Monday 31 December 2012

Golden Pint Awards 2012

Though I've had a snifter or two of the beers I make I'm not nominating any of them as that  would be wrong.

Best UK Draught Beer: many pints drunk, so many brain cells dissolved, By The Horns Lambeth Walk was recent enough to stick in the mind though so deserves a mention, but as I actually went back for more of Butcombe Gold  (despite being at a beer festival) that's the winner.
Best UK Bottled Beer: I do try to keep up with the latest happening breweries and Buxton Axe Edge was very good, but I bought most Guinness FES and though it's not brewed in Britain Diageo are a British company so surely that counts? Maybe as far as bottles go it should be divided between supermarket beers and specialist shop beers?
Best Overseas Draught Beer: I had an American sour beer at the GBBF which was good, can't remember what it was called though.
Best Overseas Bottled Beer: Having cunningly sneaked Guinness FES into the best UK bottled beer category I'm free to have Orval win this one, again.
Best Overall Beer: Butcombe Gold.
Best Pumpclip or Label: Pandazilla
Best UK Brewery: They didn't win any of the beer categories but for being consistently good Dark Star. Best local brewery goes to Surrey Hills.
Best Overseas Brewery: It'll have to be Orval.
Pub/Bar of the Year: The Crown, Horsell.
Beer Festival of the Year: GBBF
Supermarket of the Year: Booths
Independent Retailer of the Year: Nobel Green Wines, my new source of Orval.
Online Retailer of the Year: The only beers I've bought online this year came from ebay. I finally got hold of Colne Spring Ale, though an 80s version. .
Best Beer Book or Magazine: Brewers and Distillers By Profession by Ray Anderson. It was very entertaining, answered a lot of questions about the IBD and had stuff about my brewing hero Horace Brown too.
Best Beer Blog or Website: It's still the beer history blogs I like best, and the gong's going to Zythophile this year.
Best Beer Twitterer: I'm slowly getting the hang of twitter. JamesB ‏@jamesbwxm seems to manage a steady stream without being boring, which I think is the point, as does @robsterowski but ‏@BoakandBailey have to get the prize for being the most interesting.
Best Online Brewery presence: I've enjoyed the Desert Island Beers on the Allgates Brewery blog so them.
Food and Beer Pairing of the Year: I've done some this year. Oh yes, proper sophisticated me. I liked the vanilla beer with vanilla pudding best.
In 2013 I’d Most Like To…This one got me in a reflective mood. Looking back on the past year not everything has gone as I might have hoped in the world of beer, but it hasn't done too badly either, so why did I think of the negatives first? I guess for me the glass is half empty. Though fortunately that doesn't last long as soon it's totally empty and it's time for another!

Highlights have included a trip to the National Hop Collection, being converted to the joys of Green Hopped Beer thanks to Eddie Gadd (though admittedly drinking my beer not his), and drinking Greene King 5X at the GBBF which was a long held ambition fulfilled. I've also brewed a beer style from Martyn Cornell's extinct list, and I've had my magnum opus published by the Brewery History Society.

As to next year... not sure. Make more historic beer? Get some new or possibly old hops to play with? Get more involved with SIBA? Do more serious writing? Do some serious study? Finally get hold of some of the revived Courage Imperial Russian Stout? Don't know, hopefully some of the above, but really first I need to finish my long and tedious plod through The Oxford Companion to Beer pointing out errors I've spotted.

Open Category: Best beery innovation of the year goes to the Kent Green Hop Beer Fortnight.

And as one pint is never enough here's some Golden Pints from the lovely Lisa:

Best UK Draught Beer: Old Dairy Gold Top
Best UK Bottled: Meantime Chocolate Porter
Best Overseas Draught Beer:
Best Overseas Bottled Beer:
Best Overall Beer: Old Dairy Gold Top
Best Pumpclip or Label: Dorking DB Number One
Best UK Brewery: Old Dairy
Best Overseas Brewery:
Pub/Bar of the Year: The Kirkstile Inn
Beer Festival of the Year: Farnham Beer Exhibition
Supermarket of the Year: Booths
Independent Retailer of the Year: Cobbets Real Ales
Online Retailer of the Year:
Best Beer Book or Magazine: London Drinker
Best Beer Blog or Website: Ed's Beer Site
Best Beer Twitterer:  Roger Humphreys - @CroglinVampire
Best Online Brewery Presence:
Food and Beer Pairing of the Year: Innis and Gunn with apple pie and cream.
In 2013 I’d most like to...have my own brewery
Open category – you decide the topic: Adopt a pub, stop the beer duty escalator, world peace.

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