In 2022, it was quite a mixed bag of news. On the Washington beer scene, the year provided some good news and some bad. I present our Top 10 in order, with the most-read story at the top of the list. Take a guess at how many stories I published on the Washington Beer Blog in 2022? I will give you the answer at the bottom of the post. It’s pretty astonishing.
1. Lagunitas Shutting Down Seattle Brewery and Taproom. The top story was one I shared recently about Lagunitas shutting down its location in Ballard. I find it interesting that the story got so much attention when over the course of its five-year history the brewery got so little attention.
2. Stone Brewing vs. Molson Coors, a $56 Million Verdict. David vs. Goliath? Goliath vs. Goliath? However you look at it, that’s a lot of money. In related news that curiously did not make the Top 10, Stone was acquired this year by Japanese brewing behemoth Sapporo.
3. Turnkey Brewery Opportunity in Lake Stevens. When Meatheads Smokehouse and Beer Works closed down in November, apparently a lot of folks were interested. Given the way I phrased the headline, maybe a lot of prospective new owners were interested.
4. What You Really Need to Know About the CO2 Shortage. It’s easy to hear about a crisis, start preaching doom and gloom, and make people run around like their butts are on fire; however, I decided to take a measured approach to the situation. Clickbait just ain’t my jam.
5. Local Brewery Owners Found Murdered in Olalla, WA. Yeah, this was the crappiest story of the year, without comparison. The follow-up story, which announced that the police nabbed the perpetrator, also made the top 10, but I didn’t include it in this list separately. I just kind of wrapped it into this story.
6. The 2022 WA Beer Awards, Winners Announced. I am delighted that Washington has an official beer awards program to acknowledge the best beers brewed in the state. It is an exceptionally well-run program, too. No monkey business. Winning an award here really means something. Cheers to that!
7. T-Mobile Park Craft Beer Guide for 2022. Year after year, it’s a popular one. As far as I know, this is the best, most-comprehensive guide to ballpark beers. I think that because of contractual relationships with big-dollar sponsors, T-Mobile Park can’t do too much to promote the local, craft beers at the ballpark, but I can do it for them. I am happy to do so.
8. Best of Hands Barrel House Announces its Closing. Yeah, we lost a few breweries this year. This one hurt on a personal level because it is quite near my house. There is still a for lease sign in the window, so someone please move in. Open a brewery or tasting room there! Sad whenever a brewery closes, but new breweries keep opening. So I guess there’s that.
9. Hale’s Ale Brewery Fades Into History. It was unceremonious. It was quiet. After nearly 40 years, Hale’s Ale Brewery vanished this year. As I understand it, Mike Hale tried to find a way to retire, at long last, and also keep the brewery and/or brand alive, but here we are. No more Hale’s.
10. Métier Brewing Opens a New Taproom in Seattle. There are few neighborhoods in Seattle that do not have a brewery, or at least a brewery’s satellite taproom. The Central District was one of those neighborhoods. Last spring, Woodinville’s Métier Brewing opened a taproom on Spring Street to the delight of the neighborhood. It’s been quite the happenin’ spot ever since.
So there you have it. Of the 398 stories I posted on the Washington Beer Blog thus far in 2022, those are the ten that captured the most attention. At least they attracted the most traffic. Hopefully, nothing but happy news in 2023. Fingers crossed.