Friday 31 December 2021

Golden Pints 2021

In our hands is placed a pint greater than their hoarded gold

Greater than the might of armies magnified a thousand fold

We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old

For the union makes us strong 

Best UK Cask Beer:

The devil's dark designs have ensured that once again it's not been a great year for cask. I did manage to get a pint of mind in during the Beery Month of Obligation which  was deeply satisfying but it was at my local at which I regularly drink that I found my winner: Thurstons No-Ale It's on particularly fine form this year.

Best UK Keg Beer:

Thanks to my friend Tim planning research trips that include a lot of brewery tap rooms I'm not scrabbling around to recall when in desperation I've had to drink from the devil's drainpipe. Oh no, on more than one occasion I've been to keg only establishments this year. Best keg beer I can recall was a pale ale from Kernel

Best UK Bottled Beer:

Ridgeway IPA is the beer I've mostly looked out for this year. 

Best UK Canned Beer:

As we don't as yet do canning at work cans have featured a lot less for my drinking than bottled. I did get some canned DDH Jaipur in for xmas day though, and though I didn't get round to drinking it then I had it the other day and it was good so that. 

Best Overseas Draught:


Best Overseas Bottled Beer:


Best Overseas Canned Beer:

Can't recall having any. 

Best Collaboration brew:

This is one of the categories I'm normally most dubious about. Particularly as it seems 'collaboration' often means 'sent an email'. But I went to the launch of the Elusive/Coalition collaboration and both parties were involved in actually making it. And it was a nice beer too so it's Magno-Boots that wins.

People from two breweries actually involved in making the collaboration beer shocker

Best Overall Beer:

Got to be the the No-Ale

Best Branding:

Do I pay much attention to such things? No. So as I usually do I'll go with Too Much Black Coffee for the Thurstons branding. 

Best UK Brewery:

Has to be Thurstons. 

Best Overseas Brewery: 

And that must be Orval. 

Best New Brewery Opening 2021:

No idea.

Pub/Bar of the Year:

As if a bar could beat a pub! As it happens it's been made clear to me what the winner is this year. Recently a few gigs and then weekends away ran together meaning there were several weeks in a row when I didn't get to my local in which I drink regularly. When I got back the landlord did casually mention that the annual review of regulars would be undertaken soon and he was prepared to overlook my recent absence if they won pub of the year. I can't risk losing my regular's status, as once the British Pub People Association were informed I'd be up before the committee for sure. And what mitigating factors could I ask to be taken into account? It's OK for those that tick off huge chunks of the Good Beer Guide each year but Isle of Man compleator 2017 wouldn't help me. No, I couldn't bear being struck off as a #PubMan so it's The Crown in Horsell. 

Best New Pub/Bar Opening 2021:

Oooo...did Corto open this year or was it last? Not that I've been but someone did get me one of their glasses so them. 

Beer Festival of the Year:


Supermarket of the Year:


Independent Retailer of the Year:

Cobbetts. I have managed to pop in for a pint and it's handy for stocking up on posh beers. 

Online Retailer of the Year:

Don't think I've bought any beer online.

Best Beer Book or Magazine:

I haven't been enjoying the IBD magazine as much of late. I blame the lack of brewery visits. And much like my blog reading my beer book reading has also been down this year. Maybe it's time I got into cider, though I fear I'm too old and well housed for that. I did finally get round to reading Tom Goyens' Beer and Revolution though. OK, it's not really a book about beer but still, cracking title so it's this year's winner!

Best Blog or Website

As I've said I'm a bit down on my blog reading but the weekly roundup of things to read on A Good Beer Blog usually gets me interested in something so a definite winner there. 

Simon Johnson Award for Best Beer Twitterer:

I managed a late surge in ticking off beer twitterers this year and it's always good to meet other beer nerds. Amongst them was Charlotte Cook, who also happens to be my Best Beer Twitterer of the year for the work she's done fighting against the dark side of the brewing industry and bigging up the wobs

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