At long last, it’s time for the annual beer-y wrap-up, this time with some actual context thrown in for the casual reader. Out of consideration for your valuable time (and, let’s be real, because I haven’t had time to edit everything properly in one go), it will be broken up into multiple entries.
We moved to Ireland in early 2020, just before lockdowns everywhere, and so the holiday season of 2021 was our first opportunity to travel back to the US – specifically, the best beer state in the country, Pennsylvania, I said what I said – since the move. As a result, I got to ring in 2022 with some old favourites: Bell’s Two-Hearted and Victory Prima Pils. Once we were back in Dublin, I spent much of the early part of the year waiting for my updated immigration permissions, which would let me work for anyone, and not just the dumpster fire of a company than had originally brought me over, but at least I had a few standout local beers while waiting: Only Swerving, a Dark Mild from Whiplash, and Craic’d Black Pepper Saison from Hope, specially brewed for a Craic Beer Community event (still at that time very much online). But, lest we forget, the end of January also saw the return of the ability to GO TO THE PUB AND SIT AT THE BAR without also ordering a ‘substantial meal’ and/or relying on table service, and I celebrated with a quick pint in the Black Sheep. And any time the weather cooperated on Saturdays (and often when it did not), I made my way to my local Parkrun, where I seem to have established a habit of finishing at the third woman.
Later in February, I got to meet up with several friends IN PERSON at Rascals, for their Rude Boy/Rude Girl release party; as a fan of both ska and a Black IPA (in the form of the feminine beer), it was a standout evening out. There was also a trip to Dead Centre in Athlone shortly thereafter for an IN PERSON (yes, still in all-caps) Craic Beer Community event, which included a lovely bitter, Six Decades, and the joy of Ballykilcavan Bambrick’s Brown on cask.
Also around this time, all my documentation and approvals came through, and I could leave a wildly toxic work situation for my current role, not only restoring my mental health, but also opening up new opportunities for travel and exciting career challenges. While I work primarily at home in Dublin, my company is based in Denmark, so, in March, I got to fly out to meet my new colleagues in person.
And so to Odense, where I am now old friends with beers from Anarkist/Theodor Schiotz Brewing as well as their mothership, Albani. Ironically, I have yet to get back to Copenhagen properly, though I can absolutely tell you where to eat and drink in the airport (looking at you, Airport Mikkeller). All told, I now have a good handle on Odense’s various offerings. Some other standout Danish beers I enjoyed at this time of year were Christian Bale Ale by Dry and Bitter Brewing Company and Familien olgaard from Fairbar/HumlepraXis. I also drank a Danish Bigfoot-themed beer because I am a sucker for this kind of thing; please feel free to judge.
Coming up next: a busy Spring…