Talking Head: Wrapping it up with the best of beer '09, and a look ahead

This will be my last Talking Head post for the foreseeable future, so I'll close out 2009, like most years, by recalling the best of the year from a Georgia perspective, and casting an eye to the great things to come.

Best of 2009. Here are my Top 10 beer moments of the past year, including my favorite new beers.

1. The Rebirth of Sierra Nevada - Not content to sit on his well-deserved laurels, craft beer pioneer Ken Grossman (or some of the youngsters that have taken hold of the reins) busted out in a big way in 2009, with two new year-round gems, Torpedo Extra IPA and Kellerweis, that are destined to be classics, a slew of hop harvest seasonals that included an "estate" beer brewed with barley grown on site, and the late-year release of Life and Limb, a collaboration with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Here's hoping for more of the same in 2010.

2. The Beermuda TriangleOctane Coffee Bar and Lounge has one of the best beer selections of any bar in the city, much less, any coffee house. Being joined by a top-notch brewpub  (5 Seasons Westside) and beer store (Hop City Craft Beer and Wine) within a literal stone's throw made the corner of Marietta and Howell Mill Road a swirling vortex of beery goodness.

3. Ommegang Adoration Ale - Among the best interpreters of Belgian style beers in America (thanks to their close association with Duvel), Brewery Ommegang has stepped up with a Christmas beer that stands with the best from the Old World. Fruity and spicy like a holiday wassail, with a cheek-flushing warmth, Adoration should be a regular winter warmer for Belgian beer lovers. 

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