As has been typical for the past few years, I did very little blogging here and much more writing elsewhere, making the “blog in review” aspect of this annual look back increasingly irrelevant. In 2016 most of my published writing went to Reason, usually with some association to the drink world. I covered how whisky labeling regulations in the European Union make truthful Scotch labels illegal, how big craft breweries cash in on public subsidies to fund their expansions, how Mexican liquor regulations threatened traditional mezcal producers, how the FDA will make life much worse for cigar smokers, and how the decision in Citizens United protects one mezcal brand’s right to say “Donald eres un pendejo.”
Elsewhere I wrote about where to drink in Reykjavik for Eater, the rise of rice whiskey in the United States for Distiller, and for Mixology I covered the wonderfully malty ales of Alaska and the improbable rise of aquavit in the United States. I also contributed quite a few spirits reviews to Distiller, which enjoyed a great year of growth.
Although I redesigned this website in 2016, I didn’t write a lot of new content for the blog. Most of what’s new is travel related with coverage of a few events: A guide to some of my favorite spots in Berlin, a tour of craft distilleries in Reykjavik, tasting notes from the Collaboration Brew Fest in Colorado, and a short beer tour of Denver. On the cocktail side of things I contributed a couple rosé wine cocktails to a project by Underwood.
I’d hoped to have another book completed this year, but it’s not quite finished yet. Nor does it have a publisher, though it is coming along. I’ve also contributed a few entries to the forthcoming Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails, edited by David Wondrich.
Moving on to the annual look at site stats, this year saw a huge drop in traffic, down from a record of just over 200,000 visits last year to 52,878 this year. Given that most of last year’s traffic was due to freakishly high numbers of visitors to the stapler post, that’s not too surprising. That was still the most popular post of the year, but by not nearly as large a margin.
Top posts of 2016
1. The stapler’s secret
2. Spirit of Sri Lanka: Coconut arrack
3. My coffee smells like tuna fish
4. MxMo Retro Redemption: Harvey Weissbanger
5. Mixing with the Mad Dog
6. How grilling meat really is like smoking a cigar
7. How to make coffee bitters
8. The mystery of the five-inch bull balls
9. Everybody loves an Irish Car Bomb
10. A tour of Reykjavik’s craft distilleries
Search traffic is too low to be of much interest anymore, though this site has apparently become one of the top results for information on Sri Lankan arrack. This is reflected in the geographic stats.
Top visitor countries of 2016
1. United States
2. United Kindgom
4. Sri Lanka
More people visited my site from Colombo, Sri Lanka than from Portland, Oregon this year, which is not something I would have guessed!
Top visitor cities of 2016
1. New York
6. Los Angeles
7. San Francisco
I don’t anticipate many changes to my frequency of posting here in 2017, but will update with links to new articles, podcasts, and maybe even a new book or two.