Sunday, 31 December 2017

Golden Pints 2017

Golden pint it speaks to me,
denying my reality. 
Lose my body, lose my mind.
Blow like wind,
I flow

It's that time of year again, when the best beers and stuff get blogged about. And it's all thanks to Andy Mogg and Mark  Dredge, who've both gone on to bigger and better things than blogging. I haven't though so here goes:

Best UK Cask Beer:
Thurstons Unamerican Pale Ale. You move to the middle of the Irish Sea for six months and what happens? Your local brewery makes a cracking beer using all English grown hops (Endeavour, Jester and Chinook) but with an intensity of flavour you'd expect from American hops. Dead good it is.

Best UK Keg Beer:
Goose Island IPA. OK, I'm not sure where it's brewed now but probably America. It's back on form though and I drank it in England so it's the winner for me.

Best UK Bottled Beer:
Still Old Dairy Tsar Top, and my stocks still haven't run out, though annoyingly a couple have been wasted on job interviews recently.

Best UK Canned Beer:
Stone IPA was canned beer I bought most this year. But it's definitely brewed in Germany so I can't claim ignorance on that one. So I'll go with Moor Hoppiness. It would be even better if someone could come up with some sort of transparent beer container so you could see when yeast is pouring.

Best Overseas Draught:
The Pilsner Urquell from a wooden barrel and drunk in the brewery cellar was glorious.

Best Overseas Bottled Beer:
Orval's losing its top spot this year as I've renewed my love for Liefman's Goudenband. I really must brew more with lactic acid bacteria next year.

Best Overseas Canned Beer:
I'll put Stone IPA here.

Best collaboration brew:
The Fuller's and Friends boxed set was great fun, and good beers too.

Best Overall Beer:
Thurstons Unamerican Pale Ale

Best Branding:
Also Thurstons Unamerican Pale Ale

Best UK Brewery:

Best Overseas Brewery:
Liefmans. They'd be even better if they brought the old brewhouse back into use.

Best New Brewery Opening 2017:
Can't think of one whose beer I've drunk but I'm sure Sophie de Ronde is making great beer at Burnt Mill Brewery so them.

Pub/Bar of the Year:
The Crown, Horsell again. It's good to be back.

Best New Pub/Bar Opening 2017:
Not that it's actually open yet. And I'll probably never go to it. But the two fellas behind Two Fellas micropub in the Isle of Man are such fine fellas I'll give them a plug.

Beer Festival of the Year:
GBBF again. It was a vintage year for me this year.

Supermarket of the Year:
On the strength of their Fuller's boxed set Waitrose knocks Booths off the top spot this year.

Independent Retailer of the Year:
It is part of a chain but Wine Rack is so good it's got to win something from me.

Online Retailer of the Year:
Haven't bought any beer online this year. I do need to get more Goudenband though so could well end up buying beer online soon.

Best Beer Book or Magazine:
The best beery book has been Pete Brown's Miracle Brew. Slightly oddly a couple of people said my post on it was nitpicking. Which does make me wonder what part of anal retentive they don't understand. And to be honest the bloke who taught me proof reading would have said I was being sloppy and made me do the whole thing again more thoroughly. But anyway, the book's a great read.

Best Beer Blog or Website:
I'm a bit twitchy about putting things behind a pay wall, it seems like a virtual version of the enclosure act to me. So I was wary when Boak and Bailey set up their Patreon page, even though their beery ethics are much more scrupulous than mine. But they're still making lots of great stuff freely available and this side of libertarian communism we've all got to make a living so I'm going with them.

Simon Johnson Award for Best Beer Twitterer:
Boak and Bailey pulled a blinder in the tweet stakes too:
They like my beer and do hand knitted beer mats! They're not getting two awards though. Instead it's going to @jan_marble, whose slagging off of people from a company account never fails to get me reaching for the popcorn.

Best Brewery Website/Social media:
Can't think of one. I only really notice things about brewery websites when they're horribly clunky and I'm not sure I regularly read any brewery blogs.

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