Local winners in RateBeer’s Best of 2014, and more

rbbest-2015A few random notes and reads…

RateBeer has been rolling out its Best Awards for 2014, with lists of Top New Brewers, Best Beers In the World, and more. The results were calculated from scores posted by the site’s reviewers; two more lists are will be revealed on Thursday and Friday.

In the Best Places for Beer by Subregion category, three Rhode Island establishments took top honors: Julian’s [restaurant], Nikki’s [bottle shop], and Track 84 [bar]. [A brewpub winner was not included; brewer tap room and grocery don’t apply in RI.]

And in Top Beers, Brewers, New Brewers by Subregion, Foolproof’s Raincloud Porter was cited as top beer and Narragansett as top brewer [there was no entry for best new brewer].

Fresh beer: Rev up the sled and head to Exeter to get growler fills and tastings at Tilted Barn Brewery. They’ll have Half-Mile IPA and Winter Sol [a brown ale] for your sipping and purchasing pleasure.

And two diverse reads, if you have more Juno-related time to kill today:

How Great Divide and Sam Adams Decided Not To Fight Over the Whitewater Beer Name, by Jonathan Shikes @ Westword [“ ‘We’d always rather work together with a fellow craft brewer to come to an amicable solution and we were both able to do so here in a spirit of good will.’ ”]

And in case you missed it, the times they have a-really-changed: Bob Dylan Does the American Standards His Way, an exclusive interview by Robert Love from AARP The Magazine [“ ‘I don’t work at Rolling Stone anymore,’ I told them, thinking it was a case of crossed wires, since I put in 20 years there. No, they said, there’s no mistake; he wants to talk to your readers.”]

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MORE new beers from Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada,

On Monday, we covered a dozen new and returning brews. “So many beers, so little time [and money],” we said. Today: more beers, no extra time, and even less money….

In a recent article by Andy Crouch in Boston magazine, Sam Adams founder Jim Koch’s disdain for IPAs was clearly stated: “Until recently, the idea of Koch downing a hop-heavy Sam Adams IPA would have been unthinkable. For more than a generation, Koch steered clear of craft-beer trends — particularly West Coast IPA, a widely popular style defined by the use of pungently fragrant and bitter American hops.” Koch said: “I don’t want to make something if everyone else is doing it.” Crouch wrote, “When Koch talks about IPAs, including his own Rebel and the new Rebel Rouser, his energy level visibly flags. For a man possessed of such demonstrable passion for beer, it’s telling that he appears to view these beers as necessary evils. They are, in essence, a Hail Mary attempt to bounce back into the craft scene, where drinkers’ interest in his flagship Boston Lager is waning.” Rebel Rouser, a double IPA [8.4% ABV] made with American, Australian, and New Zealand hops, is hitting stores now. And it’s a beer with a theme song!

On January 7 we mentioned Sierra Nevada’s Nooner Pilsner and Hoppy Lager, and the new 4-Way IPA box. That variety pack just arrived, with three bottles of Ruthless Rye IPA [6.6%], Blindfold Black IPA [6.8%], which debuted in the 2013 Beer Camp sampler, the stalwart Torpedo Extra IPA [7.2%], and another new beer, Golden IPA [5.9%]. The SN folks call it “a gilded homage to mighty Cascade and the wonderful world of hop flavor it inspired.”

And here are a couple of mid-week beer reads:

Craft Beer Uses 4 Times As Much Barley As Corporate Brew, by Tom Philpott @ Mother Jones [“Which makes craft beer seem like a bit of a bargain.”]

Why Budweiser Thinks Beer Will Die In the U.S. Without Super Bowl Ads, by Jason Notte @ Main Street [“No, seriously: That’s what the company actually believes.”]

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AND if you have beer news and/or feedback and/or comments, please share ’em at bottlescansclaphands@yahoo.com.