Moderatly Functional Alcoholism: My Year in Beer, 2018!

One of my favorite things about Spotify is their year-end “Spotify Wrapped”, a select summary of a user’s listening habits, the number of hours spent under the headphones and a breakdown of which styles and genres and buzzbands hooked us the deepest and hardest.  So apparently I listened to Wilco in 2018 for the equivalent of 2 straight days. Your bet your ass, I did! We spend (read: waste) so much time online and give so much personal information away on the internet, that it’s truly gross and weird how much I love such a tidy review of an entire year of my detailed activity with one company’s product.  I had no idea that Untappd used the data we freely allow them to mine to create a similar year-end summation until I read Ceetar’s My 2018 Beers in Review piece based on his Untapped “Year in Beer”.  So inspired by that, I cribbed his idea and decided to whip up a post detailing my own beer drinking in 2k18 and here’s what I learned, everybody:

I should drink less beer!

Ceets had said he reliably checks in about 98% of his beers and I do not, friends.  I check in only new beers and try to avoid repeats altogether, with a few exceptions.  Special or rare treats I’m lucky enough to get more than once (Modern Times offerings, for example) get the re-run treatment.  Same with Project Dank by La Cumbre, which is an ever-changing experimental IPA, but the name always remains the same. Beyond those special ones, if it’s a beer that’s clocked a previous check-in, this time it will be swallowed down in quiet anonymity. So while Ceetar reported 397 beers in 2018, this asshole over here counted 354 in new brews alone, with the memories of countless unreported repeat favorites relegated to history’s septic tank by way of the bottom of a stained and yellowed urinal.  Beer-drinking is glamorous!

Now to the numbers for the advanced beer-alytics amongst us:

341 unique beers enjoyed over 85 distinct styles at 112 different breweries.  If you adjust for park factor (a technical calculation based on how many of these beers were enjoyed under a tree in a park), my Value Over Replacement Drunkard (VORD) is a career best for me, and challenges some of the best beer-drinking seasons on record.  And if I continue at this pace, I could be a first-ballot (if insurance approves) liver replacement recipient!

Now back to the minutiae.  The repeat beer I checked in the most (all of 4 check-ins) was the Sucker Punch Double IPA, brewed by local heavyweights Boxing Bear Brewing Co., an outfit that collects medals like Michael Phelps.

While I drank American IPAs more than any other varietal (86 check-ins), the style I rated the most highly was the Imperial Stout – the average overall rating for this type of dark and boozy dream was rewarded with a handsome 4.17 rating by yours truly.  

Gun to my head, I think I would pick La Cumbre Brewing Company as my favorite beer maker in my home state of New Mexico, but the brewery I frequented the most was Bosque Brewing Company (37 check-ins!).  It’s our neighborhood watering hole and the clear favorite establishment of my girlfriend, who is basically like a made guy there.  Back in the day, we’d walk in and be carded like all the other Janes and Joes, but now they shake our hands and greet us with reverence like we’re mobsters who invested in their joint to clean all our dirty money.  It’s awesome.

Back to the thing.  Maybe the coolest part of the Untappd Year in Beer, though, is the map:

A cross-country motorsickle trip last fall afforded me the opportunity to taste beers in a few locations in the south and southeast that I wouldn’t otherwise buy.  I’m talking to you, Lonestar.

via the Barley Prose Instagram account

I found a few decent offerings up in Colorado, and Washington state was solid, but now I’m just getting super excited to drop pins all over my 2k19 map.

I’m hoping for another stop at SoCal suds mecca San Diego, but at the very top of the list is a summer vacation to France and Spain, and while we’re that close, we’re gonna shoot very had to jump the straight and visit Morocco.  The idea of setting foot on African soil is this huge, bucketlist-y goal fueled by curiosity, adventure and a desire to meet other people and experience their culture. 

BUT ALSO to buy a beer I’ve never heard of somewhere in Tangier, post a picture of it to brag that I’m at a cool place that you’re not, and then check-in that beer on another stupid app to share with a bunch of far-away strangers on my goddamn cell phone.  A sadly authentic human experience in 2019!

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Author: Hoppy Gilmore

Burque, Nuevo Mehhico.

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