time visiting and writing about Maine beer in 2019, which is great but I need to spend some more time on my home state. As a related goal…
- Visit more MA breweries: I have a long list of breweries I need to visit, either new-to-me places or places I haven’t visited in far too long. It is tough to make brewery visits right now with the insanity that is my life, especially at small places with limited hours, but I am going to make a renewed effort over the next year.
- Write more non-review articles: This is a perpetual goal and my success in achieving it waxes and wanes over the course of each year. My beer thoughts/links column will remain a monthly staple, and I have a goal of writing 2-3 other non-review articles a month, which is aggressive but I think it’s achievable (if I have enough good article ideas).
- Up my Instagram game: I feel like I am doing a little better with my beer-tography, it is a slow process but I am working on taking consistently better pictures. I hope to continue to improve my pictures and learn the ins-and-outs of the app, I think it works well as an extension of the website.
- Actually try to build a following on Facebook (maybe): I am not a big Facebook fan, and I have put minimal effort into building a following on my Facebook page (aside from sharing my articles), but the app is still hugely popular and articles don’t get lost in the shuffle as quickly as they do on Twitter.
- Keep an even mix between new beers and old favorites when I stock the fridge: I am doing better at this, it is easy to forget old favorites in the rush to try every exciting new release.
- Keep trying new beers and passing along recommendations to you all!
Thanks again for another awesome year, it was the biggest in Hoppy Boston history in terms of total page views. Looking forward to another great year in 2020!