By Josh Noel
10:50 AM CST, January 7, 2013
One of the reasons I like writing a Beer of the Month column, which appears in the Good Eating section on the first Wednesday of every month, is that it lacks guidelines: When I find a beer I like, I write about it.
That said, I do think seasonally (a rye India pale ale works better in March than July) and often tend toward beers and breweries new to Chicago (Brewery Vivant, Perennial Artisan Ales, Uncommon Brewers and Oskar Blues all debuted here last year). Sometimes I try to be counterintuitive (it comes from a massively popular brewery, but Robert the Bruce is a woefully underrated Three Floyds beer). And sometimes I just pick a beer I love (Uinta's Dubhe).
I didn't pick many beers made outside America, but that's because this country currently stands atop the craft brew heap (and domestic is often the freshest and newest available). Plus, I like to highlight local and Midwestern brews with some regularity — though not exclusively.
So here is a look back on my 2012 beers of the month with links to the stories. Looking back, I'm glad to say Uinta's Dubhe Imperial Black IPA tastes just as delicious this January as it did a year ago.
January Uinta Dubhe Imperial Black IPA
February* Boulevard Brewing's Chocolate Ale
September Oskar Blues' Dale's Pale Ale
October Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA
November Revolution Brewing's Fistmas
* Some of Boulevard's 2012 Chocolate Ale was skunked. The bottle I reviewed was delicious, but the one I tried a few weeks later ... not so good. The brewery fell on its sword and offered refunds for the tainted batches.