The return of my top beers and albums of the year. A marriage of two of my passions: Beer and music. The list comprises beers that were new in bottle or cans this year with a few minor exceptions. While I did try a lot of beer that was new to me this year, I didn’t try a lot of beers that were new in general. I know there were a lot of great beers debuting this year and this list is my tops of the few I tried. Same goes with the albums: I listened to a lot of new music this year so there are several really good albums that didn't make the list. As usual, these are all beers available in Texas at some time in the year, and in no particular order.
Probably the two tops on my list. Both stayed in heavy rotation all year and I found I couldn’t get enough of either. Hops and Grain Greenhouse IPA was a rotating IPA that featured a different hop profile every month and I was always sure to grab each months iteration. Cloud Nothings came out early in the year and was prominent in my playlist all year, with “I’m Not Part of Me” my favorite song of the year.
Refined is a great word for both of these. Andrew Bird have certainly refined his music at this point in his career and could sing the phone book and I would buy it and listen to it non-stop. I really appreciate his musicianship and his entire catalog gets frequent listens from me. The Hi-Res is a refined Triple IPA if that is even possible. A huge hop animal that took no shame in being what it was. An assault on your palate.
The Austin Beerworks Heavy Machinery Black IPA gets on this list as a technicality. It was supposed to be the first release of their canned IPA series last year, but missed out due to reasons out of the brewery's control. Instead they released it at the beginning of this year and it was tremendous. I was new to Against Me! until SXSW when their raucous live show blew me away. Transgender Dysphoria Blues stayed in heavy rotation for several months afterwards and helped me relive that excellent live experience.