So we’re leaving 2019. We’re entering 2020. This happens every year on December 31st. The one day of the year where the LCBO, The Beer Store, Grocery Stores are just overwhelming with last minute customers. They used to say that December 23rd is the most busiest day of the year, but…. I don’t think so, it’s December 31st. People are rushing out to get food and booze because well, they’re closed for a day. It’s just pure insanity. But anyways, let’s talk about beer.
The BEST of 2019 in Ontario Craft Beer? Well, let’s go. I won’t be doing it by style, that’s just too much work for my fingers. So let’s do it my way and call it the best of 2019. Maybe it’s 10, maybe it’s 6. Let’s talk about beer. These are in no order, literally, what I think of the best beer in 2019 from me in terms of repeat purchases, holy shit, it’s good, uhh, and styles. This is just the one and only post for my best of 2019. Honestly, this post is all about fun and beer, not to get into incredible details. Just my thoughts.
CRISPY FOREVER BY WELLINGTON BREWERY
Crispy Forever is our award-winning Helles Lager double dry-hopped with loads of Citra, Amarillo, and Cascade hops. With a fresh citrus aroma, grassy hop notes, and an extra crisp finish, this one truly is Ontario’s #1 crispy boy.Wellington Brewery
Of course, this made the list of my BEST of 2019. It’s not very often that I would actually grab a WHOLE case right from the get-go. I mean, I would get a case of all the beer but…over the whole year. But this one, I literally bought a 24 of this and took it to a wedding that weekend. I crushed ’em. It was delicious. I hope they do make it year-round….or at least bring it back like…..twice a year. It GOT Forever in the name, damn it.
RICE-IPA BY BARNCAT ARTISAN ALES
Rice-IPA with 25% Rice and Idaho 7 HopsBarncat Artisan Ales
Barncat Artisan Ales, of course, they would make any Best of 2019 list for Ontario Craft Beer. It’s Barncat, for crying out loud. I went with Rice-IPA because of its simplicity and crush factor. Simple as that. That’s why it got a BRUTUS.
SUPER CRISP BY RED CIRCLE BREWERY
Yet another 24 case that I picked up…. BUT I made sure that folks over Guelph got to try this. So I dropped off some at Sid’s, I dropped off some at Mike’s….and for him to give to Adam. I gave it to my co-workers. It was THAT good. Absolutely banger of a crispy-boi. BRUTUS DESERVING.
DUBBEL BY ROYAL CITY BREWING
Absolutely one of my favourites this year as I kept going back to get it over and over. It was pretty delicious and even I took the chance to gift these Dubbels to my coworkers and my Father-in-Law as well. It’s a well made beer. It’s good. It’s BRUTUS-worthy!
DISSOLVED SPLENDOR BALTIC PORTER BY WELLINGTON BREWERY
Baltic Porter? Well, you know that’s calling my name. Yet another local brewery stole my heart….and walllet because I actually went back and got more of this beautifully made beer. Yup, it was barrel-aged as well. I took some heat because I said Stone Hammer missed out on the chance of barrel-aging their absolutely GOLDMINE of a baltic porter called Continuity. Well, this DESERVES a BRUTUS!
UVB-76 BY WELLINGTON BREWERY
Every year since this legendary UVB-76 has launched at Wellington Brewery, I look forward to the UVB-76 Launch Day! It’s literally one of my favourite days out of the whole year, right up there with my birthday! Jeff Wilson has created this masterpiece that can easily rival any other barrel-aged imperial stouts. But what I love about UVB-76 is everything from the artwork to different varieties/flavours that can actually work. Like last year, we were surprised with a UVB-76 Cask that had FISHERMENS, yes, THOSE FISHERMENS! This year was incredible once again and I made multiple purchases of UVB-76 4-Pack. It can easily knock you on your ass, just don’t have all four in a single evening like I did. SPACE-WORTHY OF A BRUTUS!
EULA BY SHORT FINGER BREWING CO.
I took the famjam to Short Finger back in June to pick up Short Finger’s first ever canned beer, yup. EULA was refreshingly crisp, tart and clean. Before I even finished the first can, I opened the second can. It was that good, hopefully it’ll make another appearance in 2020. Short Finger Rules! I would like to try and make it out that way more often as they’re constantly releasing great beer that sounds so good. SHORT CAN OF A BRUTUS!
RIVERSIDE IPA (FORMERLY KNOWN AS JUICE WAYNE BY ROYAL CITY BREWING CO
It had a different name in the beginning, it was wonderful…. Then, something happened along the way of tweaking Juice Wayne, they added….lactose and it wasn’t wonderful anymore. But fearnot, they heard the cries and changed it back to the non-lactose recipe, changed the name to Riverside IPA and boy, it’s ever juicy and hazy. It’s so good that I constantly keep buying a can or two of this when I stop by Royal City to grab my Smoked Honey and their seasonals. You see, Exhibition IPA won Best IPA at the OBAs but 2020? I can “see” Riverside IPA taking that honour if they chose to enter that. A ROYAL-WORTHY BRUTUS!
THE BRUTUS FOR CONSTANTLY BUYING THE SAME BEER BUT THE WIFE DRINKS IT FIRST BEFORE I DO.
So this is a category that I like to poke fun at, well, let’s see. When I buy a beer, especially a new to me beer, I will only get one (based on price, brewery, style, etc etc.) and that will go home with me to the fridge to be consumed later that evening or the next day. However, there are times when I open the fridge to find that beer only to be consumed by none other than the wife. So that honour belongs to TWO different beers, two very expensive beers by the way of $5. From the legendary No. IPA line of Collective Arts, No. 11 and No. 12 was consumed by the wife before I did. Then I purchased more to actually try them. That’s the BRUTUS.
THE BRUTUS BEER OF THE YEAR?
For 2019, there was a LOT of great beer that I got to consumed and repeatedly purchased it. I’m giving this award out to a beer that I LOVED getting over and over, not just based on style or rating. Because I LOVE this beer, that’s why it will get the Brutus Beer of the Year. It was actually SUCH a tough call between the two beers that I wanted to pick. It’s actually from the same brewery. That’s why Wellington Brewery’s Dissolved Splendor, Barrel Aged Baltic Porter is getting this honour. Congrats to you! Congrats to the reader who has made all the way to the last sentence. Now I’m going to drink some beer.
THE MEH BRUTUS
For 2019, there was a LOT of great beer….and of course, with that there was a lot of bad beer. I would have to give that nod to Steam Whistle whose motto is to do one thing really, really well. Oh hello Pale Ale. Yikes!