It’s been a great year for beer.

I have had some streaks of busy tasting and other weeks where I just took it easy.

Right now, I am unsure how the year will end, but I remember how it started.

On New Year’s Day, I took a quick ride to Union Jack’s, which is in Douglassville, Pa., the town my sister lives in and had two beers, but my were they serious beers. I had one of the grails, the Dogfish Head 120-Minute IPA. You may have heard of the 60 or 90 versions, but in this one, the hops are added to the boil for two solid hours. It has a ridiculously high Alcohol By Volume of 18 percent (think Budweiser  at less than four). But I love it, because I am big into high-alcohol beers and the whole hop thing. They pour it in a nine-ounce glass, because of the alcohol.

The first beer of that afternoon was one of my all-time favorites, the Southern Tier Imperial Pumking, my favorite pumpkin beer out of about 30 I have had. This was the oak-aged version, and I found that made it much more mellow and easier to drink. I actually had to slow myself down, because it was going down so easily.

Union Jack’s is a really neat place, because it combines the feel of a hometown bar — and serves Budweiser and other products — with a quality, high-end beer bar. Knowledgable staff, nice folks.

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