President Barack Obama, Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sergeant James Crowley meet in the Rose Garden of the White House, July 30, 2009. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama, Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sergeant James Crowley meet in the Rose Garden of the White House, July 30, 2009. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

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And now, a year-in-review look at beer happenings beyond DC. Today we bring you the first of two collections of snapshots of last year’s national (and international) beer news stories. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, so grab some tissues because Y&H is about to get all “graduation slide show.”

  • Beer Wars: Brewed in America – The beverage-focused documentary film showed just how nasty Big Beer (Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors, predominantly) can be. We  saw the film’s April screening and live broadcast in Friendship Heights; our friend Tom Cizauskas saw it in Arlington. He posted a fair review.  Rent the DVD and decide for yourself.
  • Allagash Makes True American Lambic – Who says you have to be in Brussels to pull yeast out of the air and make beer? At SAVOR in June Rob Tod described his discovery of a wild yeast in Maine, and he debuted his first Spontaneous lambic in Philadelphia in December. Clay Risen at The Atlantic has the details.
  • The Tax Saga – Thanks to the recession, Congress was ready to go hogwild when it came to raising those sin taxes and there was much discussion and debate about it this year. In the end it seems the beer industry has more or less prevailed…for now.
  • Obama’s Beer Summit – The People pleaded, they chastised, and then finally got over Obama, Gates, and Crowley‘s beverage choices and recognized the event for what it was. Still, beer was on everyone’s mind, and we mean everyone, about as viral as an inaugural puppy.
  • Collaboration, Collaboration, CollaborationAmericans with Germans, hopheads with hopheads, aforementioned hophead with homebrewing web brothers . Spring, summer, fall, winter—last year was all about brewers cross-pollinating their recipes and ingredients (a part of the movement).
  • Light Beer Reaches New Low: Select 55 – This summer a new winner took the prize, clearly oblivious to how ludicrous that prize was. ‘Nuff said. (In case you haven’t noticed, a certain Y&H blogger is tired of talking about it.)

Stayed tuned for the last batch…