More Strange Climates: 2021

If we thought 2020 tipped the scales on weirdness, we went for a fine ride in 2021. Just when I thought I could take a breath and start planning again, life threw a course change at me.

You see, I’d anticipated 2021 for a long time, knowing if I was lucky, I would celebrate my 50th birthday in July. After seeing friends have their own 50th year hopes dashed in 2020, I started into the year cautiously optimistic that I could at least plan a getaway—even to a mountain cabin far from the crowds, with lots of hiking, relaxing, a few friends, and my love—and yes, beer.

The holiday visit to Tröegs Brewery in Hershey, Pennsylvania bore much fruit.

Well, I made it to 50, and beyond, but the end of July marked the reason why you haven’t seen me post in six months. A new owner acquired the magazine title that forms my day job—and my dreams of celebrating 50 years in some modestly quiet way flew out the window and across the country.

However, I am now catching my breath, as I sit on January 10, 2022, ready to compile my list of Top Beers of 2021. I’ll also compose updates over the next few weeks of the many breweries near and far that we were able to visit in between the complete overhaul of a print publication and the bringing to life of its online juggernaut.

Because we needed beer—that I never questioned.

Top Beers of 2021

Visiting Wheatland Spring and sitting by the firepit warms an October night.