'Tis The Season (For Top 5 Lists)

As we solemnly gather this Christmas to remember the life and death of our Lord and Saviour Leslie Neilson with a Naked Gun marathon, it is also a time to reminisce on the beers we guzzled and good times we managed to force our way into in the past 12 months.

Judd is going to go ahead and give the definitive top five beers of the year and Brad has delved deep into his soul to remember the five golden moments of 2014.

Judd's Top 5 Beers of 2014

Picking just five beers to call my favourite for the year has turned out much more troublesome than I thought.  There were a few in my mind that I thought were certain starters and then I went back and checked my Untappd list and discovered beers I had completely forgotten about which had made me go all tight in the pants. 

Although only a moderate effort compared to others around the traps, my unique beer count for this year is just over 450.  Which let’s face it, is obscene.  If there is ever any doubt as to why I died at the age of 38 from a systemic bodily collapse at least this blog will live on as a testament to the folly of man.

In any event, here is my top five in a particular order.

Five: Croft Brewing – Wolf Scratch Pale Ale

Local-boy-done-good Gavin Croft managed to craft as good a pale ale as I’ve ever had.  Especially impressive given that as a gypsy brewer he’s brewing his beers using “borrowed” equipment in caravan.  Or as is my understanding.  He’s also got a set of thighs that can make a man weak at the knees.

Four: Feral Brewing – Watermelon Warhead

Of the five beers in this list, the Warhead was easily my most anticipated.  I’d been hanging out for this bad boy for months before finally having a few at a little event held at Newstead Brewing Co.  It was everything I had hoped and more.  Probably helped by the memories of winning a watermelon helmet carving contest and then a beer soaked watermelon eating contest.



Three: Keep on Truckin’ - Brewcult

To be fair, I could probably have just had a Brewcult only top five and been ok with that.  But the hoppy red ale was my pick of the lot.  Just a perfect balance of malt, hop aroma and bitterness.  I first sampled this at about 11:00pm on a Wednesday night during Brewsvegas.  Fitting, really.

Two: Barroski – Bacchus Brewing Co.

I was always going to have to have a Bacchus beer in here somewhere.  Purely based on probability as much as anything else.  I’d hazard a guess and say 64% of all my unique beer check ins for the year were brewed in Capalaba.  A russian imperial stout aged in Barossa shiraz barrels.  What could possibly go wrong?  The shiraz imparted a whole lot of berry flavour that married perfectly with the big, boozy, chocolate and coffee stout flavours.  And as usual, the barrel aging smoothed it all out wonderfully.  An absolute triumph.

One: Where Strides The Behemoth – Kaiju

I don’t even know where to start with this monster.  It blew my fucking head off and firmly cemented black IPA’s as my favourite style.  At close to 11% alcohol and 4 trillion IBUs it is utterly devastating.  It’s like forcing your taste buds to watch Requiem For A Dream.  On repeat.  For a decade.  A masterpiece that will leave you practically comatose for hours afterwards.  I’m getting the shakes just thinking about it.

Take a bow you wonderful beast.  

Take a bow you wonderful beast.

And there you have it.  The five best beers of 2014.  I will literally punch you in the face if you disagree with anything I’ve just written.

Brad’s Top 5 Golden Moments From 2014

You now when a TV series gets towards the end of its run, but obviously feels it needs to eek out one last piece of filler to cap off the season, so they run a truly criminal clip show, highlighting hilarious moments from the year, in a vain hope that people will remember the season fondly and buy it on DVD for Christmas? Here you go:

Five: Spilling an entire pint of Bacchus Brewing Sex Drugs and Rocky Road

Tragic, I know. A group of friends converged on the newly opened Bacchus Brewing bar at Capalaba for their SpecTAPular event and began drinking with fervour, dangerous fervour. My cousin, Nick, is usually a master when it comes to doling out a clip around the chops, delivering each blow with enough precision to gracefully glide over top of the skull. Caught up in the hubris that 30 beers on tap affords, Nick went in to deliver a clip to my beard but sadly miscalculated – out by a single millimetre, we reconciled – and consequently brought my entire pint of Sex, Drugs and Rocky Road crashing to the newly laid carpet. Our dignity, along with what seemed like a river of that dream of a beer lay in puddle, seeping into the floor.

Moments before The Clip.

Moments before The Clip.

Four: The Croft Brewing launch

I began the evening at the Croft Brewing launch at Zuri, sober as a judge and considering pales ales to be passé and beyond my rapidly changing palate, which had developed a massive ego it’s own. Wolf Scratch and Saison Grenade later, I left decidedly not-so-sober, evidenced by my decision to purchase an e-cigarette despite having never smoked previously, and with a born-again-like zeal for pale ales.

Three: The brewing of the City2Stout at Newstead Brew Co.

Being involved (I’m using this term loosely, very loosely) in the brewing of the charity brew City2Stout smoked stout at Newstead Brew Co was the best. Judd and I homebrew (again, loosely) and in our excitement I swear we had a whole conversation in excited side glances – Look! It’s just like what we do at home, except they’re not fucking everything up completely! Of course our excitement ground to a halt when we eventually paid the price for the aforementioned privilege – jogging the 14km City2South until we actually died.

Two: Brewsvegas

Brewsvegas was a dream. The living, breathing articulation of the dream that everyone who loves beer wants the world to be like. A vision of Brisbane at the forefront, making a bold statement and sounding a message to all others: this is how local beer is celebrated.

One: The launch of our very own Brewed, Crude and Bitter

Or the second coming of Christ, as it is known in our households. Look, in amongst the stuff that makes me cringe so hard I could plotz, there’s some stuff that both Judd and I agree could be okay. We’ll still write for as long as we can wring every last drop of enjoyment out of the subject and if someone reads a thing we’ve written and doesn’t want to gouge out their eyeballs, we’ll be alright in the end.

We love youse all.  

We love youse all.