Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Best of 2009

Before I begin the countdown of my top albums of the year, I thought I'd try something a little new. I'm going to hand out a few awards, by which I mean some "best of" designations in categories related to this blog. That's the important point here. To be eligible, there had to be some discussion of the award winner right here, on this blog, at some point this year.

So, without further adieu...

Best Brewery - Despite visiting some excellent brew pubs in Portland, Oregon in August, I'm going back to February and giving this award to Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, New York's fine purveyor of Belgian-style ales.

Best Beer - Although Ommegang Abbey Ale, Southern Tier Pumking, and several Oregon brews were contenders, Portland brew pub Old Lompoc's LSD (Lompoc Strong Draft) was the best new beer I tasted this year. It's too bad I don't know when the next time will be that I'll get a second chance to enjoy some.

Best Ballpark (Majors) - The new Yankee Stadium was great, but it really was hard to think about it in terms of how I usually feel my first time at a new park. It's pretty overwhelming, and although I arrived two hours early during my first visit, it was still very crowded and, therefore, difficult to take it all in. Rangers Ballpark in Arlington was everything I look for in a new stadium, and it was definitely my favorite of the four major league parks I visited this year.

Best Ballpark (Minors) - Since I called it "...the nicest minor league park I've ever visited," it goes without saying that the Portland Beavers' PGE Park wins this award.

Best Concert - According to this blog, I only count six concerts that I went to this year. It's possible there were a couple that I didn't write about, but that's still a pretty low number. There was a time when six in a month was closer to the average. Anyway, even in a year in which I showed further signs of slowing down, The Flaming Lips put on a show worthy of concert of the year status.

Best Road Trip - KJ and I went on a lot of great road trips this year. Plus, it's hard to imagine there could be a better trip than one that included attending a baseball game every night. But, although I sometimes took liberties with my definition of road trip here, our late May vacation in Georgia and South Carolina, particularly the Savannah part, gets the nod in this category. Just to set the record straight, it wasn't my favorite just because it was legal to drink in the streets, although that certainly didn't hurt. Probably the biggest reason was that, of all the trips we took this year, this one was to a place that was new to both of us.

I've got one more "best of" post in me before getting started on the countdown of the year's best albums. That post is going to be where I honor a few of my readers with a list of the best comments of the year. It should be an enjoyable look back at some moments that have either made me laugh, or simply appreciate what you've had to say.


  1. What about a shout-out to "Best Girlfriend Ever"?! You really dropped the ball on this, Chuck.

  2. I don't need to use my blog to tell her that.