See, if I write "Part One" it means I don't really have to write a full post while at the same time I can put off all those emails for the contest winners I was supposed to have gotten out by now. It's coming along - almost half are out - but even you have to admit that there is no way I ever expected we would have to be awarding over 40 prizes. I am fighting my urge to play Wii, the Christmas gift of the decade so far. The only way to deal with this set of conflicting demands is to play the first Devo album as I think about this problem...and the question of what was the best of my year in beer. Here is what I have so far:
- Best Event: there is no doubt about it - the visit by Stan and Daria which had added to it visit by Steve from Beaus and John from Church-key. I think I learned more about how to drink beer watching those four than I had learned from five years of beer blogging. There were other contenders like the Southern Tier launch in Toronto as well as the night I was a beer roadie but if this one evening triggers regular beery conferences of some sort, that would be good.
- Best Book: this was a bit of a funny year for beer related books going by my reviews. I read about the Xhosa of Africa as well as England just before Michael Jackson. I really enjoyed Amy Mittleman's book but would have liked a more engaging narrative and found, conversely, CAMRA's Good Beer Guide West Coast USA a bit too much of an in-joke. In the end, I think the best book about beer that I got my hands on this year is one that you can't get your hands on, Martyn Cornell's Amber, Gold and Black, a digital guide to the history of British beer styles. You can buy your own copy for the extremely low price of five pounds and you should because you really need the full story on Cornish White Ale.
- Best Defense of Good Beer: this has to be the good fight that BrewDog is waging against the jurisdictional monopoly imposed upon them by their oligopolistic macro-brewing competition through that wacko quasi-legal thing called the shadowy Portman Group.
Well, that's me put off the emailing long enough. More of the best of 2008 tomorrow. Including best picture which is not the overly fragrant, slightly fey one I took up there to the comic relief of some of you.