What beer did I drink most in 2017? #BrewedAwakening

By / Wine + Drinks / January 5th, 2018 / 4

It’s that time of year where we look back at what we drank during the previous year, and also look forward to what might change in the coming year(s). I started thinking about the beers that I buy the most, and it made me reflect more on the whys than the whats.

Why do we drink what we drink? In my case, the type of beer I drink depends on more than just whether a particular beer is really well made and tasty. Other than when I’m doing a job, tasting a beer to review it or judge it for a competition, the situation usually dictates the beer. If I’m not at home drinking beer, it usually means I’ve driven to my local (The Barrel’s Head in Rothesay) or to uptown Saint John for lunch, and therefore I can only have one fairly strong pint or two lower alcohol beers.

Sometimes I drink samplers if I’m at a brewpub like Big Tide, but usually I drink pints, as I like to enjoy the beer over a longer time period, with my lunch, or while reading a book. Because of this, I buy far more 5% alcohol or under beer than I do strong beer. This also applies to really hoppy, bitter beers or sour beers. I don’t like drinking whole pints of very bitter or sour beer, as I find they tire the palate, and I don’t like them with most foods. So I drink a lot of bitters, pale ales and crisp lagers when I’m at the pub, and occasionally a dry stout, porter, red or brown ale.

At home the results aren’t all that different. While I’m always trying new beers, including strong ones and extreme beers of all types, when it comes to my personal drinking time, it’s mostly pale ales, bitters and hoppy lagers, with the odd weissebier or wit thrown in. During summer, that shifts even more to the crisp lager department, as we drink more beer on the beach, patio or floating island.

In summary, if I were to guess the top 5 breweries/beers I consumed in 2017, it was something like this:

5. Granite Brewery (the only growlers I bring back regularly from Nova Scotia, mostly their Best Bitter, Ringwood and Peculiar. I also drink it at various Halifax pubs like Stillwell and The Henry House).

4. Hammond River (miscellaneous beers from their taproom attached to the Barrel’s Head).

3. Foghorn (their taproom is the closest bar to me, and I love their English style beers).

2. Grimross Maritime Cream Ale and Maritime Pale Ale (at home, purchased in cans. These are very well balanced ales).

1. La Kedgwick Pils, Petit Sault, Edmundston (almost all from the stubby bottles sold at the ANBL – a perfect, crisp, hoppy pils).

Happy New Beer!


Craig Pinhey discovered good drink circa 1985 at Ginger’s Tavern/Granite Brewery in Halifax and has been writing about beer, wine and spirits for 25 years. A Certified Sommelier and BJCP judge, Craig lives in New Brunswick where he runs his own writing and consulting business and is the beverage columnist for Brunswick News. He is the only person to have judged all of the national wine, spirits and beer awards of Canada.

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