Friday, February 08, 2013

365 New Beers This Year?

For years now (since April 2002), I have been taking personal tasting notes on every new beer that I try. These 'ratings' are housed on RateBeer but I also keep a backup of them on my home computer (a mix of individual text files and a spreadsheet). Geeky? Anal retentive? Most definitely, but with a passion for beer and a chemistry degree, would you really expect otherwise?

Anyway, as I approach my 11th anniversary of taking beer notes, I'm sitting at just over 3200 unique beers that I've tried since I started taking notes. Had I drunk a beer a day during this entire time, I'd be at almost 4000 beers. This got me thinking ... could I, for one year of a normal, settled-down, not-living-abroad, job-and-a-family life try 365 new beers?

Drinking one beer a day is not difficult (lots of people wish they could stop at that!). Drinking a different beer each day for 365 days would not be that difficult. But having already tried over 3200 beers, trying 365 NEW beers might be slightly more daunting.

So I've posed this challenge to myself: can I try 365 new beers in 2013? And while we're on that, what constitutes a new beer (or even a rating, for that matter)? My ground rules are these:
  • a new beer must be a beer I've not rated before 2013
  • a new beer must be at least a 4 oz sample of that beer (a typical brew-pub sampler size, but sufficient for my purposes)
  • a new beer must be a commercially available product (packaged or at a brewpub) and may not be a homebrewed beer
  • ciders will also count as a beer but perry, alcopop (e.g., Mike's Hard Lemonade, kombucha, Smirnoff Ice, etc.) and sake will not count
  • I can rate more than one beer per day and I can miss days, but it will even out to 365 beers by the end of the year
This last rule is to facilitate visits to brewpubs, a beer festival, beer tastings with friends, sick days, etc.

How's it going so far? Well, today is the 39th day of 2013 and I have tried 40 new beers. I'm going to keep this going as long as possible.

Coming soon: the beers I've had so far in 2013 ...

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