The Top 10 Beer Stories of 2018


As 2018 comes to a close, I’d like to share the top 10 beer stories of the past year as determined by web traffic on this website. Yep, I can see which stories attracted the most eyeballs. And speaking of eyeballs, the Washington Beer Blog gets a lot of traffic, probably more than you’re imagining, and over the course of the 2018 we published nearly 500 stories, so I think our 2018 Top 10 list provides some pretty good insight. Over 250,000 unique visitors, 1 million page views, and 500 new stories, I think that’s some solid data with which to work.

It’s not surprising that some of these stories made the top 10. Also, it should be noted that I’m counting “hits” for the whole year, so recently published stories are at a bit of a disadvantage, but most stories get the vast majority of their attention within the first few days of publication. Other stories live on in perpetuity.

Here are the Washington Beer Blog’s top 10 beer stories of 2018

  1. The Home Shows – When the most popular Seattle band of all time teamed up with Georgetown Brewing, what did you think would happen? Two Seattle icons teaming up to fight homelessness with beer, now that’s a big story. Our biggest of the year.
  2. Sabro Hops – This one was a bit of a surprise. I wrote a story about a new variety of hops. I told the story of where it came from, with some geeky details, which appealed to a lot of you. I’m guessing that not many other people out there on the interwebs have published much info about Sabro.
  3. Melvin Brewing – I didn’t want to tell this story. Sexual misconduct is not the kind of news I like to report, but tenet one of the code of ethics is “Seek the truth and report it,” so I did.
  4. Introducing Brut IPA – Just when you thought America was getting over it’s IPA addiction, here comes another new style of IPA for your enjoyment. Sometimes the science behind the beer is as cool as the beer itself.
  5. Burke Gilman Brewing Opens – In Seattle, just about every neighborhood has a brewery. Most have more than one. People were excited about this one, located along the Burke Gilman Trail in Laurelhurst.
  6. Naked City Closes– Sad to see this beloved neighborhood brewpub shut down last week. The company’s Camano Island location is still open, with no plans to close, so you can get all your favorite Naked City beers their, while supplies last.
  7. Top 25 Breweries in Washington – Armed with data about beer production, last January I compiled this list of the 25 largest producers of 2017 and also commented on the state of beer in the Evergreen State.
  8. Future Primitive Brewing Opens – Remember what I said about recent stories being at a disadvantage? Well toss that notion aside. Seattle’s most-anticipated brewery opened a few days before Christmas. Yep, lived up to expectations.
  9. Washington Wins Big at GABF – In 2018 Washington breweries brought home 17 medals from the Great American Beer Festival, the nation’s most prestigious beer judging competition. That’s the most medals WA breweries have ever won at the competition, but how’d we stack up against other states?
  10. Who Cares About Fresh Hop Beers? – In just a few short years, fresh hop beers have risen from relative obscurity to obscene popularity. I’d venture to guess that it is now the most popular seasonal beer style. I did a story about why you should, and shouldn’t, care about fresh hop beer.

Honorable Mention

These stories are worth mentioning, for reasons I explain.

McMenamins Tacoma (ranked number 11) – Just outside the top eventual top ten, people have been waiting for years to see this project come to its fruition. They’ll open in the spring of 2019, an announcement they made last month.

Safeco Field Beer Guide (ranked number 5) – It’s a given, year after year, that this story ranks at the top. It gets used a guide by beer lovers heading to the ballpark. Search Google for “Safeco Field beer” and see what happens. It’s not really news and, basically, I’m publishing information and promoting something that the Mariners can’t, so I really should thank MillerCoors (the big MLB beer sponsor) for all that lovely web traffic.

Elephant in the Room (ranked number 4) – Every year this story continues to show up near the top of the list. I published this story back in 2012, so it didn’t fit for the 2018 list. If you search Google for the phrase “dirty draft beer lines” you will understand why it gets so many hits. Nobody talks about dirty draft beer lines, which is why I call it the Elephant in the Room.