- Best UK Cask Beer
I don't really drink much cask beer nowadays. Only when I'm down the pub, at beer festivals or visiting breweries. A few stick in the mind from this year, which isn't bad going as I usually have trouble remembering more than a weekend ago.
The Sharp's Atlantic before the GBBF was very good, but it's not a fair test as it was free and free beer tastes better. The other one I particularly remember was getting some draught Old Dairy Tsar Top. I've mostly had it from bottles and it was good to finally see it on hand pump so that's my winner.
- Best UK Keg Beer
I've mostly been drinking keg this year. When I was at that keg only brewery for an evening that is. They did have one I liked though, the Camden Brewery unfiltered lager. I've noticed neo-keggist heretics often rave about unfiltered beers, which does lead me to believe that they are not beyond redemption, and are groping their way towards beer as god intended. Perhaps calling for an albeergenisan crusade is a little harsh and a more ecumenical approach is called for. After all, our own mother church has adopted
some vague drivel abouta a positive line on craft beer.
- Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer.
As part of my economy drive I've drastically cut down on my beer purchases but I did get a crate of the excellent Westerham Audit Ale so a clear winner there.
- Best Overseas Draught
Unfiltered lager again, this one from Únětický pivovar.
- Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer
That would be Magnifica from Birra Dell'Eremo.
- Best collaboration brew
A category that fails to excite me. I may have had some collaboration brews but I can't remember any.
- Best Overall Beer
Tsar Top. Oh yes.
- Best Branding, Pumpclip or Label
Thurstons Brewery Milk Stout. The metallic bottle label looks particularly good. The excellent designs are by Too Much Black Coffee.
- Best UK Brewery
Seeing as they got overall beer it had better go to Old Dairy.
- Best Overseas Brewery
And this one had better go to Birra Dell'Eremo.
- Best New Brewery Opening 2014
Can't think of one.
- Pub/Bar of the Year
The Crown in Horsell.
- Best New Pub/Bar Opening 2014
Can't think of one.
- Best beer and food pairing
I normally end up at at least one beer and food pairing event a year. Can't say it's ever made a blind bit of difference to my drinking and eating habits though, so I'll stick with beer and cheese and onion crisps.
- Beer Festival of the Year
GBBF. Love it.
- Supermarket of the Year
As Dumpy might put it, it's got to be Booths.
- Independent Retailer of the Year
Since last year's runner up Cobbett's Real Ales have now started stocking Orval and opened a micropub in a back room they clinch the title this year.
- Online Retailer of the Year
Don't think I bought any beer online this year, but this online beer seller sent me free beer so them. Unless they're scoundrels that is in which case it's nothing to do with me.
- Best Beer Book or Magazine
American Sour Beers
- Best Beer Blog or Website
Easily Boak and Bailey again. And I got to meet one of them this year.
- Best Beer App
Fiz. Took me a while to get into it but then I was hooked.
- Simon Johnson Award for Best Beer Twitterer
The twatty beer doodles by
@broadfordbrewer have been the thing on twitter that sticks out for me.
- Best Brewery Website/Social media
I like what Jon puts on the Stringers brewery blog.
I also like the idea of having 'Golden Post' awards but didn't think to keep track of things thoughout the year so won't get round to it. I do have a clear winner for Best Impassioned Rant though. Everyone else seems to have gone for this excellent post on Braumeister. But it's not ranty enough for me. For a good rant I want to be able to see the bulging eyes and flecks of foam, and above all I something