This past week in magazines and newspapers (and websites) around the country, thousands of words have been spilled breaking down the year that was. The best/worst movies, biggest selling songs, political highlights/lowlights – you name it. Well, I was not spared, as not one, but of my two editors asked me to write up 2012 in review pieces. Each wanted something different, so the two columns are very different – plus each is focused on the local market in which it runs.
The first is Planet S Magazine, who ran a series of “12 for ’12” pieces in all of their sections. For me, 12 was a nice number to go with, being the traditional case size in western Canada. You can read the article here. I picked 12 things that marked the year for me – bests and worsts. Some are personal, like my latest beer crush (which is Paddock Wood Red Hammer, for those of you who haven’t clicked on the link), while others are general observations about the world of beer. The hits are short and allow me to talk about a few things that I hadn’t gotten around to yet, including the total stupidity of aluminum bottles (hello, if it is aluminum it is NOT a bottle, Mr. Corporate Marketing Guys…) and the joys of drinking beer in the Duke of Duckworth (I still plan a post on that sometime soon).
Conversely, the Vue Weekly column (found here) is more universally upbeat, offering the five reasons why I think that 2012 was a pretty darned good year for beer in Edmonton. Much of it is stuff I have talked about in various other places – such as the new craft beer pubs, the start-up of Hog’s Head and the renewed creativity of Alley Kat and others. Still, it is a nice summary of the year that was, beer-wise.
I sometimes get a bit bored with annual retrospective pieces – especially in politics (it has only been 8 months, I think I remember the result of the election, thanks) but at least with beer you can explore the year that was in different ways beyond the “top stories” model. In part that is because the grand narrative in beer is always the same: boring corporate lagers dominated the market last year, but craft is the only growing segment, etc (Hmm. Some cynicism is creeping into the post today – editor). This means you need to be a bit more creative. Besides you get to drink beer while writing and reading it. Bonus.
Happy new year everyone, and here is hoping that the next 12-pack of months is as full of beer as last year.