Bitch Beer’s 2014 Year in Review

What can we say, 2014 was a big year for beer. In our annual review below, check out the beers, beer events and beer news that the ladies of Bitch Beer found noteworthy this year. Plus, get a sneak peek at what we’re looking forward to in 2015.

Caroline | Writing from Austin, TX

Caroline 1My favorite new beer release of 2014 was: there were too many amazing new beer releases this year to count, but I’d say the one that’s been spending the most time in my fridge lately is Hops & Grain PorterCulture. I’m really excited to have that beer now available in cans year-round.

The beer I drank the most consistently in 2014 was: probably Real Ale Hans’ Pils or Austin Beerworks Pearl Snap. Both seemed to occupy near permanent space in my fridge.

The best beer event I attended in 2014 was: once again the Great American Beer Festival and all of the fantastic events that surround it. Visiting around 30 breweries on our Denver roadtrip this year was the cherry on top.

My favorite Bitch Beer story to write this year was: Bugs and Beer: The Art of Pairing Craft Beer and Crickets” because it was a completely bizarre story that I just had to write, even if it ended up grossing many of our readers out. Sorry for that.

My favorite Bitch Beer story to read this year was: Sarah’s Beginners Guide to Exploring Craft Beer, posted way back in January.

My favorite craft beer trend of 2014 was: probably the Crowler. I was excited to get a fill of Tequila Barrel Aged Gubna this year from the Oskar Blues taproom, and am excited to see that many Texas bars and brewpubs are beginning to offer crowler fills.

My least favorite craft beer trend of 2014 was: to stick with the can theme–Man Cans. Enough said.

The thing I’m looking forward to most when it comes to beer in 2015 is: watching Texas craft breweries duke it out under the dome for more rights.

Jessica | Writing from Austin, TX

-1My favorite new beer release of 2014 was: Can I pick two? PorterCulture – Hops and Grain (available year round) and Biere Du Blanc Du Bois – Jester King (out this week and already gone!)

The beer I drank the most consistently in 2014 was:  Fire Eagle – Austin Beerworks

The best beer event I attended in 2014 was: a tie between the Hops and Grain Halloween Party and the Love Austin Beer art show!

My favorite Bitch Beer story to write this year was: Logro Farms and Jester King Snorkel release. 

My favorite Bitch Beer story to read this year was: Caroline’s amazing story about the new Twin Peaks “Man cans.”

My favorite craft beer trend of 2014 was: More sours! Also, just the growth of the craft beer market in general. 

My least favorite craft beer trend of 2014 was: Unexpected small brewery sell-outs to Big Beer.

The thing I’m looking forward to most when it comes to beer in 2015 is: Selfishly, Blue Owl Brewing opening it’s doors. 

Wendy | Writing from Houston, TX

Wendy1My favorite new beer release of 2014 was: Armadillo Ale Work’s Brunch Money. They had me at imperial golden stout and money waffles on the bottle. 

The beer I drank the most consistently in 2014 was: Rahr & Sons Pride of Texas Pale Ale. It’s refreshing, it’s canned, it’s everything I need in life. 

The best beer event I attended in 2014 was: Karbach’s Halloween screening of Zombieland. I worked there briefly this year, so I basically got paid go to an Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow screening and watch grown men participate in a twinkie-eating contest. Win.

My favorite Bitch Beer story to write this year was: the announcement of Peticolas, Revolver and Live Oak’s lawsuit announcement. So exciting!

My favorite Bitch Beer story to read this year was: our “Grains of Possibilities” series. I love the idea of cooking with something that was also used to make my beer.  

My favorite craft beer trend of 2014 was: brewery expansions! It’s so great to see so many breweries opening new taprooms and succeeding enough to expand their facilities. 

My least favorite craft beer trend of 2014 was: This was the hardest question to answer, it’s like telling your children what you hate about them. I would say pumpkin beers. I know they’re not a new trend, but it just seems like every year they get more and more prominent. I just wasn’t feeling it this year.

The thing I’m looking forward to most when it comes to beer in 2015 is: seeing how the above mentioned lawsuit will play out. I feel like its going to be a pretty big deal. 

Sarah | Writing from Austin, TX

482061_10151889829980131_1975828096_nMy favorite new beer release of 2014 was: Blakker Imperial Black IPA from Real Ale, Three Floyds, and Surly. I could not get enough of that delicious, fruity, dark beast of a beer.

The beer I drank the most consistently in 2014 was: Independence Brewing Company’s Power & Light Pale. From the time Indy released this beauty, it has been a mainstay in my fridge and is a go-to beer to bring along to outings with friends. It is crisp, hoppy, and super refreshing.

The best beer event I attended in 2014 was: Brew & Brew’s 1st anniversary party. There were so many great beers on that evening, I’ve lost track of what I drank specifically, but I can never erase the memory of a group of nearly 100 shotgunning a 99-pack of Peacemaker. Dare I say, the folks at Brew & Brew know how to do it Wright? 

My favorite Bitch Beer story to write this year was:Craft Brewers and Beer Organizations advocate for exemption to FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.” I hated the idea of craft breweries being forced to throwing away tons of spent grain due to new FDA regulations outlined in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and felt strongly that people should petition to get the FSMA revised to call out an exemption for spent grain. In September 2014, due, in part, to the thousands of beer-lovers who signed the petition, that is just what happened, so brewers are free to donate their grain to bakeries for dog treats or local farms for cattle feed. It’s pretty cool to see our opinions affect the beer industry’s regulations. 

My favorite Bitch Beer story to read this year was: one of our very first of the year: Caroline’s scoop “Real Ale, Three Floyds and Surly Brew Up Collaboration” breaking the news about Blakker. Why? A) I love those breweries so damn much. B) I counted the days from when we released that story until I could wrap my lips around that beer. C) See above comment about my favorite beer release of 2014.

My favorite craft beer trend of 2014 was: craft beer’s experimentation with coffee and malt flavors in pale beers. Brews like Stone’s Master of Disguise and Cascade’s Oblique Black & White Coffee Stout blew my mind, and I honestly dream of Fate’s Coffee Kolsch and Austin Beerworks’ Vaya coffee cream ale on a regular basis. I could wake up to these tasty mind-game beers every morning.  

My least favorite craft beer trend of 2014 was: letting sweet-ass breweries like Smuttynose and to some extent Uinta fly under the radar after gaining distribution in the Lone Star state. I hate seeing really great beers sitting on the shelves collecting dust while other, more gimmicky beers are bought up. I’m looking at you, Flying Saucer, with your bottles of Brew Dog’s Tactical Nuclear Penguin.

The thing I’m looking forward to most when it comes to beer in 2015 is: more Crowler fill stations in Texas. 32 oz of fresh craft beer safely canned and ready to go whenever I want it sounds pretty good to me! 

Shaun | Writing from Seattle, WA

IMG_1464My favorite new beer release of 2014 was: Fremont Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star. So boozy, so delicious.

The beer I drank the most consistently in 2014 was: Anderson Valley The Kimmie, The Yink & The Holy Gose. Since moving to Seattle I’ve been trying to constantly try new things but this is a six-pack I always grab when I can find it.

The best beer event I attended in 2014 was: GABF. So many beers, so little time.

My favorite Bitch Beer story to write this year was: the round up of Pacific Northwest beers at GABF. Moving to a new region of the US has introduced me to all new breweries and it is fun to learn more about what they are doing and what is going on in the PNW.

My favorite Bitch Beer story to read this year was: Careful, gals, dainty lady lips not made for Twin Peaks “Man Cans.” I thoroughly enjoy any of the posts we get to do pointing out inequalities and/or bad advertising and marketing in the beer industry.

My favorite craft beer trend of 2014 was: the rise of the Gose. It is a delicious style and I am glad that it is becoming more widely available. 

My least favorite craft beer trend of 2014 was: sours that have not matured. I don’t know why it was this year in particular but I have had an unusual amount of sour beers that tasted watery.

The thing I’m looking forward to most when it comes to beer in 2015 is: all the new breweries opening in the Pacific Northwest. 

Ari | Writing from Austin, TX

254558_10150196844752338_637612337_7021620_7836288_nMy favorite new beer release of 2014 was: Oddwood Ales Saison, a barrel-fermented farmhouse beauty from Adelbert’s brewer Taylor Ziebarth. Dry and tart, it was a hallmark of the style for me.

The beer I drank the most consistently in 2014 was: Independence Brewing’s Power & Light Pale Ale. It’s a good brunch beer, a good river beer, a good beer to wind down with. I think I’ve even shotgunned with it once…

The best beer event I attended in 2014 was: the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, my first time to go. Actually, scratch that: I loved, in addition to the festival, all the time the Bitch Beer ladies spent exploring some of the breweries around Colorado, from Golden to Fort Collins to Boulder, before and after GABF. Seeing those breweries was a reminder of how far Austin can go at becoming a craft beer destination, and it made me grateful that I can watch as the city continues to grow into such a place.

My favorite Bitch Beer story to write this year: is a forthcoming piece on Houston’s Whole Foods Market Brewing, a brewery within a grocery store. It’s one more zany example of the innovation in this industry.

My favorite Bitch Beer story to read this year was: Caroline’s recent piece on Twin Peaks man cans. It’s unfortunate the story had to be written at all, but she was articulate and at least made me laugh while I was feeling offended about the whole concept behind the “brestaurant” brewpub. Let’s be honest, all of it needed to be said.

My favorite craft beer trend of 2014 was: all the love for sour and salty beers. Farmhouse ales and goses are (thankfully) what brewers want to make and we want to drink.

The thing I’m looking forward to most when it comes to beer in 2015 is: (fingers crossed) more legislative changes for Texas brewers. I can’t wait to see what rights they’ll be able to gain next year.

Kat | Writing from Seattle, WA

katbitchMy favorite new beer release of 2014 was: Fremont Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star. It’s a boozy chocolate-y beverage and it makes my heart smile.

The beer I drank the most consistently in 2014 was: Fremont Universale. I always use it in beer taco recipes so it’s always on hand and refreshing.

The best beer event I attended in 2014 was: GABF. It was my first year to go and it was like Mecca for beer (optional if “Mecca for beer” might be offensive: it was like the San Diego ComicCon of beer). It was wonderful seeing all the Bitch Beer Austin women again and spending the weekend drinking loads of beer and talking to awesome people in the industry.

My favorite Bitch Beer story to write this year was: the Fremont – Pink Boots Society Scholarship. I got really excited seeing the details of the contest and that it was in an effort to encourage women to get into brewing as a career as opposed to a hobby.

My favorite Bitch Beer story to read this year was: definitely “Man Cans.” It’s almost hilarious but definitely depressing that this even needed to be written about in 2014-going-on-2015. But the story is funny and informative.

My favorite craft beer trend of 2014 was: sour beers. It’s really nice walking into a beer bar and seeing more than one sour beer on tap.

My least favorite craft beer trend of 2014 was: also small breweries selling out to Big Beer.

The thing I’m looking forward to most when it comes to beer in 2015 is: keeping track of the legislative battle in Texas for better distribution rights.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: