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The 2011 Beer Count

January 8, 2012

If you followed Good Beer Trips on Facebook and Twitter in 2011 you probably noticed all the #beer #number posts. What was that about?  It was obvious was that I was counting beer, but what counted as one and what was my goal?

The Rules
One beer equaled any beer I drank between ten and twenty-two ounces.  This included any beer from a schooner to a bomber, but excluded any samples or tasters. Another rule I had was that there were only four beers in a growler.

The Goal
Until December I really didn’t have a goal.  I never planned on doing the count in the first place.  It started as a simple New Year post of the first beer I drank, and then took on life of its own. When I realized I was going to end up in the 700’s for the year; being a good Washington State native I knew I had to land on a 7×7 number. It would be too easy to get to 747;  I didn’t think I could deliver on 787;  757 and 767 weren’t too exciting; so thanks to Kendall’s (Washington Beer Blog) recommendation I settled on 777.  The idea was to end on Scuttlebutt Brewing’s 777, but when I was unable obtain a bottle, I decided to end where I started, but a year later. Beer #1 was Firestone Walker XIV Anniversary Ale and beer #777 was Firestone Walker XV Anniversary Ale.

The Support
Over the year I was encouraged by friends to keep up with the count.  Early on and throughout the year, it was Chris (@SocialRetard) who convinced me to keep going. Up in Canada, Bob was helping my keeping track of my beer per night average.  At work, it was Ron (@shaqfeasel) who helped me select milestone beers. Most of all it was my wonderful wife, Cindy (LuschC or @torkwench), who was very patient as I rudely posted as she sat waiting. I know it was annoying.

The Spreadsheet
In May, it finally dawned on me that I should create a spreadsheet to actually keep track of the beer.  Up until then, I had only been posting them to Facebook/Twitter.  I don’t know what took me so long, I love spreadsheets.  It was a pain, but I went back through and documented each. I found a few errors, and true upped the count. I then went a few months before updating it a second time.  You would have thought I would have learned, and had to true up again.  The second time, I went back and added additional information like the State/Country it was from and the style of beer.  After this I rarely went more than a week without updating the list, and became intrigued by the information I was gathering.

The Outcome
I drank a lot of beer, 777 in fact, averaging 2.13 per day.  This doesn’t even count the tasters at the four beer festivals I went too (Kona Brewers Festival, Bremerton Beer Fest, GABF, & Hop Scotch in Vancouver, BC) or samples at any of the breweries we visited.   Without further ado, here are the number I collected. (See the complete list)

 Beer by Type

Craft

732

94.2%

Import

38

4.9%

Macro

7

0.9%

Comments: Over 94% Craft Beer, need I say more?

Beer by Country

USA

716

92.1%

CANADA

27

3.5%

MEXICO

9

1.2%

ENGLAND

7

0.9%

IRELAND

6

0.8%

BELGIUM

5

0.6%

GERMANY

2

0.3%

SCOTLAND

2

0.3%

ITALY

1

0.1%

CHINA

1

0.1%

CZECH

1

0.1%

Comments: I drank American! Over 92% of the beer I drank was made in the USA.  A trip to Whistler and the availability of Howe Sound in Seattle boosted Canada.  Eating at Mexican restaurants help explain Mexico.  Beer is not one of China’s better imports.

Beer by State (15 Total)

Washington

372

47.9%

Oregon

141

18.1%

California

72

9.3%

Colorado

49

6.3%

Hawaii

38

4.9%

Missouri

19

2.4%

New York

8

1.0%

Alaska

5

0.6%

Delaware

5

0.6%

Pennsylvania

3

0.4%

Comments:  I kept it local and drank a heck of a lot of beer from Washington.  Throw in Oregon’s fine beer and 66% of the beer I drank came from Cascadia!  Even with a trip to Hawaii and Colorado, they still couldn’t beat out California.

Beer by Style (63 Total)

IPA

120

15.4%

Pale Ale

78

10.0%

Winter Warmer

70

9.0%

Brown Ale

41

5.3%

Porter

40

5.1%

Amber Ale

39

5.0%

Stout

29

3.7%

Dark Lager

26

3.3%

Lager

26

3.3%

Black IPA/CDA

22

2.8%

Comments: Am I a hop head? I drank a lot of IPA’s, but just think how many Winter Warmers I could have had if they were available year round. For the most part, I’m a fairly well rounded beer drinker.

Beer by Brewing Company (152 Total)

Elliott Bay

5.3%

41

Full Sail

5.1%

40

Georgetown

4.9%

38

Deschutes

2.6%

20

Big Al Brewing

2.4%

19

Redhook

2.3%

18

Fremont Brewing

2.2%

17

Josephsbrau

2.1%

16

Scuttlebutt

1.9%

15

Ninkasi

1.8%

14

Widmer Brothers

1.8%

14

Comments: My local brewpub Elliott Bay Brewing Company with their two locations (soon to be three) just edged out the mighty Full Sail, who very narrowly edged the Seattle staple Georgetown. Two of the top five are within walking distance (Elliott Bay West Seattle and Big Al’s).  My idea of cost cutting is Trader Joe’s Josephsbrau line.  Beer from 152 breweries, that is not too shabby.

Top Beer (430 Total)

Session Black (Full Sail)

18

Bob’s Brown Ale (Georgetown Brewing)

10

Shlafly Pale Ale

10

Jubelale (Deschutes)

10

Black Toad Dark Ale (Josephsbrau)

10

Odin’s Gift Ruby Ale (Odin Brewing)

8

Manny’s Pale Ale (Georgetown Brewing)

8

Redhook ESB

7

Elliott Bay Noale

7

Ninkasi IPA

7

Session Fest (Full Sail)

7

Comments:  Wow, 430 different beers, pretty crazy. My go to beer, Session Black, rocketed to a clear victory in the race for the top beer drank.  I just like its dark malty flavor in a lighter bodied form factor. Georgetown’s Bob’s Brown Ale may only be around for a few weeks a year, but I got as much as I could.  How the heck did Shlafly Pale Ale sneak in there? I was held captive for a week in St Louis and this was the best beer that was available, not that I minded.  Three winter beers in the top eleven, what can I say, I like the winter beers.  Black Toad is really pretty good, try it, you might like it too.

2012 Plan
I had a good time tracking and posting each beer in 2011; however it did wear on me at times.  For 2011 I’m going to post every new beer I try, including samples, but not track them publically.  I’ll track them behind the scenes and see where I end up. Ron (@shaqfesael) already threw in his guess of 250, what is yours?  I’ll let you know in a year. #NewBeer

Cheers!

Just a few of the many photos

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2012 9:12 pm

    That’s insane! I’d like to know the calorie count. Track that on your spreadsheet. Then again some of those winter beers I consider to be the perfect dinner.

    • DraughtE permalink*
      January 21, 2012 3:35 pm

      Ugh, I don’t want to know the calorie count or the actual dollars spent. Thanks to more exercise, I was able to shed about 20 pounds last year.

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