December 31, 2014

Top 10 Albums and Beers of 2014, Part 3

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.

Part 1
Part 2

Pup and Infamous are both fairly new to the scene. While Infamous has been around Austin for a little over a year, this was the first year cans of the Infamous IPA were available in stores.  I had this several times on draft and the cans held that same hop punch in the face that I had come to expect.  Pup give you a similar punch in the face with the “Guilt Trip” opening to their self titled album.  The entire album is chock full of rockers and its the lead singer that gives it his all on every song that really carries this one.  Both great starts by new faces on the scene and I can’t wait to see them both grow.

They Want My Soul and Porter Culture are both very sexy beasts. Spoon came out with another great album with that stark Spoon sound.  It didn’t take long for They Want My Soul to fit right into the Spoon lexicon and while it’s nothing ground breaking, it’s simply Spoon doing what it does best.  The Porter Culture was a deep dark Baltic Porter that continued Hops & Grains roll of canned releases. A malt forward offering that is everything you want and expect from a porter and Hops & Grain in general.

Brunch Money and Sunbathing Animal are both a lot of fun.  Sunbathing Animal continues where Light Up Gold left off with all the off-beat and quirky lyrics over a stylistically unique brand of rock.  Sunbathing Animal is about their cat and one of my favorite songs of the year.  The album takes you in all directions, but its always a good time.  Brunch money is unique in its own right, being a blond stout of sorts.  There was a lot going into this blonde ale to trick your senses into thinking Stout, like coffee, maple syrup, lactose sugar, vanilla, and cocoa nibs. Taking my tastebuds on a ride this was a fun beer to quaff and definitely different.

Classic band and classic brewery.  I had no idea Lagwagon was coming out with an new album, and it was classic Lagwagon.  Pure punk greatness.  (512) can do no wrong in my eyes and their SIX was no exception.  A Belgian Dubbel which is right up my alley, by my favorite Austin brewery equals a win win for me.

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