2013 has been another great year in drink moments here at DrinkInsider. From amazing new product releases to in depth interviews with industry all stars, hardly a week has gone by without something interesting to write about. So, in what is now becoming an annual tradition, I’m retracing some of my favorite steps over the past year through some of the photographs that really popped.
On that note, here’s 12 awesome drink moments from 2013!
Visiting Jack Rose in Washington DC was one of the top highlights of the year, hands down. Their whisk(e)y selection is really as unbelievable as the rumors say, and meeting Harvey Fry – their in-house whisky legend – was truly a memorable moment.
Jim Koch linked up with craft beer pioneer Jack McAuliffe early on in 2013 to re-create and re-release the beer that started the craft beer movement, New Albion. Hearing the story from Jim himself was about as good as it gets for a craft beer geek.
Whiskey innovation was high up on my radar this year, and Julio’s Go Whiskey Weekend was an event that brought some of the best innovators together – like Chip Tate of Balcones and John Glaser of Compass Box.
When it comes to passion and craft beer, there aren’t two more dedicated folks I know of than Suzanne and Kate of Massachusetts-based Craft Beer Cellar. This year, their retail shop has grown from one to six locations in multiple states from Maine to Florida. I had the chance to interview these two awesome women back in March about beer freshness and other hot topics in the industry.
2013 wasn’t without its unfortunate stories. The Marathon bombing shook Boston hard in April, but the craft beer community came together as much of Massachusetts did to do what they could to help. As a resident of Boston, I did my part to shine a light on the good work being done.
One of my favorite distillery visits this year was to Tuthilltown, the makers of Hudson Whiskey. Their farm distillery in Hudson Valley, NY is beautiful, serene and just a short ride from Manhattan. For anyone living in the near vicinity, I’d highly recommend a trip out there.
Beer Advocate’s American Craft Beer Fest (ACBF) was definitely one of the highlights of the craft beer festival circuit this year. Vendors included Tree House, Lawson’s, Duck Rabbit and a ton of other awesome breweries that don’t distribute in the Boston area… or anywhere for that matter.
A topic that was on a lot of craft beer fan’s minds this year was how acquisitions are going to affect the industry. AB InBev’s purchase of Goose Island in 2011 was the first big deal that happened, and I had an opportunity to sit down with Brian Taylor, one of Goose’s brewers to talk about the buyout as well as some of the amazing beers they’re continuing to produce.
One of the most hyped Bourbon releases this year was Stagg Jr. It was also one of the most fiercely debated as well. I weighed in with my thoughts shortly before the product was released.
One of my favorite projects this year was documenting craft beer collaboration in a three part series. My subjects included Stone’s w00tstout, Gentlemen’s Club by Cigar City and Widmer Bros, and Ommegang’s Game of Thrones.
What year is complete without a trip out to Sonoma County? This year’s trip was short and sweet, but it was amazing as always and showcased some of the finest Pinot Noir producers in Russian River.
Last, but certainly not least, was my trip out to San Diego, in which I discovered first hand just how amazing this city is for craft beer. From established breweries like Alesmith and Ballast Point to the hot new upstarts like Societe, this is a craft beer city you definitely need to have on your list.
What a year!
So, here’s to a fantastic year of drink moments ahead. I hope you’ll stay tuned for some more great stuff to come. What’s on your list for 2014?