Yet another Year of Beer in the books and wow… what a year! Just like everyone else in the world, we pivoted due to COVID-19 and hosted quite a few Volumes over Zoom, or socially distanced in a park, but we kept on trucking. I for one am grateful for this gang of acolytes, and especially this year amidst uncertainty, unease and stress – Beerstitution was a monthly break of joy, humour and great beer!
This past year, we collectively, and officially, tasted just under 100 beers and discovered some seriously great beers (oh, hi Mikkeller George!), and a few terrible surprises (oh… hey Ale-O-Ween…). Due to the bumps and bruises of Covid-19, I didn’t choose the usual winners this year because I think we were all winners just for being safe, healthy and able to join up once a month with great beers. Also, due to the fact that we were all at our respective homes tasting solo, we chose the 7 beers that we either figured we had a good chance of finding and/or were clear winners of their volume (some volumes were more of us chatting and just drinking what we had in our fridges).
This year’s winner of Beer of the Year is Le Castor’s Saison Rayée!
Beer Ye! Beer Ye! Onto the Beers!
Mascarade (Benelux) – Volume 60
This was a tough beer to find but for those who did have it, it kind of underwhelmed this time.
BRSTº Rating: 3.1/5
Boulet Funky (À La Fût) – Volume 61
So this was not the same Boulet Funky that won Vol 61 (oops!) and this one tasted like a “cowboy shoe” and a “cottage mocassin”…. so not good.
BRSTº Rating: 2.6/5
Echo Chamber (Halcyon Barrel House) – Volume 62
Another tough one for some to find but it hit a lot of high notes – like Dave when he gets real excited like.
BRSTº Rating: 4.2/5
Milkshake IPA (Vox Populi) – Volume 63
This volume was odd to have a winner since it was the time we visited Oshlag and walked through the brewery drinking a bunch of their beers… However, the beer that we all agreed was the best that night (S’toutünstout) was not available for Byear in Review, so we went with #2 (which I love, but others… not so much).
BRSTº Rating: 2.2/5
Ta Meilleure (Lagabière) – Volume 66
The official winner of this volume was in fact Citra Table from Dunham but ut was nowhere, NOWHERE, to be found. Alas, Ta Meilleure came in a close second and is a damn, damn, fine beer so all was not lost.
BRSTº Rating: 3.8/5
Metamorphe (Le Castor) – Volume 68
The controversial winner of the NEIPA Volume, this scored high again because… well, because it’s very very good!
BRSTº Rating: 3.8/5
Saison Rayée (Le Castor) – Volume 69
What can you say about a beer that crushed the competition a few short months ago and delivers year after year ? Well, you can say CHAMPION!!
BRSTº Rating: 4.5/5
Our winner of BRSTO Volume 72, Byear in Review VI, is Castor’s Saison Rayée, which originally won BRSTO Vol. 69 and is just oh so wonderfully delicious! It also won overall Favourite and Session!