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The New Year’s Resolution. That little promise to yourself that you’ll join the YMCA (actually going isn’t required), stop swearing (when no one is around), or eat better (as soon as the Christmas leftovers are gone and Culver’s no longer exists). These little beauties usually have a shelf life shorter than mayonnaise left in the sun, and […]


The New Year’s Resolution. That little promise to yourself that you’ll join the YMCA (actually going isn’t required), stop swearing (when no one is around), or eat better (as soon as the Christmas leftovers are gone and Culver’s no longer exists). These little beauties usually have a shelf life shorter than mayonnaise left in the sun, and are forgotten by 90 percent of us before the calendar flips to February.

So, what if resolutions were things we actually look forward to doing? I’ve got some beer-related resolutions that I plan on working on in 2012.

1. Try at least one beer from every brewery in Wisconsin.
I’ve knocked quite a few of these down, but I owe it to my blog audience to drink my way through the land of cheese. I’ll consider it “research.”

2. Patronize Milwaukee’s best beer bars more often.
Any time I go to The Palm Tavern I remind myself that I should come to the Bay View institution more often. It’s not Brigadoon, the bar is always there. But for some reason I get complacent when choosing my drinking establishments. Milwaukee has a massive amount of bars with great beer selections (Benno’s, Café Hollander, Sugar Maple, Romans’ Pub, The Bomb Shelter, Von Trier, to name just a few) and I owe it to my 2012 self to get to more of them.

3. Expand my beer horizons.
IPAs and I have a rocky relationship, and the bitter finish of an IPA can be tough on my palate. But in 2012, I’m going to try and be more open to IPAs. I’ll give them another shot, largely because I hear from friends that drink them that there are so many good ones to choose from. When it comes to beer, I have a pretty open mind (and mouth).

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Best/Interesting Beers of 2011
I tried quite a few brews this year that were new to me (not necessarily to everyone else). Here are five that stood out (in no particular order). Again, most of the tasting was done for “research.”

Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout: (see below)

Lakefront Fixed Gear: Lakefront never disappoints.

Wells Banana Bread Wheat Ale: I realize it’s gimmicky, but I was OK with the distinct flavor of banana bread in a glass (in limited quantities, however).

Leinenkugel Big Eddy Imperial Stout: I can’t wait to try the next three in the Big Eddy series.

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale: Stumbled across this beauty at O’Shea’s in downtown Louisville. Delish.

A “Playoff” High Life at Miller Park: I’ve had High Life plenty of times before, but never at Game 1 of the National League Championship Series (well before the bitter taste of a series loss to the eventual World Series Champion Cardinals).

Quick Taps
I recently saw a chalkboard outside of a bar in Chicago that read “Beer = Liquid Hugs.” So true.

I tried the Sam Adams Infinium on Christmas. It’s interesting, but not sure it’s worth $20 a bottle.



Barley Pop of the Week
If you haven’t tried Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout, then run out right now and find some (I got mine at Whole Foods). I’m into the whole bourbon barrel aging thing, and it works wonders with this tasty treat. The mellow stout flavor ends with a sweet bourbon finish that is surprisingly smooth. The seasonal is only produced in December, and I’ve heard that is sells out quickly. Don’t delay.

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Events Brewing
If you’re headed out on New Year’s Eve, remember that Milwaukee buses are free thanks to MillerCoors. There’s really no reason to drive to your favorite watering hole.

For detailed route and schedule information, call 1-800-FREE-RIDES (1-800-373-3743), text “FREERIDES” to 90464 or visit MillerLiteFreeRides.com. 

Cheers, and Happy New Year!

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