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