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.

In 2012 I’d Most Like To…

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