Rollin' Golden Pub - 2018

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As I sum another year of tastings, I’m faced with the question of why I bother at all.  There’s an app for that, Untappd.  I can sort by the date, the ranking I gave it, the style of beer, and even the packaging (draft, bottle, can, crowler).  And, I can sort by our imbibing location, namely the Rolling (sic) Golden Pub, which I have not bothered to do so until now. 

Of the pub’s 247 beer check-ins, all but 8 of them are mine.  I’m somewhat possessive of the RGP location, and I’m a little thrown off by this.  All of the check-ins should be mine.  I’m going to imagine that the five gentlemen involved were staying in a nearby motel and chose the location of the RGP as a funny option to checking in at the hotel and/or as a lark when drinking themselves to sleep with a heavy dose of reality show du jour.  I’m amused by that.  But I’m not amused that Nathan V. checked in a Rolling Rock Extra Pale or that Cliff Y. checked in a Best Damn Root Beer (with comment “yum yum yum”).  Sacrilege.  The RGP prides itself on quality beer, and they’re disrespecting the pub!  It’s not that I’m a beer snob.  We’re all beer snobs, all four members of the RGP!  It’s ours.

And that’s partially why I bother.  Braggart. Archivist. Obsessive-compulsive. Bored.  Eh, I do what needs to be done.  But it’s also an opportunity to reflect.  Working in whatever your occupation may be, imagine that, facing a deadline, email overload or (insert stressor here), you know that soon you’ll be getting together immediately after work with some coworkers and enjoying cool, quality beer.  Just the patient anticipation takes the edge off the daily toils.  And we’re killin’ it! (click the logo image above to see the list).

2018 metrics: 25% increase in Pub visits!  12.5% increase in beers consumed! And our highest ever Beer Advocate ratings average of 4.42 which hovers between Outstanding and World Class.  RateBeer ratings – yeah, we did well, but it never differentiated its ratings well and it’s further marginalized by a partial InBev stake.  Still, we had 81 beers that beer snobs anywhere would love to have, and many required travels and trades to be featured at the Pub.

Several years ago, the RGP Bylaws were established.  Wisely.  While the 72 oz. “serving” cap was implemented, it has proven effective for both safe driving afterwards and an unhurried pacing for our hour long share.  And, if we do not strictly hold to the limit of the law, it’s fair to say that it’s much like speeding in a vehicle, only, you’re the law. 

That’s important, because we increased from an average of 8.53% ABV in 2017 to 9.1% in 2018.  Why?  Stouts.  They don’t mess around, and they keep showing up.

It’s also fair to reflect on the growth of the craft brewing industry and the constant introduction of new beers.  At the close of 2017, we had enjoyed 18 beers ranked #1 in their State by Beer Advocate.  At the close of 2018, we’re now at… 22!   They include: Prairie Artisan Ales Bourbon Paradise (OK), Founders CBS (no longer a rarity from MI), and Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout (IL).  Interestingly, our fourth #1 comes from a 2015 tasting, as Ivan the Terrible Imperial Stout conquered its foes to rise from #4 in Montana to #1.

As the methodology for keeping count of #1 beers is not included in the Bylaws, it seems appropriate to allow that the heretofore consideration of "at the time of consumption” be modified to include “unless it grew to a #1 position.”   This is advantageous on two fronts:  1) Beer ratings are not like Billboard Magazine; there is no static reference point to document to ratings at a given time and 2) If we did limit it to current rankings, then our collective total for #1 beers in 2018 would be… nine (9).
That’s the state we’re in, where:  1) Beer Advocate has largely displaced by Untappd due ease/convenience of a smart phone app, resulting in many current #1 beers having only a relative handful of beers, 2) Where some tend to overrate product from their favorite and/or local brewery, 3) the sheer number of beers that get introduced to the market each week, and 4) some beers are retired and removed from the rankings. 

What is left unstated here are the memories and good times of each tasting, and those are reserved exclusively for the members of the RGP.

Oh, and thank you, Knotty Pretzels, for being there!

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