Thursday, 15 December 2011

Golden Pints Awards



My first Golden Pints awards. It seems a long way back to the start of the year so these awards may seem a little second-half centric.

Best UK Draught (Cask or Keg) Beer
Cask: Oakham JHB at Tap East
Keg: Magic Rock Human Cannonball at The Craft beer company

Winner: Oakham JHB - So drinkable so I had to go back for a few more.

Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer
Bottled: Kernel Galaxy IPA
Canned: Brewdog Punk (the good ones)

Winner: Kernel Galaxy IPA - (Everyone raves about the Kernel's stouts and porters with good reason, but no-one gets true hop flavour like this into their IPA's)

Best Overseas Draught Beer
Nomination 1: Repoterroir (a five-brewery collaboration; Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Lost Abbey, Avery and Allagash) at the Dogfish Head bar. Cucumber in a beer?...hell yes! Try it if you get the chance. Read about it here.
Nomination 2: Weyerbacher Harvest ale at the brewery Saturday tasting and tour
Nomination 3: Harpoon IPA. 

Winner: Weyerbacher Harvest Ale - Fresh straight from the brewery, awesome! Then again in a growler a couple of hours later. Top beer made with home grown cascade hops.

Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer
Bottled: Rodenbach Vintage 2007
Canned: Maui  Big Swell IPA

Winner: Rodenbach Vintage 2007 - Sweet, Sour, Complex, Stunning dark red colour, goes well with just about any food and comes in a champagne style bottle. Whats not to like?!

Best Overall Beer

Winner: Kernel Galaxy IPA - Just proving I'm a hophead at heart. Close call over the Weyerbacher though...

Best Pumpclip or Label (I have gone for branding really rather the particular label or pumpclip)
Nomination 1: Marble
Nomination 2: Otley 
Nomination 3: Magic Rock

Winner: Magic Rock - While I love the simplicity of the Marble and Otley brands Magic Rock has this one by a country mile.

Best UK Brewery
Nomination 1: The Kernel
Nomination 2: Oakham 
Nomination 3: Magic Rock

Winner: The Kernel - not just the best beers.  Evin and his team are just the best bunch of guys and have been very free with their help and information.

Best Overseas Brewery
Nomination 1: Weyerbacher
Nomination 2: Dogfish Head 
Nomination 3: St Bernadus

Winner: Dogfish Head - I know that they don't export over here any more, but the range and innovation of styles makes them stand out.

Pub/Bar of the Year
Nomination 1: Craft Beer Co
Nomination 2: Euston Tap 
Nomination 3: The Rake

Winner: The Rake - Very close call between all three here. The Rake's location tips the scales.

Beer Festival of the Year
Strangely I was only at one professional one...GBBF (the spoons festival doesn’t count, right?) Still the winner is:

Winner: London and South East Craft Beer Festival - a great homebrew festival.

Supermarket of the Year
Waitrose (Sierra Nevada Torpedo, Thornbridge) vs Sainsburys (Brewdog, Brooklyn Brewery, interesting beer hunt) vs Morrisons (Also Brewdog, Worthington's White Shield)

Winner: Waitrose - Torpedo swings it

Independent Retailer of the Year
Nomination 1: Cobbetts Real Ale - Dorking
Nomination 2: The Bottle Shop - Canterbury
Nomination 3: The Beer Boutique - Putney

Winner: The Beer Boutique - Newcomer on the scene, great range (esp in Belgian beers) and great decor. The Bottle Shop perhaps has a better range of beers but Canterbury is a long drive.

Online Retailer of the Year

I have only used one this year so the winner is: My Brewery Tap

Best Beer Book or Magazine
Book: Melissa Cole  - Let Me Tell You About Beer.
Magazine: Zymurgy (an imported US homebrew magazine)

Winner: Melissa Cole - A great book with something for beer novices but also stuff for the more geeky reader. Perfect christmas present fodder.

Best Beer Blog or Website
Blog: Cooking Lager
Website: Jim's Homebrew Forum - Full of useful information

Winner: Cooking Lager - Drop the beer geek act cookie and get back to what you do best. Entertain us!

Best Beer Twitterer
Nomination 1: @SimonJohnson
Nomination 2: Andy Mogg @Chilliupnorth and @BeerReviewsAndy
Nomination 3: @twattdog

Winner: @SimonJohnson  - Funny and seems to consume more beer then the rest of the twitterverse put together.

Best Online Brewery Presence
Nomination 1: Hardknott 
Nomination 2: Dogfish Head
Nomination 3: Brewdog

Winner: Hardknott, with the twitter presence, the blog and now an online shop. World domination is next.

Food and Beer Pairing of the Year
Nomination 1: Brooklyn Double Chocolate Stout and Baked Figs with Mascarpone 
Nomination 2: Spicy Pepperoni Pizza and Repoterroir at the Dogfish Head brewpub in Rehoboth Beach 
Nomination 3: Brewdog Hardcore IPA with Dunsyre Blue Cheese at the Brewdog Burns night at the White Horse.

Winner: Pizza and Repoterroir - Probably has something to do with being on holiday and the atmosphere in the Dogfish Head bar, but given the choice now this is the one I would ask for. The carbonation of the beer lifted the cheese, and the cucumber and mint quenched some of the spiciness of the pepperoni and chilli.


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