So, just under a year ago I did a map of all the breweries and distilleries I had tried, and I’ve been updating it ever now and then. So, nearly a year on and…

Not as much has changed as I had expected

I’ve got a bit of the Czech Republic and Poland covered now, though they deserve a lot more attention. Poland especially. A tad more tried from Sweden, Denmark, etc, but not hugely so. Guess I’m slowly creeping around various parts of Europe.

I think it can probably be attributed to two things

1) The British beer scene boom – we have been getting vast numbers of new breweries in Britain, and with a couple of excellent bottle shops in reasonable distance to me it is very easy to try them. It wasn’t like we were lacking for breweries before, but we are getting a lot more experimentation going and different styles in recent years.

2) The availability of the big names – for brewers outside of Britain, it is easier than ever to get hold of beers, but we do seem to get just a lot of the big names. I’m not complaining, we are getting Mikkeller, Boston Beer Co, Stone, Cantillon, De Struise – all great names, and lots of great beers are being tried, just not adding much variety to the map. It really is first world problems. “Oh no, I’m only getting some of the really well reputed beer – woe is me.” Guess I am never quite so happy as when I’m hunting down the completely new to me.

Unfortunately the planned Germany run has fallen through for now, so I won’t be adding a nice chunk to Germany as hoped for, but I have other travel plans which may fill some of the blank space in the coming year. Oh yes.

Apart from that – well Scotland is getting even busier, between the aforementioned beer scene breakout, and my attempt to hunt down the distilleries I had yet to try, that place is covered with new markers.

All in all a good year, but not the most varied. The craft beer scene here seems to have found the breakout names, especially with foreign beers, and tend to stick with them. While the beer list for a pub can not be predicted easily, often what breweries will be there can. May have to do some hunting further afield in the coming year to see what else is out there.

Until then, enjoy your drink!