I had thought about doing the Golden Pints thing, but as I don't lead what I believe is called the "typical beer blogger recreational drinking lifestyle" (Beer and Pubs - A Personal History), I couldn't see how I'd be able to fill in the requisite categories. So, this is my attempt at an assessment on the year's beer related activities as seen and done by me.
To me, actual beer hasn't progressed that much this year. Not living in a hipster enclave, I haven't drunk many fashionably weird beers this year. Preston's new beer place, The Moorbrook is possibly the only outlet for such things around here, but even there lager and Thwaites Original outnumber the sales of crafty stuff. The spectacle of seeing them unable to shift Mad Hatter Manchester Tart would not be seen much, I trust, south of Wigan. (Jaipur £3.30 a Pint)
One hitherto craft place to was reduced to installing Peroni on the fonts to drum up sales. And despite being vastly overpriced for what you get, it's at least the 3rd best selling beer there. I did question this at the time, saying that while it won't necessarily bring in the "wrong sort", Peroni will encourage them to linger longer than they otherwise would have done. (Regression to the Mean)
In the absence of decent Craft in many towns, drinkers now at least have a better selection at the local Wetherspoons. There's the Sixpoint in cans, the Lagunitas, the Adnams Red Rye IPA. In fact, in many places the Spoons will be the best place to go for decent beer. And then there's ridiculously-named BrewDog This. Is. Lager, which is a decent enough pint of fizz for £3.30. Though how BrewDog can now claim to be making Beer For Punks while shifting pallets of stuff at Timbo's and Tesco's is a moot point (Interview with Baron Dickie of Ellon).
As for me, well there's been good times and bad. I had an immense 16-hour drinking session in Edinburgh in October, which is possible now the whole of Scotland's capital has gone Craft (I Wish I Was in Crafty Hipster Land), but that's pretty much the only ludicrous thing I've done this year. There have been, unfortunately, a few too many incidents where I've ended up a mess (both mentally and physically) on the bus and afterward due to unwise drink choices. But as I'm still unaware of how that happens, I'll have to live with it for the time being. Or, as I often did, switch to Fentiman's if I'm feeling delicate.
On to 2015, then. Towards my 40th birthday in 49 weeks.