With the New Year upon us once again, it’s time to shake off the trappings of the past 12 months and start fresh — for many, this means making New Year’s resolutions.
This year, instead of the typical type of resolutions, I decided to ask people about their New Beer’s resolutions. What new beers or breweries will you explore in 2018? What classic beers will you revisit? Will you learn to brew at home or brew a different style of beer?
In this spirit, I reached out to a number of local brewers.
Paul Arney, The Ale Apothecary
“For The Ale Apothecary, we are looking forward to implementing a longer bottle-conditioning time, which presents all sorts of challenges logistically but will ensure a better product for our customers as well as allowing us to forecast a bit better.
We are looking forward to rolling out our new label design with an awesome cork and cage finish on our bottles, and we are also looking forward to increasing the awareness of our tasting room.
“As far as beer to consume this year, we are celebrating Draft magazine awarding our 200th brew as one of the top 25 beers of the year, so we are drinking as much of that as we can!”
Steve Anderson, Kobold Brewing
“I would say our New Beer’s resolutions are to expand our current beer line up and make some beers we haven’t tried before. I’d like to get a couple sours out this year, a wee heavy Scotch and a pilsner. I’d also like to look into old German styles and tie those into our Kobold name and history. We’d also like to step up our dark and barrel-aged beer scene, and try our hand at bottling some of those. We’re looking at how to increase our production and get our beer out to more places. I’d also love to do some collaboration batches with local breweries.
“For a New Year’s Beer, if I could magically make a beer appear in front of me, it would be a pFriem Flanders Red Ale.”
Trever Hawman, Bridge 99 Brewery
“Beer resolution for 2018 (is to) narrow down the line up so we can do more experimental beers. The beer I want to drink is our new Scottish Ale, Kilter, for New Years.”
Brett Thomas, Sunriver Brewing
“My ‘New Beer’s resolution’ for 2018 is focused on maintaining the quality and integrity of our brewing here at Sunriver Brewing Co. We’ll most certainly retain our focus on hop forward beer styles, and we look to keep a hazy NE-style IPA on tap year-round at our pubs. Some familiar suspects will return throughout the course of the year — including Vermont Vacation, Sunny D and Parkes and Wreck, along with some new hazy beers like Back to Burlington and Cloud City.
“As far as my beverage preferences for this New Year’s Eve, it looks like there will be a bounty of freshly tapped Vermont Vacation, along with some cellared 2013 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine and 2016 Ecliptic Barrel Aged Orange Giant Barleywine.”
Todd Clement, Monkless Belgian Ales
“New Beer’s resolution: To bottle condition everything; dubbels, tripels, heck we might even try the fruit cake I got for Christmas... But seriously, Belgian beer simply tastes better when bottle conditioned, and we’re on a quest to release the classics in our lineup in bottle conditioned, cork and cage format in 2018.
“Beer style we would drink: Definitely a Belgian-style Quadruple. Ringing in the New Year just wouldn’t be right without a snifter of something dark and boozy, with unique tastes of dried fruits or chocolate.
There is a bottle of Friar’s Festivus, our spiced Winter Quad, with my name on it!”
Robin Johnson, Deschutes Brewery
“New Beer’s resolutions:
1) Travel for pleasure more
2) Brew the greatest beer in the world
3) Drink the greatest beer in the world
4) Exercise more
What style would I drink for New Years? Eisbock! So rich and fruity with amazing malt character and warmth. A luxurious treat that’s perfect for the cold New Year’s weather.”
For my own part, my beery resolutions largely revolve around homebrewing and learning — and seeking out great new beers, of course! I hope to refine my homebrewing skills and brew some new styles. Learning about beer is an ongoing process and in particular, judging and sensory evaluation will be a focus. Happy New Year!
— Jon Abernathy is a Bend beer blogger and brew aficionado. His column appears every other week in GO!