366 Days Of Beer, introduction

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1 Jan 2012 by mikey

366 Days Of Beer was a challenge to have one different beer for every day of 2012. NO exceptions, no excuses, no cider, no cheating. Being a leap year there is an extra day/beer.

The story of 366 Days Of Beer starts long before the first beer of the challenge. Back in early 2011 my good friend Ian heard that a mate had eaten 99 parmas in a year. 99! Surely he could of had one more and made 100. We could do that. Easy. So, we started the Parma Challenge, eat 100 in 12 months. Of the ten that started only three of us made it.

As we came to towards the end of the Parma Challenge we realised a new challenge was required. Something else we enjoy, and take it too far. Beer. We like beer and had been getting into craft beers from Victoria for a good couple years. Maybe, if we include the big names and international beers, there would be enough to cover the 366 days. So we started checking out what there was. Yep, should be no probs.

Next the rules.

Rule One was about the frequency. One a day or seven a week? Tough call. Lots of debate. In the end it was one a day, any time between 12:00 am and 11:59 pm. We lost a few people on this rule. In the end only four people would try, and one dropped out in the first month.

Rule Two was straight forward. Only beer. No cider, wine, mixes, spirts, and so on. Beer had to be alcoholic. Mutually we agreed no ginger beer, not even the alcoholic variety. Beer had to be commercially available, so no home brew. This did allow any beer sold on tap, hence the big range of Mountain Goat beers for me.

Rule Three was about proof. Each beer needs a photo. Photo to show the beer name. Show it open (if in bottle). Show the date. The last part, about date was the hard part. A newspaper or receipt would do. There was a fair amount of discussion and in the end we agreed that apps that “stamp” the date would be fine. Sure, you could alter the date manually on your phone, but there was always some work around with everything else we came up with.

Rule Four was to review the beer. This was kept vague as far as what detail was required. At a minimum needed to say if liked it or not. Over time my reviews became more detailed, but never scored the beers like others.

Rule five was not about the beer at all. We agreed we would put $1 aside for every beer to a charity of our choice. It was a way to make it a little less about just drinking. Plus we wanted at least one real positive to come out of it. I donated to the Mental Health Council of Australia.

As we got closer to the start of 2013 both Ian and I did a trial run. For seven days in December we drank a beer, took a photo and did a review. Worked out quite well and we started looking for ways to capture the date in an easy way. Ian found an iPhone app called Oz Weather. I didn’t settle on anything until a few days into the year when I started using the Android app Vignette.

Original plan was that each month would be a different theme/country/style. January was going to be all Australian beers as there was Australia Day, 26 Jan. Was going to be German beers through Octoberfest, 22 Sep to 7 Oct. USA beers for July for Independence day, 4 July. But all of that was abandoned about half way though January.

Both Ian and I realised there was a LOT more Australian beers that we originally thought. So we moved to trying to have 366 Australian beers. That was easy. In fact there were so many Australian beers that from late November I started having two or more beers a day. The best for the day made it on the list. The rest are also up, but not categorised under ‘366 days of beer’.

My 366 beers are listed here. I hope you get something out of them. If you’re interested Ian has his beers up on his site .


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