New Beers Resolutions: How to Drink Well in 2015

Here are five ways to make next year your best year of beer ever

We’ve all been there. January 1 rolls around, which means it’s time to start making good on our ill-conceived resolutions to lose weight/stop drinking Diet Coke/call our moms more/quit making fun of people with Peaky Blinders haircuts. These are impossible things. We know this. Yet we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly to the behaviors of the previous year.

So why not make some New Year’s resolutions we’ll actually keep in 2015? Each of the following can be translated into the following sentence: Drink great beer. This is something we can all accomplish. But to be more specific:

Resolution No. 1: Visit more local breweries.
In no particular order: Ladyface, Three Weavers, Beachwood BBQ, Monkish, Eagle Rock Brewery, Smog City, The Bruery, The Dudes’, Golden Road, El Segundo, Noble, Strand, and so many more. Beer wealth: We have it. You should know what an Expatriate IPA tastes like mere feet away from where it was brewed. There are great taprooms from the Valley to Torrance to Orange County to Northeast L.A.  No excuses, knock this one off your resolutions list early and make these trips often.

Resolution No. 2: Learn more about how your beer is made.
This one is really an adjunct to the previous resolution because you can learn all about how your beer is brewed on a tour of Eagle Rock Brewery or The Bruery or Golden Road. Getting familiar with the brewing process has multiple benefits: Beer just tastes better when you know how it’s made. You can also feel justifiably superior when someone asks you how the hell to pronounce foeder (FOO-duhr).

Resolution No. 3: Get to know your friendly bottle-shop attendant
People waited in line for hours to buy a bottle of Bourbon County Stout in November. Guess who wasn’t one of them? Me. Because over the course of my personal beer journey, I’ve gotten in good with the guys and gals who work in the better bottle shops of Los Angeles. They are the gatekeepers to excellent beers, and there’s almost always a stash of the good stuff in the back room. Be kind to your bottle slinger and they’ll be kind to you.

Resolution No. 4: Try a ridiculously hyped beer
Make a list of the most hyped beers in the world. Here, let me help you: Russian River, Pliny the Younger, Westvleteren XII, 3 Floyds Dark Lord, the aforementioned Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Alchemist Heady Topper. Try one, and then decide for yourself whether the beer is worth the hype. Being able to separate the beer from the hoopla represents an important way station on the road to becoming an expert beer consumer. And some of those beers truly are worth the mindless adoration.

Resolution No. 5: Convert a friend
Still going out with a pal who orders Miller Light at the bar? They know not what they do. It’s up to you to spread the gospel of craft beer to those who have not yet come to the light. After all, the only thing better than a delicious beer is a delicious beer shared with a friend.