Saturday 22 December 2012

Golden Pint Awards

Well Folks, put down that glass of Birra Obscura and pin back your lugholes.  This is the feet on the ground, 'Golden Pint Awards. No strange beers that you have to choke down while holding your nose, or collaborations between brewers, who have you pay for them meeting up with their chums and no beers aged in feta cheese barrels or any other such bollocks and no beers to share. Just good old beer that you buy yourself and drink yourself.   The key to my selections is always drinkability. Boring eh, but you are stuck with it.

Best UK Draught Beer   

Tricky one this.  There is always the delight of  Hawkshead Windermere Pale, or NZPA, which never fail to please, or Brodies All Brett IPA, or their Sunshine even.  What about great beers from Allgates or Green Mill Cat's Whiskers? (my best mild of 2012). Many worthy possibilities, but my awards goes to Ossett Citra.  A beautiful example of a single hopped beer, which I just kept repeat ordering until the last bus.

Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer

 Even trickier since I rarely drink any. I have enjoyed the beers from my local Wilson Potter Brewery, which mimic cask so well and anything from Stringers in a bottle is very worthwhile. Thornbridge beers in bottle have a wonderful freshness that I really like, so it is Thornbridge Chiron. Balanced, hoppy and with great drinakability.

Best Overseas Draught Beer

Bohemia Regent is a strong contender - a lovely beer. Schneider Mein Hopfenweisse also impressed me greatly, so is a contender, but is has to be Rodenbach. In a great little boozer in snowy Blankenberg, it was oh so drinkable, with its touch of sourness and oh so memorable. Since I write almost nothing down these days, it has to stick in the memory and does. 

 Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer 

Schneider Meine Hopfenweisse.  Dangerously drinkable.

Best Overall Beer

No overall winner. I just couldn't pick one. Different beers are best in certain circumstances. 

Best Pumpclip or Label

Lees Bitter. It means home to me beer wise. 

Best UK Brewery

My "go to" breweries are Hawkshead and Thornbridge, but even though I haven't mentioned individual beers, it has to be Summer Wine.  If they have a house style, it is cleanness.  Their beers, no matter whether on cask or keg, complex or not, are wonderfully clean.  They even do styles I don't like that much well and they are one of the few breweries whose keg beer has something to recommend it. Now that I think about it, their Rouge Hop could have been beer of the year and I don't like red ales.

Best Overseas Brewery

De Cam.  Spectacularly good beers as I wrote in my blog.

Pub/Bar of the Year

I drink in a lot of really good places, so again it is down to good times with good people. Honourable mentions to the Holborn Whippet, Port St Beer House, that little pub in Blankenberg, the Ship in near home, my local the Tandle Hill Tavern and many more. There isn't an overall winner, but I'd rather be drinking "twiggy" beer with friends than great beer with strangers.

Beer Festival of the Year

 National Winter Ales of course.  I do help organise it after all.   And GBBF was rather good back at Olympia.

Supermarket of the Year

No views

Independent Retailer of the Year

No views

Online Retailer of the Year

No views

Best Beer Book or Magazine

Beer Magazine

Best Beer Blog or Website 
Honourable mentions to Boak and Bailey - relentless, but very insightful at times. Pete Brown for authority, Curmudgeon for topicality, Paul Bailey for pubs and Beer Nut for tasting notes. Overall winner though is Pump Clip Parade  for its campaigning role against sexism and bad taste in British Brewing.

Best Beer Twitterer

Kristy McCready.  She is brilliant. A great loss to the industry, but still interested in it you can tell.

Best Online Brewery Presence

Hardknott. Funny and likeable and they are lovely people.
Food and Beer Pairing of the Year

I'll pass on this one, but everything at the European Beer Bloggers Conference worked well.

In 2013 I’d most like to...

Still be here. 

Open category - Most Improved Cask Ale Brewery

Allgates of Wigan.  These boys are hitting their stride 

Biggest Tossers in British Brewing?

Guess? Correct!

Sorry about the formatting. I had terrible trouble with it.


Ed said...

I gave in and downloaded google chrome to use when doing the blog. It does work better.

Curmudgeon said...

Cheers for the mention :-)

And I think your blog is one that understands both traditional British pub culture and beer quality.

John Clarke said...

Boak & Bailey: "Relentless" - yes, that's the word I've been looking for

Cooking Lager said...

No supermarket of the year?

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Anonymous said...

I'm surprised at your inclusion of The Holborn Whippet.
Meeting a rabid beer blogger for drinks there earlier this year was much anticipated but quite a letdown.
The beer was okayish but nothing to rave about and the bar itself is like an untidy All Bar One.
Not bad but not great.
The bar that is, not the rabid beer blogger.

Paul Bailey said...

"I'd rather be drinking "twiggy" beer with friends than great beer with strangers."

I couldn't agree more, Tandleman. In their quest for the perfect pint people sometimes lose sight that this is what beer appreciation is all about. A pint amongst friends has to be up there as one of the very best experiences in life; no more so than at this time of the year.

Have a great Christmas, and glad you have found my musings on Kent pubs enjoyable.