Happy 2019! Now that the ball has dropped, the confetti cleared, and the flutes of Champagne (or brut IPA) have been polished off, let’s get real — really real — and talk about New Year’s resolutions.
Statistically, most of us give up on our #goals for the year ahead fairly quickly. Our resolutions tend to be fairly predictable: eat healthier, save more money, get organized, spend less time on your mobile misery machine, and so on.
But what about brewers? Can those who make beer for a living successfully cut back — and do they even want to? We asked 15 brewers across the country to share the drinking goals they’ve set for the coming year.
“Brew more, drink less. Just kidding. Real answer: to spend less time analyzing what I’m drinking when socializing and spend more time enjoying the moment. I hold our own products to such scrutiny during tasting sessions — I truly believe this is required to make great beer — that sometimes I forget to turn it off when I’m outside the brewery. I need to remember that the purpose of drinking should be to engage socially and enrich experiences, not to find product imperfections.” — Justin Gyorfi, Co-Founder, Ingenious Brewing Company
“More New England-style IPAs, pastry stouts, and other beer styles that are getting customers excited these days. I tend to stick with different lager and session styles in my personal life, but I want to try and get a little more in touch with the beers and styles that are our customers’ favorites.” — Ethan Buckman, Head Brewer and Co-Founder, Stickman Brews
“I hope to drink and visit more local breweries in 2019. L.A. has such a vibrant and young beer scene, and there’s so much I haven’t tried. I’d also like to try (and make!) more idiosyncratic, rule-breaking, and experimental beers that don’t rely on cheap gimmicks or unnatural ingredients, such as beers inspired by culinary traditions or cocktails. And lastly, a lot more session beers.” — Kevin Osborne, Blender and Co-Founder, Cellador Ales
“In 2018, I was all about drinking German-style lagers for pure enjoyment and plenty of IPA for market research. Though I started the year off as a hardcore skeptic towards the hazy-IPA trend, I drank enough of them to grow a great appreciation for the style. My resolution for 2019 is to push my palate towards other styles and flavor profiles that I don’t usually prefer so I can discover what qualities I like about them. At the top of the list would be Rauchbier and high-ester Belgian styles.” — Nina Houts, Brewer and Cellar Manager, Hopworks Urban Brewery
“I’d love to get out and visit some of the American wild brewers and blenders, like Sante Adairius Rustic Ales and The Referend Bier Blendery. The liquid coming out of them is just fantastic. Maybe I can learn some things!” — Katarina Martinez, Owner, Lineup Brewing
“I really need to drink more water to balance out all the beer I drink. As a brewer, of course, you have to try everything you make.” — Chris Harris, Brewmaster and Owner, Black Frog Brewery
“Since opening a little over a year ago, we haven’t had a lot of time away from our brewery. For 2019 we plan to make time to step away from our operation to drink beer at brewery tasting rooms in and around the Kansas City region. Hopefully drinking more pilsner, helles, barrel-aged barleywines, and kveik-yeast-driven beers.” — Mary and Brian Rooney, Owners, BKS Artisan Ales
“I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions; I often aim too high without working up to them and end up failing. That being said, my beer belly could definitely use one. I guess I’d like to be more healthy in general and stick to drinking on the weekends and for important events. In an industry where drinking is the norm it’s easy to get sucked into doing it on a daily basis.” — Jillian Farrell, Cellarwoman, Crooked Can Brewing Company
“To traverse the landscape of fresh beer in the tiny little corners of this vast country.” — Evan Watson, Brewmaster and Co-Owner, Plan Bee Farm Brewery
“There is a plethora of outstanding, nuanced lagers available now that didn’t exist just a few years ago, and I want to drink but also brew more of them. Double IPAs and pastry stouts are nice but you’ll see me drinking more 5 percent alcohol lagers that are just as complex and enjoyable.” — Jake Austin, Head Brewer and Co-Owner, Austin Street Brewery
“Drink more New England-style IPAs, and replace water with Zima.”— An Bui, Owner, The Answer Brewpub
“To drink and brew in the moment and enjoy it, not try to predict the next big thing that distracts the process and creates a ‘brewing for the sake of brewing’. This limits my ability to enjoy creations throughout the entire process of brewing and drinking beer. In 2019, I want to be able to better balance the business and the artistic process of beer.” — Eilise Lane, Head Brewer and CEO, Scarlet Lane Brewing Company
“I will personally enjoy more pilsners, all the damn time, and hope to get more pictures of me drinking out of a giant snifter. That kind of broke the internet for a second. As for my goal for our incredible customers, it’s getting as much fresh beer into cans and out to them as we possibly can, as a team. I would also love to get our beers sold at Phish shows, but that’s a pipe dream for right now.” — Cully Naramore, Canning Line Operator, Tree House Brewing Company
“Here in Sacramento, with all the young breweries we have the potential to be a great craft-beer destination. My resolution for the upcoming new year is to band together with local forward-thinking brewers and find time to get all of us together to drink each other’s beer and give honest feedback, advice, and share the knowledge that they have learned from the previous meeting. Sometimes we get too busy to really sit down and evaluate our work so hopefully by organizing a local roundtable of brewers we can progress our own beers as well as our neighbors’.” — Derek Gallanosa, Head Brewer, Moksa Brewing Co.
“I have seen myself lately go more and more back to where it started for me and I feel that will continue in 2019. Growing up in Denmark, with no exciting craft beer in the country, we looked at Germany and Belgium for special beers, so for me it all started with hefeweizens, tripels, and dubbels. After years of crazy IPAs, sours, and stouts, I am going back to these old styles now and find much pleasure in them. (Recently I had my first hefeweizen in maybe 15 years and actually enjoyed it!) So next year I will drink more of the Old-World styles and with the opening of our brewery in New York City, I’m looking forward to even start brewing them on a smaller scale. At the scale we brew at currently the batches are just too big to be able to make a Belgian tripel and actually sell it. But that we can do now in NYC.” — Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, Brewmaster and Founder, Evil Twin Brewing