Plans for 2009 are still somewhere south of sketchy. Apart from one night in Brussels in the very near future there's nothing definite, and the destinations being talked about, while fun, aren't exactly beery (this is what happens when your friends move to the middle east. Gah!). I'm very much playing it by ear, which is part of the fun even for someone like me who thinks fifteen months' advance booking can be cutting it fine.
While I'm pondering future destinations, and the appropriate thickness of sock for mid-winter Switzerland, I'm drinking a beer from Avery in Colorado. New World Porter is an interesting chap. It's one of those American black beers hopped with very citrus varieties. I'm used to this in big, heavy imperial stouts, so to have it in a porter of a mere 6.7% ABV is rather odd. Pleasantly odd, though. You get a lot of the neat features of American pale ales which clock in at similar strengths, coupled with the smoothness of a porter. Of roasted flavours, however, there are just about none -- just a slight porterlike dryness on the end.
Despite appearances, this to my mind is a hybrid of porter with an American IPA. It's not particularly balanced, but it still works, and is fun to drink.
Strange new taste sensations and challenges to expectations: that's what I'm hoping for the coming year. That, and the thrill of chasing them across the globe.