Archive for the ‘Beer tasting’ Category

Exaggeration would be the best word to qualify my year 2018 in beer and, frankly, I wish I’ll stay in the future far away from the numbers I reached last year. For my own good.
Of course, the 1783 new beers I have tasted look pretty modest in comparison with top RateBeerian fonefan (4516) or the top Swiss beer ticker Thomas “TTT” Schneider (3403). But come on… an average of 4.9 new beers per day?

Best beer country in 2018!

Nevertheless, I’m pretty proud of having sampled more than one thousand new Swiss beers in one year! A milestone only reached and topped by my fellow beer ticker Marcel Vogt with … some more (never try to get an accurate statistic from an Untappd guy ;-))
The attending of 20 festivals in my country made this possible.

Behind Switzerland (1017), the USA can be found with 167 new beers. Then come England (150), Spain (74) and Germany (49). The same countries as last year.
Unfortunately, the hunt for new countries brought only modest results with only 2 ticks: Guam and Guernsey. I’m currently at 185 different countries and a total of 15’485 beers.

My favorite country in 2018 (with a minimum of 5 beers tasted) has been Sweden. Then follow Croatia, Denmark, Belgium and the USA.

Among the 641 breweries met last year, here are the ones from which I had the most different beers (the top 4 are the same as in 2017, just in a slight different order):

1) WhiteFrontier (28)

Best brewery and also the one I had the most beers from.

2) 523 (22)

3) Cinq 4000 (17)

Blackwell (17)

5) la Nébuleuse (16)

Brew by Numbers (16)

Dr. Brauwolf (16)

 

No surprise in the category of the most represented beer style, as IPA is in front for the 8th consecutive year with 205 beers (glad you ask: yes, I’m really getting tired of the over-representation of this style). Then come Sour (131), American Pale Ale (102), Saison (98) and Imperial Stout (91). Here were my favorite styles in 2018 (minimum of 5 beers tasted):

  1. Lambic – Fruited
  2. Baltic Porter
  3. Foreign Stout
  4. Quadrupel
  5. Sour/Wild Ale

Who says “best” must sometimes say “worst”. Talking about the styles which made me less enthusiastic lead us as always to the same usual suspects: 1) Pale Lager 2) Hefeweizen 3) Oktoberfest/Märzen 4) Dunkler Bock (a bit surprising) and 5) Amber Lager/Vienna.

My top ten breweries of 2018 shows as always an overwhelming presence of Swiss breweries (forgot to tell you I’m partial? ;-)):

1 WhiteFrontier

2 Nine Brothers

4th best brewery overall and best Swiss newcomer (tied with NordSud)

3 Cascade

4 NordSud and l’Apaisée

6 Blackwell

7 523

8 À Tue-Tête!

9 S&A Brewing

10 Jester King

 

This leads us directly to the top 20 breweries from Switzerland (on a scary total of 264):

1 WhiteFrontier

2 Nine Brothers

3 NordSud

l’Apaisée

5 Blackwell

11th rank in Switzerland (4th best newcomer): keep an eye on this brewery!

6 523

7 À Tue-Tête!

8 S&A Brewing

9 Cayon’s

10 Degenbier

11 Rufibräu

12 Brasserie du Temps

13 les Garçons

14 Güschu 58

15 Cinq 4000

16 Trois Dames

17 Chien Bleu

18 Brygger Øl

19 BFM

20 Bierwerkstatt Eberhard

 

I have been particularly efficient at finding new Swiss breweries last year and discovered 89 new ones. The top ten of the new Swiss breweries in 2018 looks like this:

1 NordSud and l’Apaisée (yes, exactly tied for first)

Tied for 1st as best Swiss newcomers

3 Rufibräu

4 Bierwerkstatt Eberhard

5 Brau Rebel

6 La Vadge

7 Brasserie du Dzô

8 Dive Bär

9 Brasserie des Celtes

Braubär

 

Time now to take a look to my best beers from last year. Here is the top ten overall where Switzerland shows a strong presence:

1 Prairie Artisan Ales Prairie Bomb! (USA)

my best new beer in 2018

2 Wild Beer Beyond Modus IV (England)

BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien 2016 (Switzerland)

4 Cayon’s Bad Boy’s Breakfast (Switzerland)

5 Nine Brothers Broken Leg – Apple and Pears (Switzerland)

6 Eberhard / Berner Kollektiv Spezie Rara – Cassis Saison (Switzerland)

Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Chili Hazelnut Break

8 Alvinne / Hair of the Dog Fred Meets Freddy

Alvinne Sour’ire de Mortagne

Evil Twin / Westbrook Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break

Nine Brothers Brett Galaxy Shake

 

This leads us to the last ranking with my top ten beers from Switzerland:

1 BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien 2016 (Switzerland)

2 Cayon’s Bad Boy’s Breakfast (Switzerland)

3 Nine Brothers Broken Leg – Apple and Pears (Switzerland)

2nd best brewery of 2018 and 2 beers in the top ten: the amazing nine brothers!

4 Eberhard / Berner Kollektiv Spezie Rara – Cassis Saison (Switzerland)

5 Nine Brothers Brett Galaxy Shake

6 523 Imperial We Trust

7 Blackwell Black Magic

8 Degenbier Unikat – Revolution

WhiteFrontier Ekuanot Amarillo

10 S&A Green Knuckles

 

I wish you all a wonderful 2019!

cheers

The festival explorers: Marcel, TTT and Bov.

[ Please note: this was originally posted on November 2018 but is since then constantly updated]

Following the incredible inflation of new registered breweries, the number of beer festivals in Switzerland is also getting pretty out of control. I would like – while it is still more or less possible – to give you an overview.

Below you will find a list of events. Those featuring at least 10 breweries from my country should be exhaustive; the smaller ones probably not.

My thanks go to the top Swiss beer tickers Thomas “TTT” Schneider and Marcel Vogt for great company during my “festival crawling” as well as providing me some useful information.

Have I missed something? In this case, I’ll be grateful if you contact me at bov@bov.ch !

SWISS BEER FESTIVALS

click on the link of your choice to access detailed information

March

Basler Craft Bier Messe
Let it Beer
Bieler Biererie

April

Salon de la Bière
Zürich Bier Festival
Zugersee Bierschiff
Thunersee Bierschiff
Bier & Food Fest Zollbrück
Solothurner Biertage

May

Suisse Binouze Festival
Luzerner Bier Kultur Tage
Lausanne Malt Festival
Bremgarter Biertag
Journée des Brasseries Indépendantes Genevoises
Lausanne Beer Celebration
Fête de la Bière & des Musiques Festives

June

Bier Festival Luzern
Festibière de Genève
Schaffhauser Craft-Beer Festival
Zapf! Craft Beer Festival Bern
Baselbieter Biermarkt
Festi’Piousse
Craft Beer Festival in Zürich
Craft Beer Festival Aarau
Craft Beer Festival Basel
LuppolaTI Craft Beer Festival

July

Regio-Brauereitag
Bülacher Craft Beer Festival
Bon-Chien & Friends’ Sour Ale Congregation
Biererie au Lac

August

Craft Beer Burger & BBQ Festival
la Bière en Poupe
Panora’Malt
Bubbles Bier & Cider Festival
Craft Bier at Binz
Basler Biermarkt
Geneva Beer Festival
Festival des Brasseries Artisanales de Fribourg
Innerschweizer Biermarkt
Huttwiler Bier-Märit

September

Rynecher Bierkulturtag
Höfer Bierfest
Zentralschweizer Biermarkt
Bier Festival St. Gallen
FestyMalt
Bacon Beer Day
Berner Biermarkt

October

Craft Beer Festival Zürich
Artisa’Malt Festival
Zug Craft Beer Brewfest
Birra al Parco
ça Mousse à Vétroz
Unterwaldner Biertag
Wortspiele
Fête de la Bière Neuchâteloise

November

Craft Beer Festival Thun
Craft Basel
Oberland Winter Biertage
Beer Dome Basel

 

March

 

 

Basler Craft Bier Messe

homepage

next edition: March 14, 2020 – Markthalle, Basel

last edition: March 23, 2019

number of editions: 2

organizer: bier-ideen

admission price: 15.- (incl. 5.- refundable for the festival glass)

beers prices: 2.- to 3.- for 1.5dl / 4.- to 6.- for 3dl

list of breweries: Barfuss, Bîrtel, BFM, the Beer Guerrillas, Blaue Ente, Brau Bandi, Brau Rebel, Dr. Brauwolf, Drei Tannen, Fischerstube,  Kitchen Brew, Klosterbrauerei Fischingen, Kraftstoff, Landskroner, Matt & Elly, Mómò, NordSud, Roscha, Ruecherei, Schwarzbuebe Bier, Stadtmauer, Unser Bier, WhiteFrontier and Boum’R (FR).

+ wide choice

+ ideal location (close from the railway station)

+ great food offering

– overcrowded in the evening


Let it Beer

homepage

next edition: March 20 to 22, 2020 – Markthalle, Burgdorf

last edition: March 23, 2019

number of editions: 1

organizer: ?

admission price: 12.-

beers prices: 2.- to 3.- for 1dl

list of breweries: Altes Tramdepot, Bäuper, Bertbier, Blackwell, Braukunst Bern, Brauwerkstatt Jegenstorf, Brau AG Langenthal, Burgdorfer, Craftfeld, dear.beer, Fahrtwind, Hardegger Perle, Hohgant, Heimiswiler Härz, Mein Emmental, Mein Teil, Napf, Riot Act, Schuum, Simmentaler Bier, Sonnrain, Thun Bier, UHB.

+ wide choice

– deadly overcrowded


Bieler Biererie

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Chessu Biel

last edition: March 22, 2019

number of editions: 4

organizer: ?

admission price: 15.-

beers prices: 2.- to 3.- for 1.5dl / 4.- to 6.- for 3dl

list of breweries: Bier-Bienne, Büffel Bier, Caram Bier, la:Marmotte, mon oeil, Sam’s, Seeland Bräu

– no proper glass

– dubious overall quality

– overcrowded

– dark and small place

– disturbing music


April

Salon de la Bière

homepage

next edition: April 3 to 4, 2020

last edition: April 20, 2019 – rue de l’Industrie 11, Conthey

number of editions: 1

admission price: 14.-

beer prices: 1.- to 2.- for 1dl

list of breweries: 7Peaks Brasserie, Bartis, BFM, Bières de Neuch, Broken City, Chen Van-Loon, CôteWest Brewing, La Concorde, Couvaloup, Bières Niton, BlackDot Brewery, Brasserie BlackPig, BLZ-Company, Brasserie des Celtes,  Dr. Brauwolf, Docteur Gab’s, FMR, Fri-Mousse, Les Gobelins, l’Improbable, La Mine, Lance-Pierre, l’Atelier, Lynx Movement , Malternative , La Marmotte, MóMò, Monte Lema, Nordwand Bräu, Tardiv , Totally Beer, le Traquenard, Vieux chemin, Whitefrontier, Winslow.

+ wide choice (with 35 breweries, the second largest festival in the country)


Zürich Bier Festival

homepage

next edition: April 16 to 18, 2020 – Spirgarten, Zürich

last edition: April 4 to 6, 2019

number of editions: 6

organizer: probier.ch

admission price: 25.- (incl. 5.- refundable for the festival glass)

beers prices: 1.- to 2.- for 1dl (exceptionally more)

list of breweries: Ahoi Bier, Bachweg, Bear’N’Stein, Brausyndikat, Darkwolf, Docteur Gab’s, Dr. Brauwolf, Faberbräu, Gutknecht’s Hammerbier, HOPe, Mómò, Officina della Birra, Seebueb, Sottobisio, Stadtguet,  St. Laurentius; AF Brew (Ru), Baladin (It), Demoersleutel (NL), Dogma (Rs), Dupont (Be), Einstök (Is), Haandbryggeriet (No), Huyghe (Be), Kabinet (Rs), Lindemans (Be), Maryensztadt (Pl), Minibrew (Nl), Monsieur Rock (Be), Odna Tonna (Ru), Plan B (Ru), Stamm Beer (Ru), Strassenbräu (Ge), Vaat (Ee), Velka Morava (Ru).

+ list of available beers published in advance (pretty inaccurate though…)

+ wide choice

+ pretty large place with additional room outside

+ beer prices very affordable

+ good quality

– high admission price


Zugersee Bierschiff

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Bahnhofsteg, Zug

last edition: April 12 to 13, 2019

number of editions: 1

organizer: Kurt Petak

admission price: 14.- (incl. the festival glass – not refundable)

beers prices: mostly 2.- for 1dl

list of breweries: Baar, Bachweg, Blattmann Bier, BGB Blüemlis Garagen Bräu, Chomer, Einhorn Bräu, Eisbock, Euelbräu, Kreuzmühle, Longhawl, Rigi Gold, Rosengarten, Stiär Biär, St. Wendelin Biermanufaktur Menzingen, Sunneblick, Sutton.


Thunersee Bierschiff

homepage

next edition: April 17 to 18, 2020 – Ländte, Thun

last edition: April 12 to 13, 2019

number of editions: 2

organizer: ?

admission price: 12.- (incl. the festival glass – not refundable)

beers prices: ?

list of breweries: Altes Tramdepot, Bärg Bier, Biera Engiadinaisa, Burgdorfer, dear.beer, Doppelleu, Felsenau, Haarige Kuh, Hohgant, Jungrau, Napf, Nordwandbräu, Rugenbräu, Schuum, Simmentaler, Sunnegg, WhiteFrontier.


Bier & Food Fest Zollbrück

homepage

next editionunconfirmed – Bahnhofstrasse, Zollbrück

last edition: April 12 to 13, 2019

number of editions: 1

organizer: ?

admission price: free (10.- refundable for the festival glass)

beers prices: ?

list of breweries: Bertbier, Blackwell, Brauhuus 531, Burgdorfer, Feldschlösschen, Mein Emmental, Mousse de Thoune, Napf.

 


Solothurner Biertage

homepage

next edition: April 23 to 25, 2020 – Rythalle, Solothurn

last edition: April 25 to 27, 2019

number of editions: 17

organizer: BK Bier-Kultur

admission price: 10.- (+ 5.- for the festival glass (with no refund) or 2.- refundable for a plastic goblet)

beers prices: 4.- to 5.- for 3dl (some rare exceptions like Doppelleu with 7.- for 3dl)

list of breweries: see here

+ with 60 breweries the biggest festival in the country

+ wide choice

– small samples not offered everywhere, yet mostly possible

– overcrowded on Friday and Saturday

– average quality not really high and with some breweries offering very bad beers


May

 

Suisse Binouze Festival

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed

last edition: May 9 to 11, 2019 – Bahama Yellow, Genève

number of editions: 1

organizer: Swiss Craft Beer Festival

admission price: 10.-

list of breweries: A.P.i., Black Pig, Chen Van Loon, Chien Bleu, Lance-Pierre, Totally Beer.


Luzerner Bier Kultur Tage

homepage

next edition: May 8 to 9, 2020 – Industriestrasse 15, Luzern

last edition: May 10 to 11, 2019

number of editions: 1

organizer: Krügel Bier

admission price: ?

beers prices: ?

list of breweries: Bertbier, Brauerei Luzern, Brauhuus 531, Brauwerkstatt Kriens, Krügel Bier, LuBB, Maihof, MN Brew, Mumi, Rainacker, Unterkuonimatt, zum verlorenen Hopfen


Lausanne Malt Festival

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed

last edition: May 18, 2019 – the Lacustre, Lausanne

number of editions: 2

organizer: association Lausanne Malt Festival

admission price: free (2.- refundable for the festival plastic goblet)

beers prices: 4.- for 2.5dl / 7.- for 5dl

list of breweries: 7Peaks, Bartis, BFM, Dr. Gab’s, Drunk Beard, Glouglou, Hordeum, Jorat, Simmentaler, Totally Beer, Virage, WhiteFrontier.

+ list of available beers published in advance

– no small samples available

– no proper glass


Bremgarter Biertag

homepage

next edition: May 16, 2020 – Reussbrückesaal, Bremgarten

last edition: May 18, 2019

number of editions: 3

organizer: Reuss-Schlaufe

admission price: ?

beers prices: ?

list of breweries: aabachbier, Brauerei Aarau/Stadtwächter, El Caballero, Erusbacher & Paul, Kunstwerk, Raben Brau, Reuss-Schlaufe, Schümberg-Bräu, Stollo’s Best.

+ some rare to find breweries

+ tasting sessions


Journée des Brasseries Indépendantes Genevoises

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed

last edition: May 18, 2019 @ la Pièce / November 2018 @ Soral

number of editions: 2

organizer: Association des Brasseries Indépendantes de Genève

admission price: free

beers prices: 2.- for 1dl / 5.- for 3dl

list of breweries:  l’Agneau à Trois Pattes, l’Apaisée, les Barbus, Bière du Lac, Glouglou, Murailles, Niton, Père Jakob, la Pièce and Virage.


Lausanne Beer Celebration

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Cantine de Sauvablin, Lausanne

last edition: May 24 to 25, 2019

number of editions: 5

organizer: Echec & Malt

admission price: 6.- for the festival glass (with no refund)

beers prices: 3.- for 1dl / 6.- to 9.- for 2,5dl

list of breweries: l’Apaisée, A Tue-Tête!, BadFish, BlackPig, Broken City, Cayon’s, Celestial, Cinq 4000, Echec & Malt, G’s, nine brothers, WhiteFrontier. Alefarm (DK), Anarchy Brew (UK), Dadiva (BR), Iron Brewery (FR), Third Barrel (IR).

+ good quality

+ good location


Fête de la Bière Artisanale & des Musiques Festives

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed  – Place du Marché, Vevey

last edition: May 29 to June 1, 2019

number of editions: 27

organizer: Association des Buveurs d’Orges / Amstein

admission price: free

beers prices: 4.- to 7.- (sometimes more) for 3dl

list of breweries: none (about 60 beers from the assortment of Amstein).

+ the oldest festival in the country

+ list of available beers published in advance

+ large choice of beers from other countries

– no brewers present on place

– no small samples

– no proper glass


June

Beer Festival Luzern

homepage

next edition: June 6, 2020 – Südpol Luzern

last edition: May 18, 2019

number of editions: 3

organizer: Verein zur Förderung der Biervielfalt Luzern

admission price: 15.- (incl. the festival glass (with no refund))

beers prices: 2.- for 1dl

list of breweries: Anderthaler, Bachweg, Bertbier, Braubär, Dr. Brauwolf, Hohenbräu, Kitchen Brew, Migi, MN Brew, Rümlanger/Gutknecht’s Hammer Bier, Schlachthuus, Soorser.bier, Tres Hombres.


Festibière de Genève

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Place de la Sardaigne, Carouge

last edition: June 13 to 15, 2019

number of editions: 3

organizer: Association Festibière

admission price: 9.- (or 12.- with the non-refundable festival glass)

beers prices: 2.- for 1dl (sometimes 3.-)

list of breweries: ABAG, l’Apaisée, Bartis, BFM, Bière du Lac, Bière du Mât, Bière du Pendule, Brasserie des Cinq Communes, B.U.G., Cap’taine Mousse, Gotan, la Cave, Fri-Mousse, , Gonzo, MeltingPote, Murailles, Père Jakob, Plombier, Schori’s Beer, Totally Beer. Baladin (IT), les Gens Sérieux (FR), Brasserie en Baril (FR).

+ pretty nice quality

+ wide choice

+ prices very affordable

+ practical location (outside + tent)

– starting too late on Friday


Schaffhauser Craft-Beer Festival

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Kammgarn, Schaffhausen

last edition: June 14 to 15, 2019

number of editions: 1

organizer: ?

admission price: ?

beers prices: ?

list of breweries: Barfuss, BFM, Brauage du Garage à la Plage, Braufux, Broken City, Burggütli-Bräu, Dr. Brauwolf, HOPe, im Berg, Mükon, Rubolino Craftbier Brauerei Hopfenfisch, Storm&Anchor. Kabinet (SR)


ZAPF! Craft Beer Festival Bern

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed

last edition: June 15, 2019 – Brache Warmbächli, Bern

number of editions: 3

organizer: Verein ZAPF!

admission price: 15.-

beers prices: 3.- for 2dl

list of breweries: BAF, Barbière, Braukunst Bern, Burg Braui, dear.beer, Eberhard, Endstation, Fjord&Fjell, Güschu 58, Helmert’s, Lorraine Beer Project, nine brothers, Riot Act, Schuum, Stadtbach, Unikum, Wabräu

+ very good quality

+ very original location

– no small samples

– outside only so fully depending on weather conditions


Baselbieter Biermarkt

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Zeughausplatz, Liestal

last edition: June 21, 2019

number of editions: 2

organizer: das Chuchichäschtli

admission price: 9.-

beers prices: 2.- for 1.5dl / 4.- for 3dl

list of breweries: Kraftstoff, MN Brew, Ruecherei, Soo.Soorser Bier, Stedtli, Stiär Biär, Varius

+ prices very affordable

– some very frightening quality beers

– very poor choice


Festi’Piousse

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Echallens

last edition: June 22, 2019

number of editions: 5

organizer: Risk Association

admission price: 2.- (for plastic goblet) or 5.- (festival glass)

beers prices: 2.- for 1dl / 4.- for 3dl

list of breweries: l’Atelier, B2F (Due Fusti), BadFish, Bartis, Cap’tain Mousse, Cayon’s, la Challensoise, Couvaloup, Diablerets, Dzô, FMR, Hordeum, Tonnebière, Traquenard and Totally Beer.

+ list of available beers published in advance

+ good quality

+ practical location (outside + tent)

+ prices very affordable


Craft Beer Festival in Zürich

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Talacker 30, Zürich

last edition: June 27, 2019

number of editions: 3

organizer: Paul Ullrich

admission price: 25.- (festival glass included)

beers prices: ?

list of breweries: about 12 Swiss breweries.

– high admission price


Craft Beer Festival Aarau

homepage

fisrt edition: 2020 June 27 – Markthalle, Aarau

number of editions: 0

organizer: hopfig

admission ?

beers prices: ?

list of breweries: to come


Craft Beer Festival Basel

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Laufenstrasse 16, Basel

last edition: June 28, 2019

number of editions: 2

organizer: Paul Ullrich

admission price: 25.- (festival glass included)

beers prices: ?

list of breweries: about 12 Swiss breweries.

– high admission price


LuppolaTI Craft Beer Festival

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – via Ponte Laveggio 13, Ligornetto

last edition: June 28 to 29, 2019

number of editions: 5

admission price: free (5.- refundable for the festival glass)

beers prices: 2.- for 1.5dl / 4.- for 3dl

list of breweries: BFM, Broken City, Mómò, No Land, Rud Bir, WhiteFrontier. + breweries from Italy and Spain.

+ list of available beers published in advance


July

 

Regio-Brauereitag

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Solothurn, Basel-Landtschaft

last edition: July 6, 2019

number of editions: 10

organizer: Brauerei Chastelbach

admission price: 125.- (includes bus ride, event glass, beers and food)

beers prices: N/A

list of breweries: you have the choice between 1) Arlibräu, Zipfelbier, Grübe Bräu, Chastelbach and Landskroner or 2) Schwarzbuebe Bier, Rössli Bier, Schlugg, Fransburg and Roscha.

+ original concept


Bülacher Craft Beer Festival

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Lindenhof, Bülach

last edition: July 13, 2019

number of editions: 3

organizer: Brauerei St. Laurentius

admission price: 10.- (including the festival glass, refundable for 4.-)

beers prices: 5.- to 7.- for 3 dl

list of breweries: aabachbier, Bierzunft Wehntal, El Caballero, Glattfelder, Hardwald, Muschtibräu, Obersee Brau Union, Old Hill, Schlachthuus, Simmentaler, St. Laurentius, Sudwerk, Unterländer Bräu.

– no small samples

– fluctuating quality


Bon-Chien & Friends’ Sour Ale Congregation

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Brasserie BFM, Saignelégier

last edition: July 13, 2019

number of editions: 2

organizer: Brasserie BFM

admission price: 10.-

beers prices: 4.-

list of breweries: about 40 sour beers from around the world


Biererie au Lac

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Lake-Live Festival, Nidau

last edition: July 28, 2019

number of editions: 2

organizer: Bieler Biererie

admission price: free

beers prices: ?

list of breweries: Altes Tramdepot, Aurum, BFM, Bier-Bienne, Büffelbier, dear.beer, Jolimont, Joranbräu, la:Marmotte, Mon Oeil


August

Craft Beer Burger & BBQ Festival

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Hafenbühne, Rorschach

last edition: August 2 to 3, 2019

number of editions: 2

organizer: ?

admission price: free

beers prices: 2.- for 1dl

list of breweries: Barfuss, Biergarage, Black Deer, Brausyndikat, Doppelleu, Kornhausbräu, Mükon, Nubia Brew, Rümlanger, Schützengarten, St Johann.


la Bière en Poupe

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Port, Chevroux

last edition: August 3, 2019

number of editions: 2

organizer: les Chevralliers

admission price: ?

beers prices: ?

list of breweries: Dzô, Faougueuse, Ferme d’Ostende, Mécanique des Fluides, Poyet, Prévert, Brasserie du Temps.


Panora’Malt

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – La Chaux, Bagnes

first edition: August 3 to 4, 2019 – La Chaux, Bagnes

number of editions: 1

organizer: Téléverbier

admission price: 7.-

beers prices: 1.- to 2.- for 1dl

list of breweries: Ademus, Bartis, Berlibus, Lynxmovement, Traquenard, Malternative, Cap’taine Mousse, Rouvinez, Vie Montagne.


Bubbles Bier & Cider Festival

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Eichholz, Köniz

first edition: August 17, 2019

number of editions: 1

organizer: OnTap Bern

admission price: 1.-

beers prices: 3.- to 4.50 for 1.5 dl

list of breweries: Blackwell, les Garçons, Güschu 58, Lorraine Beer Project, nine brothers, Riot Act, Strättligen, Unikum and Wabräu.

+ very nice location

+ good quality

– beer prices sometimes quite high


Craft Beer at Binz

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Räffelstrasse 36, Zürich

last edition: August 29 to 30, 2019

number of editions: 2

organizer: Bier Factory and Dr. Brauwolf

admission price: free

beers prices: 6.- for 3dl

list of breweries: Bier Factory Rapperswil, Ullr, Lägere Bräu, Dr. Brauwolf, Brewdaz and Broken City.


Basler Biermarkt

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Vogesenplatz, Basel

last edition: August 30 to 31, 2019

number of editions: 7

organizer: Verein St. Johannsmarkt

admission price: 2.- (for the festival glass)

beers prices: 2.- to 4.- for 1.5 dl / 4.- to 8.- for 3dl

list of breweries: Amsel-Bräu, Arlibrau, Barfuss, Blaue Ente, Braubude Basel, Brauerzunft, Brau Rebel, Chastelbach, Fischerstube, Gleis 1, Hopferdammi, Kitchen Brew, Kramer Beer, Landskroner Bräu, Matt & Elly, Mükon, NordSud, Roscha, Ruecherei, Rössli Bier, Sankt Johanns Bräu, Schwarzbuebe Bier, Simmentaler, Unser Bier, Varius, Volta Bräu, WhiteFrontier.

+ with 27 CH breweries, the third biggest festival

+ wide choice

– average quality still insufficient

– can be pretty overcrowded


Geneva Beer Festival

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Pavillon Sicli, Genève

last edition: August 30 to 31, 2019

number of editions: 3

organizer: Swiss Beer Festival Association

admission price: ?

beers prices: ?

list of breweries: 5 Communes, 7Peaks, l’Apaisée, BadFish, BlackPig, Chien Bleu, Echec & Malt, FMR, Hoppy People, l’Improbable, Jardin à Houblon, Kitchen Brew, la Nébuleuse, la Pièce, Plombier, Simmentaler, Totally Beer, Trois Dames, Virage, WhiteFrontier. Bendorf (FR).


Festival des Brasseries Artisanales de Fribourg

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Place Georges-Python, Fribourg

last edition: August 31, 2019

number of editions: 7

organizer: ?

admission price: free (2.- refundable for a plastic goblet)

beers prices: mostly 5.- for 3 dl

list of breweries: Äs Juscht, Bartis, Brasserie des Ecureuils, Celestial, Dzô, Extra Muros, Faougueuse, Freiburger Biermanufaktur, Fri-Mousse, Malambo, Mécanique des Fluides, Poyet, Prévert and Tonnebière.

+ quality is ok

– no proper glass

– no small samples


Innerschweizer Biermarkt

homepage

first edition: unconfirmed – Platz der Auslandschweizer, Brunnen

last edition: August 31, 2019

number of editions: 1

organizer: das Chuchichäschtli

admission price: ?

beer prices: ?

list of breweries: Bartis, Sutton, Stiär Biär, Anderthaler, Eisbock und Ruecherei.


Huttwiler Bier-Märit

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Alte Turnhalle, Huttwil

first edition: August 31 to September 1, 2019

organizer: ?

admission price: ?

beer prices: ?

list of breweries: UHB, Sonnrain, Langenthaler, Jens+itzer, Hohgant, Bertbier, Brau AG Langenthal, Wyssestei, Stahler Bier and Heimiswilerhärz.


September

 

Rynecher Bierkulturtag

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Markplatz, Reinach (AG)

last edition: September 7, 2019

number of editions: 1

organizer: Fritz Züger

admission price: free

beers prices: 4 to 5.- for 3 dl

list of breweries: 531, Erusbacher und Paul, Brauer Tom, Braugarage, MN Brew,  Soorser, Raben Bräu and PeRo.


Höfer Bierfest

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Estrich, Winistorf

last edition: September 13 to 14, 2019

number of editions: 2

organizer: ?

admission price: 10.- (including one free beer)

beers prices: ?

list of breweries: Buchser-Landbier, Buechibärgerbier, Güegi-Quell, Knüxx, Mein Teil, Napf and Wasserämter.


Zentralschweizer Biermarkt

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Martignyplatz, Sursee

last edition: September 14, 2019

number of editions: 2

organizer: das Chuchichäschtli

admission price: free (5.- refundable for the festival glass)

beers prices: 2.- for 1.5dl (rarely 3.- or 4.-) / 4.- for 3dl

list of breweries: 531, Bertbier, Braubär, BrauStation Sursee, Meyer Family, MN Brew, Soorser Bier, Stiär Biär, Sutton and Wiggerli.

+ prices very affordable

– outside only so fully depending on weather conditions


Bier Festival St.Gallen

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Olma Messen, St. Gallen

last edition: September 20 to 21, 2019

number of editions: 1

organizer: BierproBier

admission price: 12.- for one-day ticket; 19.- for 2 days

beers prices: 2.- for 1dl

list of breweries😕


FestYmalt

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Jardin du Théatre Benno Besson, Yverdon-les-Bains

last edition: September 21, 2019

number of editions: 4

organizer: association FestYmalt

admission price: 8.- including festival glass (no refund)

beers prices: 2.- for 1.5dl

list of breweries: Brasserie de Champagne, les Barbus, Chien Bleu, Chen Van Loon, Dystopian, Dzô, Don Nino, la Fée Maltée, G’s, la Mécanique des Fluides, Brasserie du Nord, Tonnebière et Sirius.

+ prices very affordable

+ some rare breweries

– fluctuating quality


Bacon Beer Day

homepage

next edition: September 28, 2019 – Schloss, Köniz

last edition: September 22, 2018

number of editions: 3

organizer: ?

admission price: 5.- (+ 5.- refundable for the festival glass)

beers prices: 2.- for 1 dl / 5.- for 2.5 dl

list of breweries:  Altes Tramdepot, Bäuper, Blackwell, Burg Braui, Brasserie des Celtes, dear.beer, Fjord&Fjell, Güschu 58, Jensitzer, McMax, Simmentaler, Strättligen, Tap4 and Thun Bier.

+ high quality

– outside only, so fully depending on weather conditions


Berner Biermarkt

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed (probably cancelled)

last editionSeptember 29, 2018 – Gurten Areal, Bern

number of editions: 1

organizer: das Chuchichäschtli

admission price: free (5.- refundable for the festival glass)

beers prices: 2.- for 1.5dl / 4.- for 3dl

list of breweries: Altes Tramdepot, Bières&Co, Güegi-Quell, Mein Emmental, Meyer Family, Nordwand Bräu, Sonnrain, Thun Bier, Wabräu and Wellsh.

+ prices very affordable

– very poor attendance

– outside only, so fully depending on weather conditions

– very poor quality average


October

 

Craft Beer Festival Zürich

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Hüttenkopfstrasse 70, Zürich

last edition: October 5, 2019 (since 2019 no more @Ziegelhütte but @Intercomestibles)

number of editions: 5

organizer: Intercomestibles

admission price: 25.- (including festival beer glass refundable for 5.-)

beers prices:

list of breweries: Ahoi Bier, Bear’N’Stein, BFM, Brausyndikat, Broken City, Dr. Gab’s la Nébuleuse, S&A, Trois Dames, WhiteFrontier. Kabinet (SR)

+ high quality

– very expensive


Artisa’Malt

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed – Manège du Pré-Mochel 1, Delémont

last edition: October 5, 2019

number of editions: 4

organizer: ?

admission price: 5.- including festival glass (no refund)

beers prices: 2.- for 1dl; 4.- for 2.5dl

list of breweries: BadFish, BFM, BlackPig, Blanche Pierre, BLZ, Chevrier, Damijo, la Filature, Dystopian, la Kouatte, la Spirale, Tonnebière.

+ nice location with plenty of room outside

– pretty overcrowded in the evening


 

Zug Craft Beer Brewfest

homepage

next edition: October 12, 2019 – Industriestrasse 45, Zug

last edition: October 6, 2018

number of editions: 2

organizer: ?

admission price: ?

beers prices: ?

list of breweries: Bachweg, Bier Factory, Broken City, Rapperswil, Chomer, CôteWest, Dr Brauwolf, Hopfetopf, Momo, Soorser and Sutton.


Birra al Parco

homepage

next edition: October 12 and 13, 2019 – Piazza San Biagio 9, Bellinzona

last edition: ?

number of editions: 2

organizer: ?

admission price: ?

beers prices: ?

list of breweries: Broken City, Falling Pine, Il Birraiolo, Monte Lema, PD Beer, Rigamonti, RudBir, Sottobisio.


ça Mousse à Vétroz

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed

last edition: October 20, 2018 – Salle de l’Union, Vétroz

number of editions: 2

organizer: ?

admission price: free

beers prices: 6.- for one bottle

list of breweries: 7Peaks, Ademus, Bartis, Boss’Beer, le Chauve, Dzô, la Grenade, Hoppy People, Lynx Movement, Malternative, la:Marmotte, Mont-Noble, la Mule, le Traquenard, Vieux Chemin, Vollèges, WhiteFrontier, Winslow.

– no small samples


Unterwaldner Biertag

homepage

next edition: October 26, 2019 – Hotel Bellevue-Terminus, Engelberg

last edition: October 20, 2018 – A&L Halle, Dallenwil (changes location every year)

number of editions: 4

organizer: ?

admission price: 7.- including festival glass (no refund)

beers prices: 3.- for 2dl; 6.- for 4dl

list of breweries: 3 Finger Joe, Äigèbraij, Brisenbräu, Bro’s Bräu, Geronimo Bräu, High5, Keimling, Lussy Getränke, Ponäly, Rufibräu, Stirnebräu, Sutton, Tschifeler, Tres Hombres, UrPur, van Maisenberg, Zweierlei.

+ almost all breweries present cannot be met elsewhere

+ wide choice

– fully overcrowded even shortly after the beginning

– no small samples

– beware! The quality of many beers is frightening.


Wortspiele

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed 2020

last edition: October 27, 2018 – Tanzwerk 101, Zürich (changes location every year)

number of editions: 5

organizer: bierversuche.ch

admission price: 15.- including festival glass (no refund)

beers prices: 2.- for 1dl; 4.- for 2dl

list of breweries: À Tue-Tête, Adler Bräu, Bear’n’Stein, Beer Guerrillas, Brausyndikat, Chien Bleu, Lance-Pierre, MN Brew , La Nébuleuse, NordSud, St.Laurentius, Sudwerk, Trois Dames, Turbinenbräu , White Frontier.

+ unique concept (see the homepage for more info)

+ very high quality

+ highest density of beer geeks

+ list of available beers published in advance


Fête de la Bière Neuchâteloise

homepage

next edition: October 26, 2019 – Planeyse (Halle 50), Colombier

last edition: October 27, 2018

number of editions: 3

organizer: ?

admission price: ?

beers prices: 2.- for 1.5dl / 4.- for 3dl

list of breweries:  Celestial, la Meute, Père Porret, Spok and la Vouivre.


November

 

Craft Beer Festival Thun

homepage

next edition: November 7 to 10, 2019 – Thun-Expo, Thun

last edition: November 2 to 3, 2018

number of editions: 2

organizer: Thuner Homebrew Club

admission price: 8.- (+ 5.- for the festival glass (refundable))

beers prices: 2.- or 3.- for 1dl; 4.- to 6.- for 2.5dl

list of breweries: Blackwell, Burg Braui, Burgbier, Egghubel, dear.beer, Fjord & Fjell, Freistoff, Güschu 58, Haarige Kuh, Haxli, McMax, Mousse de Thoune, Napf, Nordwand Bräu, Old School, Simmentaler Bier, Stögu Bier, Strättligen Bier, Sunnegg, Thun Bier.

+ high quality

+ wide choice


Craft Basel

homepage

next edition: November 9, 2019 – Altes Kraftwerk, Basel

last edition: November 17, 2018

number of editions: 1

organizer: bier-ideen

admission price: 10.- (+ 5.- for the festival glass (refundable))

beers prices: 2.- to 3.- for 1.5dl / 4.- to 6.- for 3dl

list of breweries: Blaue Ente, Brau Rebel, Dr. Brauwolf, Fischerstube, NordSud, Officina della Birra, Roscha, Sauhofbräu, Schwarzbuebe Bier and Stadtmauer. + Boum’R (FR).

– pretty poor average quality


Oberland Winter Biertage

homepage

next edition: unconfirmed

last edition: November 24, 2018 – Nova Theater, Pfäffikon

number of editions: 2

organizer: Ale Agency

admission price: 20.- (incl. 5.- refundable for the festival glass and 5 tokens at 2.- value each)

beers prices: 2.- for 1dl / 4.- for 2dl

list of breweries: BrüllBier, Full House, HOPe, Obersee Brau Union, Octopus, Pfaffberg, Seebueb, Sudwerk. + beers from other countries (provided by Ale Agency)

+ ideal location (closed from the railway station; theater)


Beer Dome Basel

homepage

first edition: November 29 to 30 – Markthalle, Basel

number of editions: 0

organizer: bierlager.ch

admission price: ?

beers prices: ?

list of breweries: more than 20 international breweries


 

N’étant pas doué pour les résolutions de début janvier, je me rabats traditionnellement et avec une joie toute mathématique sur les statistiques de l’année écoulée.

la Grenade: un “country tick” particulièrement difficile

Or donc, ce ne sont pas moins de 1229 nouvelles bières qui ont égayé – mais pas toujours – mes jours et mes nuits en 2017. Une de moins, il faut le souligner, que lors de mon année record de 2015. Les bières helvétiques atteignent une proportion sans précédente (57%) avec 696 représentantes. Les pays suivants sont loin derrière avec l’Espagne (73 – grâce à Antonio Rey !), l’Allemagne (67), la France (50) puis les USA et l’Angleterre (48) pour un total de 46 nations différentes. 2017 a été une année faste pour la chasse aux nouvelles contrées avec 11 trophées: la Grenade, les Îles Turques-et-Caïques, Gibraltar, Bonaire, Vanuatu, la République turque de Chypre du Nord, le Bhoutan, le Niger, Curaçao, le Malawi et le Paraguay.

Mon pays préféré – avec au moins 5 bières dégustées – a été l’Estonie. Il devance le Danemark, les USA, la Norvège et la Suède.

Parmi les 492 brasseries rencontrées en 2017, voici celles dont j’ai bu le plus de bières différentes : WhiteFrontier (33), Blackwell (26), 523 (24), Cinq 4000 (15) et Labietis (15).

Pour la 7ème année consécutive, le style de bière le plus représenté a été –ohhhh surprise – l’IPA (152 – stable) suivi par les American Pale Ale (94 – en hausse), Saisons (62 – légère hausse), Imperial Stout (50 – stable) et Spice/Herb/Vegetable (50 – en baisse). Mes styles favoris (avec un minimum de 5 bières dégustées) :

    1. Eisbock (là j’en tombe sur le cul car je n’avais même plus conscience d’en avoir goûté 5 l’année passée…)
    2. Baltic/Imperial Porter
    3. Imperial Stout
    4. Barley Wine
    5. Imperial IPA

A celles et ceux qui pourraient avoir l’impression que les trucs lourds boostent mon niveau de sérotonine, je répondrai deux choses : 1) oui 2) sans aucun doute. Après, ce n’est pas ma faute s’il est si rare de trouver des brasseurs capables et motivés pour produire d’excellentes Pils.

Ce qui nous amène au fond du trou, c’est-à-dire vers les styles qui m’ont le plus fait douter du bien-fondé de mon hobby. Le pire – et largement – a été Pale Lager suivi de Specialty Grain (je suis rarement chaud pour boire de l’avoine ou du seigle et je ne parle même pas du maïs), puis Amber Lager/Vienna (peu sont capables d’en brasser de bons exemples), Kölsch (même remarque) et Golden Ale/Blond Ale.

Venons-en au top des brasseries.

Celui-ci est traditionnellement dominé par les brasseries helvétiques, en partie à cause (ou grâce) à ma moyenne pondérée par le nombre de bières goûtées. Mais si je ne mets pas mon pays un peu en avant, qui va le faire? 😉 Voici donc le top 10 des brasseries pour 2017 (pour mémoire, le vainqueur de 2016 était Cinq 4000) :

  1. Blackwell
  2. Cinq 4000
  3. 523
  4. WhiteFrontier
  5. BFM
  6. Aabachbier
  7. Stigbergets
  8. Cayon’s
  9. To Øl
  10. Degenbier

 

Ce qui nous conduit directement au top 20 des brasseries Suisses de 2017 (sur un total de 190 brasseries différentes):

WhiteFrontier: 4ème meilleure brasserie de l’année et la plus prolifique avec 33 bières!

 

  1. Blackwell
  2. Cinq 4000
  3. 523
  4. WhiteFrontier
  5. BFM
  6. Aabachbier
  7. Cayon’s
  8. Degenbier
  9. CôteWest
  10. Storm&Anchor
  11. Bierzunft Wehntal
  12. Güschu 58
  13. Brygger Øl
  14. Unser Bier
  15. la Nébuleuse
  16. UG Bräu
  17. Nine Brothers
  18. Bear’N’Stein
  19. Chien Bleu
  20. dear.beer

Franchement, si certaines d’entre elles vous sont encore inconnues, je vous conseille de combler cette lacune le plus vite possible!

 

Quant au classement des meilleures nouvelles brasseries suisses pour 2017 (sur un total de 48 brasseries découvertes), le voici :

  1. Bear’N’Stein
  2. Chien Bleu
  3. Beer Guerrillas
  4. HuM (hopfenundmalz)
  5. Ã Tue-Tête !
  6. Soo.Soorser Bier
  7. Annwn
  8. Bad Fish Brewery
  9. Tucho Brew
  10. Obersee Brau Union

 

Abordons maintenant la dernière ligne droite avec les classements des meilleures bières de l’année.

Tout d’abord les 10 meilleures bières suisses :

1. Cinq 4000 Morning Glorya

2. BFM Importer

Nine brothers Lemon Milkshake

Blackwell Kafitante Gose

5. UG Bräu Berliner w Ice-01

6. WhiteFrontier New England Triple IPA Cryo

7. 523 Citra ❤ Centennial

8. WhiteFrontier Idaho 7

9. BFM Highway to Helles – Liberty Edition

Blackwell / Bierversuche die 4 ??? Wild Ale

 

Puis les 10 meilleures bières, toutes nations confondues:

1. Avery Uncle Jacob’s Stout

la bière de l’année 2017

2. Cinq 4000 Morning Glorya

3. Cigar City Hunahpu’s

4. la Pirata Black Block Tequila BA

5. Mikkeller Brian

6. Stigbergets GBG Beer Week 2016

BFM Importer

Blackwell Kafitante Gose

Nine brothers Lemon Milkshake

10. Sante Aderius Recency Effect

 

Sur ce, je vous souhaite une excellente année 2018!

Santé!

Beer tickers and raters

Posted: September 28, 2017 in Beer tasting

So, it’s done ! RateBeerian Jan ‘fonefan’ Bolvig has reached the amazing milestone of 50’000 beer ratings ! Well – if you want to be a little bit fussy like me – not really in fact as RateBeer counts ciders, mead, perry and saké of which he has sampled more than 2’000. But who cares: in December – January 2018 at the latest – he will have 50’000 “pure” beer ratings.

During his (only !) 11 years on RateBeer he has sampled beers at a mind-blowing speed with an average between 4’000 and 6’000 a year. He has had beers from more than 6’300 different breweries, 169 countries and more than 12’000 beers from England.

Nevertheless, Jan is not yet on top of the ticker/rater list. English beer ticker Brian ‘The Whippet’ Moore (who started back in 1981 and had 49’100 ticks in December 2011 and now apparently over 60’000) looks still like being the master in this “sport”.

Beer ticking began back in 1975 when Mick ‘The Tick’ Baker started with it. Mick ‘The Tick’ was the first to reach 10k in 1998. He had 37’000 in December 2009 and was over 40k when he passed away in October 2014.

the man who drank 50’000 beers

This activity has dramatically increased with the expansion of the craft beer revolution and the creation of websites such as Beeradvocate (1996), RateBeer (2000) or Untappd (2010). RateBeer lists 6 people (5 from Denmark and 1 from Finland) with more than 26’000 beers. On this site, the number of raters having sampled more than 2’000 beers in one year is now higher than 50 ! And the leaders are rating at a pace of 4’500 to 6’000 beers per year !

Beer ticking (incarnated by Untappd) is massively more popular than beer rating (RateBeer/Beeradvocate) but the latter activity is much more respected as it requires – at least on both mentioned platforms – a written review of a minimum of characters.

A good comparison of popularity can be made for instance with the recent Cantillon Zwanze 2017 with 46 ratings on RateBeer, 31 on Beeradvocate and …2463 on Untappd.

Yet, every beer rater/ticker may have his own rules and may or may not use the above-mentioned online platforms. Some people do not rate non-alcoholic beers, others count a beer only if they drink a all pint (or as most British beer tickers a half) of it, and so on. Usually, people do not count homebrews; the beer has to be produced by a commercially registered brewery.

Philipp and Thomas: the top 2 beer tickers in Switzerland

In Switzerland and as far as I know, this activity is dominated since years by 3 people. Thomas ‘the Tank / TTT’ Schneider, Philipp Sigg and myself. ‘TTT’ is ticking nowadays much faster than the rest of us, almost as fast as his beard is growing … He recently sampled his 20’000th beer yet the first having reached the magic milestone of 10k was Philipp back in 2013. ‘TTT’ has a record number of 5’361 beers from Switzerland ! The overall totals look as follows:

  1. TTT        20’228 (5’361 Swiss beers)
  2. Philipp  15’833 (3’464 Swiss beers)
  3. Bov        13’385 (4’359 Swiss beers)

cheers !

Another year just came to an end and while some like to share shitty quotes on kitschy pictures to welcome you to the new year, my specialty consists to overwhelm you with statistics and other top lists from the past year. The whole thing being mainly of course as subjective as my taste buds are, though I would like to remind you that I have never been paid for good (or bad) ratings. As this sounds like an evidence to any normally constituted human being, believe it or not, some dumb-asses actually think the opposite.

So, ready ? If you don’t like stats and lists, it’s your last chance to surf somewhere else. You have been warned …

I have been able to discover 1’164 new beers last year, 66 less than during my record year of 2015.
The graphic below displays my number of new beers per year since 2000 (I have no detailed information about my first 13 years of beer hunting).

numbersofnewbeersperyear

In this total, Switzerland accounts for more than 50% with 604 new beers. The next most represented are Spain (77), Germany (62), the USA (51) and Denmark (48) for a total of 41 different countries.
Happily, I have been able to tick 5 new countries – Tajikistan, Rwanda, Gambia, Cape Verde and Belize – for a total of 169. There are only 41 left …

My favorite country (with more than 4 beers tasted) has been Serbia (could this be by chance ? Not sure ;-)).
The USA, winner of 2015, are second followed by Norway, Denmark and Belgium. Switzerland appears only on place 12, 2 places down in comparison with 2015.

I got beers from 488 different breweries (24 more than last year) and the most represented have been Mikkeller (18), Cinq 4000 (17), Virage (16) and then To Øl, CôteWest Brewing and Darkwolf with each 13.

My top ten breweries of 2016 (worldwide) is totally dominated by the Swiss with 8 ambassadors !

1. Cinq 4000cinq4000
2. BFM
3. CôteWest Brewing
4. Thornbridge (England)
5. To Øl (Denmark)
6. Bierzunft Wehntal
7. BRAUBAR
8. Old School
9. Storm&Anchor
10.Trois Dames

 

Once again and for the sixth consecutive year the most represented style has been IPA with 157 beers. Far behind you can find American Pale Ale (76), Spice/Herb/Vegetable (59), Imperial Stout and Saison (52).

My favorite style has been Gueuze ahead of American Strong Ale (5th last year), Imperial Stout (2nd in 2015 and winner in 2014), Baltic/Imperial Porter and Black IPA.

The styles I have appreciated the less are Pale Lager, then Dunkel, Vienna, Pilsner and Zwickelbier. Believe me (or not), I am fully capable to like all those styles (in contrast to Dunkelweizen for instance) if they are properly brewed. Unfortunately this is rarely seen nowadays.

Let’s now have a detailled look at Switzerland.

In 2016 a record number of 156 new breweries have been registered at the Swiss Federal Customs Administration. During the same time, I have discovered beers from “only” 58 new ones.
Needless to say that a global coverage of the Swiss beer market has become fully unrealistic, even for my very busy friend and ticker Thomas Schneider who is drinking Swiss beers 50% faster than I am … Personally I have tried beers from 371 of the 756 Swiss breweries in activity.

My best new Swiss breweries for 2016 are (the winner in 2015 was the recently closed BRAUBAR):

1. Bischoff (Frauenfeld, TG)bb_logo
2. Brucke (Etoy, VD)
3. Hoppy People (Sierre, VS)
4. BLZ (Biel, BE)
the Black Pig (Courroux, JU)
6. Braumanufaktur Schlachthuus (Lufingen, ZH)
7. La Pièce (Meyrin, GE)
8. Brasserie du Virage (Plan-les-Ouates, GE)
9. Mükon (Eschlikon, TG)
10.Mousse de Thoune (Thun, BE)

And here are my top 20 Swiss breweries in 2016 (the winner in 2015 was the BFM):

1. Cinq 4000
2. BFM
3. CôteWest Brewing
4. Bierzunft Wehntal
5. BRAUBAR
6. Old Schoolcotewest
7. Storm&Anchor
8. Trois Dames
9. Güschu 58
10.Bischoff
11.Brygger Øl
12.Darkwolf
13.523
14.Blackwell
15.Prévert
16.Barbière
17.Degenbier
18.Bier Factory Rapperswil
19.UHB
20.Brucke

And to close the Swiss chapter until next year, here are my 10 favorite beers from 2016:

1. Blackwell Poetry Slambic 2012quintessence2
2. BRAUBAR Toppling Heads 2.0
3. Bierzunft Wehntal the Pepper Goes QUINtessenCE
3. Cinq 4000 Je s’appelle Beetroots
5. 523 New World Wit
5. BFM Highway to Helles – Velvet Underground Edition
7. BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru 2014 – Lasciatemi Chiantiare
8. Cinq 4000 Sour Sour Galaxy IPA
9. BFM / la Nébuleuse Degustatoro
10.Cinq 4000 / Mise en Bière Wartek

And the top ten of 2016 worldwide:

1. Thornbridge Love Among the Ruinsloveamongruins
2. FiftyFifty Master Bart
3. 3 Fonteinen Armand’4 Oude Geuze Lente
3. Blackwell Poetry Slambic 2012
5. Hanssens Oude Schaerbeekse Kriek
5. Evil Twin Même Jésus Plus
5. To Øl Black Malt & Body Salts
5. BRAUBAR Toppling Heads 2.0
9. Thornbridge Hall Bracia
9. Bierzunft Wehntal the Pepper Goes Quintessence
9. Cinq 4000 Je s’appelle Beetroots

You don’t know one or more of these wonderful Swiss breweries and beers ? You would like to have more details like breweries addresses or list of beers ? Take a look at my Switzerland Beer Guide , it might help you.

Meanwhile, I wish you all the best for 2017 and hope you will be able to discover a lot of wonderful new beers !

cheers !

A very rich and exciting year – and not only related to beer – came to an end and it’s time again for some statistics and ranking lists (yes: if you are looking for poetry, I fear you’re on the wrong place ;-))

After my first slow-down during the last 9 years in 2014, my number of beers tasted was boosted again last year to reach a personal new record of 1230 new beers.
Let’s be honest: for me it is getting pretty close to exaggerated. So that I’m always wondering how the top guys on RateBeer can manage to taste 4 times more beers. The actual top rater – fonefan – has rated more than 4000 beers for the seventh consecutive year … A really impressive performance!

The graphic below shows the evolution of my total number of beer tasted during the last 28 years.

evolution_of_number_of_beers

In this total of 1230 new beers, Switzerland is again accounting for approximately 50% of them with 668. The next most represented countries are far behind: the USA (94), Denmark (73), Italy (67), Spain (60) and Belgium (52).
I have been able to discover beers from 3 new countries – French Guiana, Pakistan and Transnistria – which brings my country total to 164 (or 166 according to RateBeer criteria).

3rd_Annual_New_York_Beer_Craft_Week_-_Fun_days

the USA: best country in 2015

My favorite country (with more than 4 beers tasted) has been once again the USA ahead of Norway, Denmark, Canada and Scotland. Switzerland appears only on place 10.

Two years ago, when I started to analyze the average alcohol content of my sampled beers, I would never have thought to find such similar values from year to year. After an overall average of 6.5% in 2013, it has been identical in 2014 and 2015 with 6.4%. Scotland can be found on the top with 9.5% followed by Norway (8.8%) and the USA (7.7%). The value for Switzerland is identical with the one from 2014: 6.1%.

I got beers from 464 different breweries (55 more than last year) and the most represented have been Brasserie des 5 Quatre Mille (Switzerland, 31), Mikkeller (Denmark, 25), To Øl (Denmark, 22), 523 (Switzerland, 20) and UHB (Switzerland, 20).

bfm_logoblack

Brewery of the year 2015 !

Here is my top ten of the best breweries worldwide in 2015 with not less than 5 Swiss ambassadors and among them one on the first place !

1. BFM (Switzerland)
2. Prairie Artisan Ales (USA)
3. 523 (Switzerland)
4. Blackwell (Switzerland)
5. Mikkeller (Denmark)
6. To Øl (Denmark)
7. Brasserie des 5 Quatre Mille (Switzerland)
8. Jester King (USA)
9. De Dochter van de Korenaar (Belgium)
10. UHB (Switzerland)

For the fifth consecutive year now the most represented style has been IPA again with 124 beers. And, thanks for asking, no: I don’t have problems with this hype. American Pale Ale follows far behind with 69, then Imperial Stout (58), Saison (55) and Sour Ales (53).

Talking about styles, my favorite in 2015 has been Sour Ale ahead of the winner of last year, Imperial Stout. Then come Imperial IPA, Fruit Lambic and American Strong Ale. On the other end of the scale we can find without surprise some beer styles I dislike: Dunkel, Dunkelweizen, Pale Lager and on last position Low Alcohol beers.

Let’s now take a closer look to Switzerland.

During the last 12 months the number of opened breweries has continued its cosmic-like inflation with 145 newcomers (there were 88 in 2014). The number of registered breweries in my country is now solidly established at more than 600 and there are no signs of possible middle-term weakening.

The market composition in itself – most of those breweries can be qualified of nano or even yocto-breweries maybe … – makes a complete coverage so illusory that I can be satisfied with my discover of 55 new breweries last year.

My best new Swiss breweries for 2015 are (the winner in 2014 was 523):

braubar_logo

Best Swiss newcomer in 2015.

1. BRAUBAR
2. Rud Bir
3. Güschu 58
4. Aabachbier
5. Brasserie du Temps
6. Lance-Pierre
7. Birrificio del Pirata
8. Echec & Malt
9. Brewhouse
10.Kloster Fischingen

And here are my top 20 Swiss breweries in 2015 (the winner in 2014 was Storm&Anchor):

blackwell_wood

the utterly creative Blackwell Brewery is once again close to the top

1. BFM
2. 523
3. Blackwell
4. Brasserie des 5 Quatre Mille
5. UHB
6. Barbière
7. Braubar
8. Officina della Birra
9. Brygger Øl
10.Bierzunft Wehntal
11.Gutknecht’s Hammer-Bier
12.Sottobisio
13.Trois Dames
14.Rud Bir
15.Storm&Anchor
16.Old School
17.Unser Bier
18.Güschu 58
19.Strättligen Bier
20.Aabachbier

Like every year I warmly recommend to you to try the products from these artists if you don’t know them already.

Best Swiss beer 2015

Best Swiss beer 2015

And to close the Swiss chapter, here are my 10 favorite beers from 2015:

1. BFM √226 Degustator
2. BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (2014) – Frenchy Sparkling Wine
3. Blackwell I Can See your Flanders &
3. BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien (2014)
5. Blackwell Drahtesel &
5. BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (2013) – Megamix Rum Vol.2
7. 523 Incredibly Powerful Apricot Juice
8. Bodensee Van Meer
9. Sottobisio / Full Measure 3D-IPA
10.Storm&Anchor Beast (2015)

And the top ten of 2015 worldwide:

prairie_ba_bomb

Beer of the year 2015

1. Prairie Bomb! – Barrel Aged
2. Birrificio del Ducato La Luna Rossa
3. Prairie / Evil Twin Bible Belt
3. Russian River Consecration
3. BFM √226 Degustator
6. BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (2014) – Frenchy Sparkling Wine
7. Blackwell I Can See your Flanders
7. BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien (2014)
7. Nøgne Ø / Mikkeller / Brewdog Horizon Tokyo Black
7. Struise Black Damnation II – Mocha Bomb

Thanks again to all of you, friends and brewers, who have heavily contributed to a rich and successful beer year 2015 ! I’m sure we’ll met again this year.

cheers !

Staraya Krepost (Transnistrie)

Staraya Krepost une bière de Transnistrie. Trans … quoi ?!?

Le moins que l’on puisse dire, c’est que le chômage ne menace pas mon hobby de chasseur de bière: des festivals en veux-tu en voilà, des magasins de bières et des bars dont les offres se renouvellent sans cesse, des brasseries qui se créent encore plus vite que Messi enfile les buts et des brasseurs (ainsi que des amis) dont la générosité est de plus en plus grande. En bref: plaisir (beaucoup) et stress (un peu quand même) sont mon lot quotidien. Tout ça pour vous dire aussi qu’entre dégustations, mises à jour de ma page internet et boulot d’administrateur sur RateBeer, je commence à avoir passablement de peine à trouver le temps de pondre sur ce blog …

Mais revenons donc au sujet du titre. Ce ne sont pas moins de 197 nouvelles bières qui ont égayé mes papilles lors de ces deux derniers mois (105 en avril et 92 en mai). La Suisse – en partie grâce aux Solothurner Biertage – a bien évidemment écrasé toute concurrence au niveau du nombre avec 79 représentantes, devançant la Belgique (18) et les USA (12).

Bienvenue à deux nouveau pays: la Guyane française (avec la Jeune Gueule Weïti, une bière tout à fait honorable) et la Transnistrie, un état dont la reconnaissance est – comment dire – limitée, puisque seuls l’Ossétie du Sud, l’Abkhazie et l’Artsakh (eux-mêmes jouissant d’une reconnaissance très modeste …) la considèrent comme un État. Mais bon, comme à chaque fois, je me réfugie derrière les définitions de RateBeer et la Transnistrie constitue donc mon 164ème pays. Soit dit en passant, la bière – Staraya Krepost Klassicheskoe – était parfaitement buvable.

brew_23227D’autres pays rares se sont invités lors des deux derniers mois. La Moldavie principalement avec pas moins de 11 bières, la plupart des Lager disons … difficiles, mais aussi avec une bière de type belge de qualité honnête (la meilleure des 11 d’ailleurs): Persha Trapezne. Les deux bières éthiopiennes – Castel Beer et St. George Amber Beer – peuvent être trouvées en Suisse chez Beers’n’More. Finalement la Lituanie avec une bière forte (14%) et très intéressante: 13 Statinių (Tamsusis) de la brasserie Vilniaus Alus.

Quid des bières suisses ? Tout d’abord 7 nouvelles brasseries à signaler. Dans un ordre de préférence croissant:

Quant aux autres bières helvétiques des deux derniers mois, en voici un résumé non-exhaustif (si vous êtes friands de détails, voici pour rappel l’adresse où vous pouvez consulter mes 500 dernières bières: www.bov.ch/cgi-bin/shownewbeers).

  •  un super brasseur et un super houblon ne peuvent déboucher que sur une super bière: 523 Enigma Bliss;
  • très intéressantes nouveautés des Valaisans de 7Peaks avec en vedette la Cimes de l’Est;
  • le brewpub bernois Barbière continue de présenter qualité et innovation avec notamment la Green Bullet Nelson;
  • l’excellente collaboration entre Bad Attitude et le gypsy (je rigole …) Storm&Anchor – Daughter of Ashes – manque le podium du mois de mai pour un cheveu;
  • Old School Lake Side IPA

    Old School Lake Side IPA

    ce n’est pas le cas de Blackwell, 3ème du mois d’avril avec leur Nelson’s Sour Power Berliner Weisse. A noter aussi leur très bonne collaboration avec Full Measure: Nelson Terro{i}r!;

  • Bodensee fait encore mieux avec la sublime Van Meer, 2ème place du mois d’avril;
  • Brygger Øl ne voulant pas être en reste, Roger place sa superbe Saison Tonic sur la seconde marche du podium du mois de mai;
  • après les avoir fortement critiqué depuis leurs débuts ou presque, je dois avouer qu’ils m’ont très positivement surpris (pour la 2ème fois en 4 mois) avec leur Lucy IPA 14: il s’agit de Buechibärgerbier et il va me falloir passer en revue leur palette de bière à nouveau;
  • la prometteuse Brasserie des Coudres (Céligny, Genève) démontre son savoir avec sa superbe IPA, médaille de bronze du mois de mai;
  • toujours suivant le trend des IPA – et toujours très bon – Napf Müeti’s Hopfebombe;
  • Claude Degen, lui, prouve qu’il existe d’autres styles avec son Earl;
  • Officina della Birra confirme – si c’était nécessaire – ses qualités et sa créativité avec Castrum-Magnum et H2Ops;
  • pas moins de 7 nouvelles bières des Bernois d’Old School (Faulensee): pratiquement que du très bon et un véritable hymne aux houblons ! La meilleure d’entre-elles: Sun Storm III.
  • et finalement Trois Dames avec en vedettes l’Überliner Weisse (collaboration avec Barbière) et l’IPA Simcoe-Citra.
medallalight

Attention: produit très mauvais !

Comme certaines personnes m’ont fait remarquer que je devenais très gentil ces derniers temps, voici une (petite) liste des moins bonnes bières helvétiques des deux derniers mois: 3 Lacs Marylou, Sam’s Weizen Dunkel, Granicum Amber APA et Bertbier Chömifäger Altbier.

Mais ces bières, aussi douteuses aient-elles été, n’ont pas pu concurrencer les cancres des deux derniers mois, notamment la délégation moldave: Spicusor Blonda et Orasul Vechi (brasserie Bere Unitanc), Goldenburg (brassée par Beermaster) et Chisina Speciala Tare (Efes Vitanta). Si la Sornin Perle Verte (France) et l’Oettinger Radler (Allemagne) ont été fort mauvaises également, ni elles ni les Moldaves n’ont eu aucune chance face à l’immonde Medalla Light de la brasserie de Puerto Rico. J’en frémi encore rien que d’y repenser …

Finissons comme d’habitude par le top du top. Je vous ai déjà parler des meilleures bières suisses, voici celles des autres pays.

Struise Mocha Bomb

Struise Mocha Bomb

La Logsdon Oak-Aged Bretta (USA) est une Sour Ale à la forte personnalité et où les notes fruitées et acides dominent largement le côté boisé.Quant à L’Hopfenstopfer Monroe, c’est sans aucun doute la meilleure de la série Single Hop de la brasserie allemande Häffner. Un houblon vraiment impressionnant !

Difficile de ne pas retrouver les Belges de De Proef dans les sommets et les deux mois passés n’ont pas fait exception: la Mikkeller Single Hop Sorachi Ace IPA tout d’abord –  très fruitée, propre et complexe –  puis deux Imperial Stout de hautes factures, toutes les deux concocté en collaboration avec les Danois de To Øl: Goliat Imperial Coffee Stout et Liquid Confidence Cognac, deux bières de combat (respectivement 10.1 et 12.2% d’alcool) dont les noms livrent beaucoup d’indice sur ce que l’on peut en attendre.

Un autre gypsy à la fête avec Evil Twin faisant produire cette fois chez les Brésiliens de Tupiniquim (inconnu pour moi aussi, ne vous inquiétez pas …) sa Brazil Metro Man.

pirateEt une merveille de Marjo avec la Marjollica Frount’zzz the Never.Il doit bien exister un tutoriel permettant de comprendre les significations à plusieurs degrés des noms de bière de madame le Paradis 😉

Pour finir, voici les vainqueurs des deux mois précédents. La détonante, forte (13%) et hautement complexe Barrel Aged Bomb! des Américains de Prairies Artisans Ales s’impose lors du mois d’avril alors que la Black Damnation II Mocha Bomb (décidément, on vit une époque explosive…) remporte le mois de mai et me rappelle que ce n’est pas sans raison que c’est toujours une bière de la brasserie belge de Struise qui trône au sommet de ma liste des meilleures bières …

cheers !