- Central VA - Three Notch'd Grey Ghost American Pale Ale
- Rest of VA - Port City Downright Pilsner
- Rest of US - Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
- Rest of World - Cromarty Happy Chappy
- Honorable Mentions - Timothy Taylor Landlord, Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted, Three Notch'd 40 Mile
This year was really difficult to decide from the two front runners here, both of which I drank plenty of, though on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Three Notch'd are pretty much my go-to brewery these days, their core lineup is excellent and that always makes me sure to try their more experimental stuff, because I have trust in the quality of their beer overall. When we were in Scotland over the summer, I think I drank more Cromarty Brewing beer than any other, as they blend the hopping of the New World with the sessionability of the British tradition to make beers which are the best of both worlds. As such, the Fuggled Pale Beer of 2014 is Cromarty Happy Chappy, a simply magnificent beer that I am still working on producing a decent clone of so I don't have to wait until I next get to Scotland to enjoy more of.
- Central VA - Three Notch'd Hydraulion Irish Red
- Rest of VA - Ardent American Mild
- Rest of US - Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest
- Rest of World - Kelburn Dark Moor Mild
- Honorable Mentions - Greene King The King's English IPA, Skye Red, Cromarty Atlantic Drift, McEwan's Scotch Ale
- Central VA - Devils Backbone Schwartzbier
- Rest of VA - Lickinghole Creek Enlightened Despot Russian Imperial Stout
- Rest of US - River Rat Hazelnut Brown
- Rest of World - Skye Black
- Honorable Mentions - Isley Brewing Tall, Dark, and Hopsome, Black Isle Oatmeal Stout
Fuggled Champion Beer
My overall best beer of 2014 was a revelation, a beer that I just wanted pint, after pint, after pint of, and several times on my trip home to the Highlands I did exactly that. Whether sat in the Cromarty Arms, the Castle Tavern, or the Phoenix, the very site of a Cromarty Happy Chappy pump clip was enough to make up my mind.
- Central VA - Three Notch'd
- Rest of VA - Port City
- Rest of US - Sierra Nevada
- Rest of World - Cromarty
- Honorable Mentions - Hardknott, Fullers, Lickinghole Creek
This is actually pretty simple, even though there are some great breweries on that list, producing magnificent beers. It is simple because it all comes down to which brewery I trust the most to produce the kind of beers I like drinking, flavourful, balanced, moreish. That brewery is Three Notch'd.
- Central VA - Whiskey Jar, Charlottesville
- Rest of VA - Mad Fox, Falls Church
- Rest of US - Flying Saucer, Columbia, SC
- Rest of World - Bon Accord, Glasgow
- Honorable Mentions - Tin Whistle (Charlottesville), The Brixton (Washington DC), Castle Tavern (Inverness)
I was only at the winning pub for a matter of hours, but it was love at first pint. I wrote about the Bon Accord here.
So there we go, that was the highlights of my drinking in 2014, not a bad way to mark my 900th post on Fuggled.