Well that's nearly it. 2010 has gone bar the shouting, though there won't be much of that from me. By half past midnight the New Year will have been seen in with a glass or two of champagne, then it will be up the wooden hill. I'll have some drinking to do tomorrow. It is traditional to look back on beery highlights of the year, but bollocks to that. No. Actually I will by way of one or two bits taken from Dredgie's Golden Pints, as I think it is quite fun. So here we go:
Best UK Draught Beer
Already been said. Fyne Ales Jarl. So bloody good that you scan every bar you approach in the vain hope that it will be there. Runner up, Crown Brewery Brooklyn Heights. An interpretation of a US style IPA that few Yankee brewers could better.
Best Overseas Draught Beer
Quite a few contenders, but once again it has to go to Brauerei Roppelt, Stieberlimbach, Franconia; Kellerbier is lager as it should be and this is kellerbier as it should be. I'd also like to give an honourable mention to Alpha King which was the stand out beer of my Chicago trip, though actually if truth be told, we are doing these kind of beers better in the UK at the moment. We add drinkability and that just makes them so much better in my book.
Best UK Brewery
Mallinsons, with a nod to Phoenix and Elland. Oh I know Jarl was the best cask beer, but it isn't just about producing one beer and I know if I see the other three breweries, whatever beer is offered, I'm in for a good drink and that, rather than exotic or unusual, is what I mostly want.
Pub/Bar of the Year
I base this on how much I enjoyed it and the overall experience. I'll rule out my local on the basis of bias, but the Baum in Rochdale gets it for me. Superb place and superb beer. Runner Up: Apfelhaus Wagner, Sachsenhausen, Frankfurt. Just a must experience place, steeped in tradition.
Honourable mentions go to The Jolly Butchers (assuming the beer is no longer warm); The Rovers Return, Douglas; the Hop Leaf, Chicago and the White Lion in Delph.
Beer Festival of the Year
National Winter Ales Festival
Best Beer Blog
Apart from my own very under-rated bog? Hard this one really, but here's the one two three:
1 Oh Good Ale - Well written, non conformist and feet on the ground. That's a winning formula for me.
2 Tasting the Pith - Ignore the fact that it's highly unlikely you'll ever come across any of the beers he drinks. Just grab the hem of his frock and go along for the ride. It's worth it. This guy is seriously good.
3 Rabid About Beer - I like a fellow moaner, but he also genuinely likes beer and people and he's one of the nicest guys you could meet.
Honourable mentions to Paul Bailey and The Beer Nut. Paul writes about stuff I like to read about and The Beer Nut is incomparable as a beer taster.
In 2011 I’d Most Like To
Get some free beer sent to me like the rest of the blogosphere!
So that's it for 2010. Happy New Year to one and all and lang may yer lum reek!
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. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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