2021: US Against Them…

The door has closed on 2021 and a new chapter begins as we welcome in 2022, come whatever may. It is resolution season, and for many, a month of abstinence from alcohol as penance for an indulgent December, with a reduction in consumption certainly being adhered to personally. But, I like to look back at the previous year once all the Christmas shenanigans are out of the way. Both personally and professionally, December is a busy month and finding time to write words can be tough!

I was going to revisit 2021 vicariously through the beers I had consumed over the course of its 12 months, but I always find choosing a top selection difficult. Do I select a top three, five, ten or even 9? The latter being a recent Instagram trend as nine images fit nicely into a single tile, befitting the platforms format for posting. In what has been another stellar year for beer, I don’t like cutting out beers from a ‘top’ selection, as I feel it does those that don’t make it a disservice.

However, there’s been a steady stream of beers heading my way in 2021 from the distant lands of the US. Of course, I have been spending money wisely on beer from breweries from our own shores too, but my thirst for the fresh, hoppy and hazy juice from the Land of the Free has been hard to quash. My supply has mainly come from my brothers import business, Beers Of America, so being able to support him throughout a tough year has also been incredibly satisfying for me personally too.

But why, when there is a plethora of fine beers from the UK to choose from, do I find myself delving into the world of more costly American beers? Whilst the whole FOMO (that’s fear of missing out, for the uninitiated) may have somewhat calmed in 2021, the allure of trying something rare and hard-to-find has not. It might also be fair to say, I have a thing for the Land of Opportunity.

You see, America is top of my bucket list when it comes to travelling the world. With Covid putting paid to any chance of a relaxing honeymoon recently, and a child now on the way, it’s unlikely that I will get across the pond anytime soon. Whilst drinking the finest beers from New York, California or Miami doesn’t quite scratch the itch entirely, it does go someway of making the world seem a little smaller. What’s more, it was the US that started this whole modern craft beer movement right?

Sure, the UK’s game of playing catch-up is going very well with many breweries of note doing a stellar job, but there are one-of-a-kind breweries and beers available from and between both coasts. There’s the Slushy Series from 450 North, the Hydra beers from Mortalis and, let’s not forget, Pliny the Elder from Russian River. Arguably, these breweries and beers are at the top of their game and there are no comparable brewers doing the same in the UK, and that’s why the allure of US beers has been hard to ignore.

Who knows, maybe one day I will make it over to one or more states of the US and have some of these beers first hand. Until then, the worlds public health and my to-be-born son allowing (kids cost a lot of money I hear), it seems that the most cost affordable way to get my American fix is by drinking its fruits at home. That and slowly replacing American Football with England’s once-golden round-balled equivalent…

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