…if you read the title and kept reading this thread, well then that is on you.  You’ve been warned!!!  It seems fitting that this is my 50th blog post too.

A quick recap for myself in the craft beer genre

~ Starting this blog

~ As all of my friends know that I am a craft beer ticker.  A ticker is someone who rates every beer that they have tried as they go, regardless of style, preference or quality.  A rating can be anything from a quick 1 to 5 score (5 being the highest) up to a full review with full descriptions of appearance, nose, taste and mouthfeel.  In the calender year of 2012 I completed 638 full reviews on Beer Advocate.

~ I took numerous trips for pleasure and work including two trips to Tampa, Boston, New York City, Cape Cod and of course, the pinnacle of the year, the Great American Beer Fest in Denver Colorado

~ Started using the Untappd App which I totally recommend for any beer drinker

Well, enough about my crap, let’s talk about my beer reviews.  As I had stated earlier, I had done full reviews of 638 beers throughout 2012, so lets break down the best ones of the year…please keep in mind this is not every beer that I had tried as there were probably hundreds more sampled at bottle shares and beer festivals.

The Merc Top 20 of 2012:

20.   Hill Farmstead Juicy ~ Saison / Farmhouse Ale ~ 7.4% ABV ~ 4.45/ 5 Rating   (thanks Fuj)

19.   Lawson’s Finest Liquids Double Sunshine IPA ~ American Double / Imperial Ale ~ 8.0% ABV ~ 4.45 /5 Rating

18.   Captain Lawrence Rosso E Marrone ~ Flanders Oud Bruin ~ 10.0% ABV ~ 4.48 /5 Rating   (thanks CaveDave)

17.   Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia ~ Old Ale ~ 13.50% ABV ~ 4.48 /5 Rating   (thanks Scott Jr.)

16.   Ken Scmidt/Iron Fist/Stone Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout ~ 9.6% ABV ~ 4.48 /5 Rating   (thanks Matt)

15.   Hofbrau (Pittsburgh) Weizenbock ~ Weizenbock ~ 7.8% ABV ~ 4.48 /5 Rating

14.   Founders Red’s Rye PA ~ Rye Beer ~ 6.6% ABV ~ 4.48 /5 Rating

13.   Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze Golden Blend ~ Gueuze ~ 6.0% ABV ~ 4.48 /5 Rating

12.   Captain Lawrence Cuvee de Castleton ~ American Wild Ale ~ 9.0% ABV ~ 4.48 /5 Rating   (thanks CaveDave)

11.   Bruery Bottleworks ~ American Wild Ale ~ 8.0% ABV ~ 4.48 /5 Rating   (thanks Brandon)

10.   Bell’s Hopslam Ale ~ American Double / Imperial IPA ~ 10.0% ABV ~ 4.48 /5 Rating

9.   Drie Fonteinen Armand’4 Oude Geuze Lente (Spring) ~ Gueuze ~ 6.0% ABV ~ 4.48 /5 Rating   (thanks Brandon)

8.   Trappist Westvleteren 12 ~ Quadrupel ~ 10.2% ABV ~ 4.53 /5 Rating   (thanks Scott Jr.)

7.   Bruery Fruet ~ Old Ale ~ 15.5% ABV ~ 4.53 /5 Rating   (thanks Jon)

6.   Bruery Melange No. 3 ~ American Strong Ale ~ 15.5% ABV ~ 4.60/ 5 Rating

5.   The Alchemist Heady Topper ~ American Double / Imperial IPA ~ 8.0% ABV ~ 4.60 /5 Rating (thanks Fuj)

4.   Seling’s Grove Brewing Phoenix Kriek ~ Fruit / Vegetable ~ 6.5% ABV ~ 4.68 /5 Rating

3.   Russian River Beatification ~ American Wild Ale ~ 5.5% ABV ~ 4.68 /5 Rating

2.   Bruery The Wanderer ~ American Wild Ale ~ 8.0% ABV ~ 4.75 /5 Rating

and the Top Rated Merc Beer for 2012 was….Goose Island Bourbon County Rare ~ American Double / Imperial Stout ~ 13.0% ABV ~ 4.95 /5 Rating   (thanks Brandon)

Honorable Mention: Lost Abbey Isabella Proximus

You will notice some names next to some of the beers listed above, that is just an appreciation to the people that shared or gathered those beers.  One great thing about the craft beer community is that most people will get really outstanding or rare beers not only to try them but to also share them with other people.  It is not all about a bunch of guys getting together to get drunk and make fools of themselves, its more of a profound brotherhood.

Since this is the first time I am doing a Year in Review blog post, I guess this would be my Year in Review Awards…someone heard that I was doing this and dubbed them “The Merc-y Awards” (pronounced Merc-ee)

Favorite Breweries Visited in 2012:

  1. Avery Brewing Company ~ Boulder Colorado
  2. Cigar City Brewing Company ~ Tampa Florida
  3. Great Divide Brewing ~ Denver Colorado

Honorable Mention: Troegs Brewing Company ~ Hershey Pennsylvania

Favorite Brewpubs Visited in 2012:

  1. Peekskill Brewing ~ Peekskill New York
  2. Seling’s Grove Brewing ~ Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
  3. Pegs Cantina ~ Gulfport Florida

Honorable Mention: Tampa Bay Brewing ~ Ybor City, Florida

Favorite Beers of 2012 (regardless of review or rating, this is more of preference):

  1. Bruery Wanderer
  2. Lost Abbey Track 7
  3. Lost Abbey Isabella Proximus

Honorable Mention: Russian River Toranado 25th Anniversary

Biggest Surprises of 2012 (regardless of review or rating, more of a surprise because I usually don’t like the style):

  1. Goose Island Bourbon County Cherry Rye
  2. Mustang Brewing Brandy’s Imperial Sundae
  3. Great Divide Salted Gose

Honorable Mention: Spring House Brewing Satan’s Bake Sale

Here is to a healthy and great drinking 2013.  Prost!

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