2019 was an intensive beer year, during which I sampled 1754 new beers, attended 20 festivals, innumerable TTO and was judge at 4 contests. I have reached my primary goal – i.e. drink less new beers than in 2018 – but by a small margin, which was definitely not the original idea… I r-e-a-l-l-y want to go down to something around 1000 new beers per year.
2019 saw also the death of RateBeer after a long and painful suffering caused by the AB InBev cancer. It was a tough decision, but I had to bury this companion after almost 19 years of friendship. You can find my ratings now on Untappd (https://untappd.com/user/Annihilus). And of course still on my homepage.

For the third consecutive year, the top 5 countries from which I sampled the most new beers is exactly the same: Switzerland, of course, with 753, followed by the USA (163), England (144), Spain (109 – thanks to the amazing Antonio Rey) and Germany (71). To my disappointment, I have not been able to find beers from a new country during the last 12 months. So I have now a total of 17’241 beers from 185 countries.

Sweden (best beer country) and Brewski (6th best brewery) are strong again!

My favorite country in 2019 (with a minimum of 5 beers tasted) has been (like in 2018) Sweden. Then come the USA, Russia, Denmark and Ireland.

Among the 600 breweries I met last year, here are those from which I had the most different beers:

1) WhiteFrontier (20)
2) Riot Act and Brewski (18)
4) Fuerst Wiacek (17)
5) Jens+itzer (16)

N.B. all the 16 beers from Jens+itzer were sampled on the same day at Bacon Beer Day. And there were even some more available…

Talking about beer styles, the depletion of their diversity is unfortunately going on and the presence of IPA and its more or less enjoyable derivatives is more overwhelming than ever. Here are the most represented styles in my new beers of 2019:
1) IPA (217 – for the ninth consecutive year!)
2) sours (137)
3) American Pale Ale (130)
4) Imperial IPA (116)
5) Imperial Stouts (115)
6) NEIPA (109)

My favorite styles in 2019 (with a minimum of 5 beers tasted):
1) Flanders red
2) Imperial Porter
3) American Strong Ale
4) Barley Wine
5) Imperial IPA

And here the styles I enjoyed the less (worst on top):
1) Radler/Shandy
2) Pale Lager
3) Dunkler Bock
4) Amber Ale
5) Golden Ale

My top ten breweries of 2019 shows far less Swiss breweries as usual. Very surely because I got lucky to try some international top ones.

edit: please note that this ranking is weighted by the number of beers tasted and is computed as followed
(n / (n+m)) * R + (m / (n+m)) * C

C = the midpoint of my scale (11)
R = rating average of the beers tasted from the brewery
n = number of beers tasted from this brewery
m = the minimum of beers required to enter the list (3)

WhiteFrontier: best brewery, most beer sampled and 8th best Swiss beer with their 33 1/3 RPM

1) WhiteFrontier (was also top brewery last year!)
2) Tree House
3) Trillium
4) De Moersleutel
5) Gipsy Hill
6) Brewski
7) Alefarm
8) nine brothers
9) Cascade

Four of them were already part of my top ten last year (WhiteFrontier, nine brothers, Cascade and Blackwell).

This lead us to the top 20 breweries in my country (on a total of 210):
1) WhiteFrontier
2) nine brothers
3) Blackwell
4) BFM
5) Craftfeld
6) Old School
7) l’Apaisée
8) À Tue-Tête!
9) Hoppy People
10) S&A
11) Riot Act
12) Güschu 58
13) Cayon’s
14) Altes Tramdepot
15) Fjord & Fjell
16) Tap4
17) la Cave
18) NordSud
19) Brau Rebel
20) Brauhuus 531

Last years, I was able to discover beers from 61 new breweries. Here were my favorites:

Best Swiss newcomer!

1) Craftfeld
2) Tap4
3) la Cave
4) Dystopian
5) Quatre Pouces
6) Brasserie des Diablerets
7) Kunstwerk
8) AnderThaler
9) la Mine
10) B2F (Birrificio Due Fusti)

If you don’t know them already and have the possibility to put your hands on some of their beers, don’t hesitate!

Finally, let’s have a look to my top beers for 2019. First, here is the overall ranking:
1) Cantillon Goldackerl Gueuze
2) 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze Armand & Tommy
3) 3 Fonteinen Speling van Het Lot VII.vii – Aardbei + Kriek – Raw & Uncut
4) Mikkeller Spontanhexadrupelraspberry
5) Cascade Kriek (2018)
6) Tree House Aaaalterrr Ego!
7) nine brothers MF Gose
8) l’Apaisée Coetus Framboise
9) Finback Premium
10)FiftyFifty Eclipse – Apple Brandy

The amazing Cantillon Goldackerl Gueuze: beer of the Year! (courtesy of Per Forsgren)

And here are my top Swiss beers of 2019:
1) nine brothers MF Gose
2) l’Apaisée Coetus Framboise
3) Güschu 58 Cacao Strawberry Seduction
4) À Tue-Tête! Noire Betterave
5) nine brothers Hopefully Something Imperial
6) Blackwell So Long and Thanks for all the Fish
7) Cinq 4000 Wanderlust Abricot
8) WhiteFrontier 33 1/3 RPM
9) Hoppy People Dragonfly
10)Blackwell Tannenbaum Effekt V

cheers and see you soon!