One last look at 2013 – our top stories of the year

Below I list last year’s top stories chronologically. These stories received the largest number of hits in 2013. For the most part, the stories listed below represent single posts. The exception, I wrote several articles about last spring’s tax issue and three of those stories were in the top ten, so I consolidated them into one topic.

So here is a list of the most buzz-worthy beer stories of 2013 according to you, the much-appreciated readers of the Washington Beer Blog.

Say Goodbye to Pliny (January 2013) – All I need to do is put the word Pliny in the title of one of my posts and it is sure to generate a lot of traffic. This one was different. This actually was news and not just some cheap ploy to capture your attention. Last January I shared the sad news that Russian River Brewing was pulling out of Washington. Along with all the other great beers from that esteemed brewery, Washingtonians would no longer get their annual ration of Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger. Somehow we managed to survive.

The Beer Tax (April 2013) – Remember that? Our local breweries were facing some hefty tax increases that, according to some breweries, threatened their very survival. Some people were confused or misinformed about this issue and I like to think the blog provided a service, helping to clear things up and rally the troops. In the end, thankfully, Olympia found the money elsewhere. We won this round. Click here to see a list of our stories on the topic.

Beer at the Ballpark (April 2013) – Once again, as the baseball seasons got started, our annual roundup of the beer scene at Safeco Field was one of our top stories, offering more proof that nothing goes better with baseball than delicious craft beer. Thank heavens Safeco Field provides so many options for beer lovers. The Mariners and the company that manages concessions at the ballpark seem to understand that good beer should be part of the game day experience. Well, at least here in Seattle where we drink so much craft beer.

What is That Keg Doing at Goodwill? (June 2013) – Someone spotted a keg for sale at a Goodwill store and sent us a picture. Problem is, technically, the keg did not belong to Goodwill or to the person who donated it to Goodwill. Without knowing it, Goodwill was trafficking stolen merchandise. Kegs belong to breweries. Although bars, taverns, pubs, and consumers pay a deposit on a keg, the keg still belongs to the brewery. Deposit does not equal purchase. This issue spurred some debate, which I found surprising. I suppose some people simply could not handle the truth.

Brewing Innovation. What is smaller than nano? Pico! (October 2013) – Some smart guys at a company called Pico Brew invented a thing they call a “brewing appliance” that produces very small batches of beer. Always skeptical, we were not convinced until we sent Kim to see it in action and taste the beer.  At first glance, you’ll think it’s ideal for home brewing, but the company has bigger plans. And you thought nano-breweries were small!

Introducing BREW Seattle (October 2013) – In addition to writing the blog, I also write for Seattle Magazine. On the heels of the annual beer issue, Seattle Magazine wanted to host a beer festival. I suggested that Seattle Magazine organize a Seattle beer festival that focused exclusively on Seattle-brewed beers. There were 21 breweries at BREW Seattle, which means about 20 other Seattle breweries did not participate. Plenty of great beer is brewed right here in Seattle. We enjoy an embarrassment of riches. That was the point. It was a brilliant idea, if I do say so myself, and the event was a smashing success. Our post announcing the event was one of the top stories of the year.

The Elephant in the Room: Dirty Beer Lines (August 2013) – I am happy that this made the list. Nobody wants to talk about it, but draft beer lines must be cleaned regularly. Most bars contract a service provider to perform this task on a regular basis. Others, well, not so much. I don’t know about you, but I hate drinking dull, lifeless beer that tastes a bit moldy and threatens to make me incontinent. Like I said, it’s a topic nobody wants to talk about.



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