I didn’t know it was New Year’s Eve when I sat down with my morning coffee. I knew we were close, but I honestly didn’t think it was today. When I found out, my first thought was, “Well, heck. I should add some holiday cheer to this cup of coffee.” My second thought was, “Did I meet all my beer-drinking resolutions in 2022?” Let’s recap (read the original column here).
Last Year’s Beer Resolutions
- Drink Less Beer, but Drink Better Beer: I failed, yet succeeded. I did not drink less beer. I’d say I drank quite a bit more. However, it was consistently better beer. Primarily, this was because when I found an enjoyable beer — like Pure Project’s Rain Lager — I stuck with it. I drank it repeatedly.
- Repeat: This means I achieved my second goal! I weened myself away from having Beer-Fomo. I wasn’t missing out on all the great beers I didn’t drink. I was living the dream and drinking great beer after great beer.
- Leave My Beer Stereotypes Behind: This one focused chiefly on hazy beers. I’m sad to say my stereotype has mostly been reinforced over the past year. I’m sure good hazy beers exist. I’ve even had a few, but I’ve learned that the wild variations in the style are too risky for my palate. I’m out…unless you know of one.
- Be Brand Aware: The stories of toxic workplaces petered out in 2022. I don’t for a moment believe they don’t still exist, but I am willing to consider that things did get better. I think the brands that were already treating people well continued to do so, and a bunch of brands that weren’t necessarily toxic but weren’t top-notch upped their game. Thank you to the brands working to be better or even great. Keep it up. Those are the brands I want to support with my consumer dollars and whatever platform this column allows.
- Go to the source: Huge success! I went out to the source a billion percent more often in 2022.* More importantly, I connected with the essential people in my life. My wife and I already spent a boatload of time together, and the early days of Covid amplified that experience.
Going out to Pacific Coast Spirits or Fallbrook Winery together, we could reconnect in a way we had lost. Meeting Bert and Ernie,** the I Like Beer the Podcast hosts at Burgeon Beer, was a highlight of my fall. I wasn’t going out every week as I used to, but these origin trips meant much more. Thanks to all the bars, breweries, wineries, distilleries, et al., that enabled us to commune with family and friends safely.
*To be fair, I, like many of you, didn’t go anywhere in 2021. It was an easy win, and that’s okay. We all need a smiley-faced sticker without a lot of struggle now and again. Be kind to yourself.
**They are both named Jeff, but I prefer Bert and Ernie.
This should bring us up to date. Beyond continuing the work I’ve put in on my 2022 resolutions, I have a few more to add for 2023.
2023 New Year’s Beer Resolutions
- Create experiences: This is inspired directly by the past few weeks in the mountains. Each night I would make a batch of peppermint schnapps and hot chocolates, and my wife and I would wander the early evening looking at the holiday lights. Some nights it snowed. Some nights we walked and shared the lights via video chat with our family. Even now, I’m smiling, remembering the connectedness and warmth I felt (despite the cold). In 2023, I’ll resolve to create more experiential drinking opportunities.***
- Make more toasts: Toasts can be self-indulgent or seem pretentious, but I hope that by making more toasts — the simpler, the better. I’ll attempt to create more opportunities for myself and those I raise a pint with to appreciate the moment. If only for a brief time, we’ll collectively drink with intention.
- Celebrate the makers: When I find a brewer, distiller, or winemaker I like, I’ll make more of an effort to share them with fellow imbibers who may love them too. I hope not to scream widely into the void but rather to target my recommendations more efficiently than your favorite social media platform. Nate loves Mexican-style lagers and people who follow their dreams. I bet he’ll love Del Mar’s Viewpoint Brewing’s Mexican Tornado. Beyond the taste, a portion of the proceeds is dedicated to getting local off-road motorcycle rally racer Edgar Cota to the Dakar Rally—“The holy grail of rally races.”
***I do not condone the violation of any alcohol-related laws, especially open container laws.
Those are my drinking resolutions for 2023. encourage you to make a few drinking resolutions of your own. At the very least, take an extra moment while drinking to appreciate that someone combined a bunch of strange things and then put it in their mouth. What a hero.
Stream the classic episodes of the Roast! West Coast coffee podcast on the Coast News Podcast page, and follow Cheers! North County on Facebook and Instagram. Got an interesting story about your drinking adventures? Reach out! I want to hear it.