In conclusion, we drank a whole lotta booze. I know it’s not proper form to start a post with a closing sentence, but one look at the graph will lead many to skip the following prose. We’ve been doing these “What are you drinking tonight?” segments for the past couple of months, trying to get one up every Friday night. As I’m sure you’ve come to realize, “Every” Friday night in an Alehead’s mind seems to be more like an every other Friday thing (As long as “Every Other” lets us skip an extra week in between when we feel like it). In the past 12 weeks, I think we’ve conquered about 6 of these “Weekly” posts. I’m sure I could go back and check just how many we’ve written but that would be so out of character for a guy that can’t even remember to write the same thing every week. So like I said, in conclusion, we drank a whole lotta booze. Do you want to know what we drank though? You do? Fine, I’ll get the old tick sheet out and see just what you folks have been rambling on about week after week when I asked that simple question, “What are you drinking tonight?”…
So it’s been just over 3 months since we started this experiment. Along with the resident Aleheads staff writers chiming in on what they’re drinking over any given weekend, we’ve had countless contributors throwing in their two cents. Brewers, beer bloggers, looksieloos, woopsiedoos – All sorts of folks have come out to celebrate the world that we know as craft beer. Everyone wants to talk about what beers they’ve been trying. Whether it’s a new homebrew that just finished up, a rare find that they waited in line for hours to get a taste, or just a simple Sierra Pale Ale that they’ve been heading back to for years, everyone wants to share their experience. To me, that’s one of the greatest aspects of enjoying beer. Sure, I loved the Lost Abbey Serpent Stout that I drank last night, but as I savored every last sip I thought of what I would tell me friends. Have they had it? Can they even get it? Maybe they found something in the beer that I didn’t. Cinnamon did you say? I certainly didn’t pick that up but I’ll be on the lookout next time around. These mini beer conversations are the entire reason that I started writing these posts in the first place (With a push from Slouch of course). We Aleheads pass around emails all day long asking each other about various beers and coming up with outlandish arguments to support our choice and tear to shreds our opponent’s. If we enjoyed this excercise, it was safe to assume that others would enjoy it too. And that’s how we ended up here.
I went through all of the “What are you drinking tonight?” comments and came up with a list of over 100 different brews that have been consumed over the past 3 months (Q1 of 2012). While the Winter has been uncharacteristically warm over much of the country, most of our beer tastes have stayed true to season. Of all the beers suggested over this 90-day span, over 20% of them turned out to be Imperial IPA’s. I knew I loved the style and I was sure that most of our commenters at least held it in high esteem, but I had no idea that 1 out of every 5 beers in the comments section would be an Imperial IPA. I’m sure that will change a bit over the coming months, but I can’t imagine it’s going to drop off more than a couple of points. Apparently you guys like boozy hop bombs. Me too. In case you’re curious, Founders Double Trouble was the big Imperial IPA that most people flocked to (16% of all Imperial IPA’s), if they weren’t drinking Bells Hopslam that is (12% of the category). Next on the list was Imperial Stouts, coming in at a whopping 17%. I included all Russian Imperial Stouts as well as any Bourbon-Barrel aged version or any other American concoction coming in at over 10%. Port, Oskar Blues, Deschutes, BrewDog, Ballast Point, Founders, Dogfish Head – There were plenty of great examples that people have been swilling down all Winter. And of course, people love the straight up IPA with 12% of the beers coming from that venerable stalwart. The great thing about the IPA choices were that many people went for the local source. I had to look up a lot of breweries to see just where they came from. Nice work. The rest of the chart speaks for itself, with Porters, Stouts, and CDA’s carrying the heavy load during the season. When you include the “Other” category, which bulks together any beer style with only one entrant, there were 28 different styles of beer being consumed. That’s pretty cool when you really think about it. Yes, we lean on our Imperial IPA’s and boozy Stouts to get us through the dark times, but we still branch out like any good beer drinker should. Cheers to that.
I suppose Winter has finally passed us by. How do I know that? Sam Adams had their Spring seasonal out for 36 hours and already switched it up for their Summer Ale. Nice work boys, I just heard they’re predicting snow in Boston tomorrow. Nothing goes with snowfall like grains of paradise and lemon zest. I for one will be drinking a nice 4-pack of Oskar Blues Deviant Dale’s IPA (Thank God for the 16oz can!). What about you guys and girls? Will you be switching things up for the Spring? Going for something lighter and airy?
What are you drinking tonight?