52 beers: How did I do?

This blog entry came later than anticipated, but as they always say: Better late than never!

For 52 weeks, starting in early March 2010 I did something I actually rarely did before: 1) A 52 week photography project and 2) Try a new beer each and every week. While I had a few beers that I've had before, the general rule of thumb is that if I don't remember what they tasted like, then it was a-o-k to try them again.

Week after week I managed to try beers I've never tried before, cheap beer, expensive beer, local beer, import beer. It was interesting none-the-less. I've had beers I absolutely was wowed by, such as Kasteel Rouge. Kasteel Rouge was expected to be a dark Belgian beer, but I didn't expect it to be a very fruity sour cherry beer. I've never had a sour cherry beer in my life.. and it worked quite well! I've had quite a few beers I was quite surprised by... by how bad they were! I discovered that the majority of the import beer that the Manitoba Liquor Commission sells in their stores are generally the same: low quality corny lager that tastes like Heineken or MGD. There were very few import beers that really wowed me (outside of Western Europe). It's disappointing really - I was hoping for a regional take on beer, but every region on the planet seems to do lager very mediocrely.
What did I learn from the project? Sometimes the best beer is the beer you have overlooked time and time again. See that bottle of ale with a thick layer of dust at the LC? Yes, that one. Try it, nobody else will. Quite a few times I find that to be the best beer in stock. However, other times? I realize why nobody buys it, crap-o-rama.

What beer would I never want to drink ever again? New Grist Gluten Free "beer". Thank goodness it doesn't actually list the word beer anywhere on the bottle. I wouldn't call this a beer at all, smelled like dish soap.

Beers that I would love to have again? Rogue Mocha Porter, Half Pints' Burly Wine, Cannery Maple Stout, DeuS Brut des Flandres, Trappistes Rochefort 10 and Muskoka Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout (DELICIOUS!)

A tip I'd give to anyone who's thinking about doing a 52 Beer project: Take your time, go to your local beer store and make a list of your top beers you would love to try. When the store gets in a new product, try it the same week. If possible, review every beer with an open mind. I know you may prefer beer from a certain brewery, from a certain region of Belgium, but it's all about variety and exposing yourself to a bit of culture.

Have fun and check out the Photo Page!


Adrian said...

That Gluten Free "beer" was truly awful. Like Budweiser awful.

Cody Lobreau said...

Worse than Budweiser, actually!