Monday, 10 December 2012

The 'Golden Pint' Awards 2012

It's that 'reflective' time of year again. Organised by Mark Dredge and Andy over at Beer Reviews, have a look at Mark's site if you want to know what it's all about but it should all be pretty self-explanatory!
  1. Best UK Draught Beer: Thornbridge 'Kipling.'
  2. Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer: Hardknott 'Queboid.' A close call with several others, but I picked this and the Brasserie d'Achouffe for number four because they switched me on to a style I've not really been a massive fan of before.
  3. Best Overseas Draught Beer: Duchesse de Bourgogne. Although I only had a bit of a taste, its balsamic loveliness really sticks in the mind.
  4. Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer: Brasserie d’Achouffe 'Houblon Chouffe
  5. Best Overall Beer:  I think it has to be the Brasserie d’Achouffe 'Houblon Chouffe' - I absolutely loved it!
  6. Best Pumpclip or Label: I might be biased because the beer's so good (it was a contender for number 2) but I love the elegance of Harviestoun's 'Ola Dubh' Highland Park aged range.
  7. Best UK Brewery: Williams Brothers, because I can't remember having a beer from them that I haven't enjoyed - they're experimental but don't compromise consistency.
  8. Best Overseas Brewery: Although here aren't many I've had more than one beer from Nils Oscar's beers seem to be consistently good.
  9. Pub/Bar of the Year: The Kean's Head in Nottingham. Yes, I'm biased because it's the pub company I used to work for and it's run by a friend of mine, but even on Friday and Saturday nights in town it's a nice little oasis of calm amid the madness.
  10. Beer Festival of the Year: The Sheffield Tap. Well, it's the closest I got to a beer festival (for shame) but life's hectic. Although I didn't get there, and so I'm judging by amazing sounding write-ups, the Indy-Man Beer-Convention is the one I'd most like to get to in 2013, finances permitting.
  11. Supermarket of the Year: I might plead the fifth on this one. Nobody really deserves any recommendation. Nottingham's Waitrose rarely has anything they advertise as a chain, and their 'deals' are perplexing at best. I've left beers at the counter too often when it turns out 'it's not those, it's the ones next to them that are on offer.' Sainsbury's Great British Beer Hunt was a lame effort this year, mostly average beers which they hardly bothered to promote. The only positive thing about supermarkets for me is the bakery they've opened at the Lidl near me. Go independent!
  12. Independent Retailer of the Year: Hops in a Bottle in Mansfield; friendly, and clearly run by beer fans for beer fans.
  13. On-line Retailer of the Year: Beer Ritz. A considered selection rather than trying to stock everything for everything's sake. Easily navigable website and speedy service. 
  14. Best Beer Book or Magazine: Michael Jackson's Beer Companion. Why would you need anything else?
  15. Best Beer Blog or Website: Boak and Bailey. Informative and entertaining!
  16. Best Beer Twitterer: Simon H Johnson. Same as last year, same reasons as last year, and this year I got to meet the man beneath the merkin!
  17. Best On-line Brewery presence: Durham Brewery, in the form of Elly Bell, although Broughton deserve a mention for sending me beer when I win their Tuesday Trivia Twitter quiz - I'm entirely open to bribery!
  18. Food and Beer Pairing of the Year: Williams' 'Cock O' the Walk' as part of a Burns' Supper, even if the whisky sauce was the star!
  19. In 2013 I'd most like to: Get to a CAMRGB Twissup and meet some of the guys I chat to on Twitter!
  20. Open Category: BrewDog. Some superb beers, although there is the occasional slip-up! and they opened a bar in Nottingham. Kudos.
Cheers, all the best beverages for 2013.

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