It is Golden Pints time again where we choose under a number of categories our favourites and runners up. I'm at a disadvantage here though. I don't tick, I don't buy fancy beers, I don't visit independent retailers to purchase said exotics etc. etc. But you know, even though I may not be the best person to ask, I can give it a go. So here we are. Winners and runners up and maybe the odd honourable mention.
Best UK Draught (Cask or Keg) Beer:
Winner: Hawkshead Windermere Pale (Cask); Runner Up: Osset Citra (Cask)
What can you say about Windermere Pale? It has everything I want in a beer. Sheer swoopability, clean, great taste, loads of hops and you don't fall over after a few. Brilliant stuff. Osset Citra was by far the best of the Citras that dominated for a while. Well crafted beer from a great brewery and that lovely smack of Citra.
The 1516 version of Hop Devil was stunning, with booming C hops, great body and sheer beery enjoyment. It achieved rare drinkability for such a strong beer. Spezial is pale, blond, bitter, full bodied and at 5.6%, far too easy to drink. Both beers drunk at the brewery taps.
Best Overall Beer:
Hawkshead Windermere Pale
Best UK Brewery:
Hawkshead. Everything they do is brewed with such attention to detail and to being able to drink a few of them. None are sticky. All have that cleanliness that I just love in a beer . Runner Up: Buxton Brewery. Clean, well crafted and seek out beers. Honourable mentions: Pictish, Kernel, Thornbridge
Best Overseas Brewery:
1516 Brewing, Vienna. Runner Up: Augustiner, Munich. Again it is that drinkability thing, though it always reminds me of good times and that's worth a lot.
Pub/Bar of the Year:
Winner: The Southampton Arms London. Everything I want in a pub.Great beer, appropriate food, a wonderful atmosphere and my sort of customers. Runner Up: The Angel, Manchester. Great beer, great staff, great prices and it's on my bus route. Honourable mentions to The Regal Moon, the White Lion Delph and the Tavern. (My locals and my friends go there or are there.)
Beer Festival of the Year:
National Winter Ales, of course. Runner Up: GBBF of course.
Best Beer Book or Magazine:
Book: Great British Pubs, by Adrian Tierney-Jones Magazine: Beer - CAMRA
Best Beer Blog or Website:
I've thought long and hard about this. A blog to me has to be independent and personal. So all the band wagon jumpers and clones are out (you know who you are). So overall it has to be:
Winner: Pete Brown. Independent and personal boxes ticked and he writes so well, wears his heart on his sleeve and talks (mostly) sense.
Runner Up: (Joint) Boak and Bailey. They don't say much, but somehow you like them just the same and they are independent and personal. Reluctant Scooper: Independent, personal and so well written. Honourable mention: Stuart Howe. Brewing at the Sharp End. In case you didn't notice. I like independent and personal blogs. Blogs that reflect the likes and dislikes of the writer. And Boak and Bailey.
Best Beer Twitterer:
Simon Johnson of course. Nobody in the same league is there? Runner Up: Stringers Beer. Does he actually have time to brew?
In 2012 I’d Most Like To…
Get back to Belgium. It has been a couple of years. Or more. I fancy some lambic, or kriek or.....
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
This blog mentions specifics; pubs and beer, good and bad. The opinions will be forthright, but you can always disagree, just don't be offended. Comments from those mentioned are particularly welcome and a right of reply is hereby offered.
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