The Golden Pints Beer Awards 2011

The Golden Pints Awards is bit of fun to see out the end of 2011 with a few nominations of what’s been the best of beer from the previous year.

The problem that I have, as anyone who knows me well will testify, is that I am extremely indecisive…(I think?)

Therefore the awards I’ve made are based then on my own personal journey this year, on the people I’ve met spoken to and interacted with most in 2011.

The places I’ve visited and the beers that I have tasted, thoroughly enjoyed and kept on returning to time after time, be that in the pub, beer house or at home.

If I’ve missed you and you thought you should be there, you probably should. 🙂

Best UK Draught (Cask or Keg) Beer

Winner: Magic Rock – High Wire. Runner Up: Summer Wine Brewery – Cohort both sampled on keg and two beers in all honesty that I’d love to see as permanent fixtures in my local.  Honourable mention: to Buxton Brewery for Axe Edge and Hawkshead Brewery for New Zealand Pale Ale (NZPA)

Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer

Winner: Buxton Brewery – Axe Edge Runner Up: Kernel – Imperial Brown Ale Honourable mentions to: Summer Wine Brewery for Kahuna and Bristol Beer Factory for Southville Hop.

Best Overseas Draught Beer

Winner: De Molen Brouwerij Esra Reserva  Runner Up: Stone Brewery Arrogant Bastard  Honourable mentions to: Southern Tier for Imperial Crème Brûlée Stout, De Molen (again) for Vuur & Vlam and Pivovar Boumov Kvasnicak Pepper

Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer

Winner: Viven Imperial IPA  Runner Up: Odell IPA  Honourable mentions to: Flying Dog”s Raging Bitch, Bear Republic”s Hop Rocket & St Bernardus for Abt12.

Best Pumpclip or Label 

Winner: Magic Rock Human Cannonball  Runner Up: Red Willow Fathomless Honourable mentions: to Kernel and Summer Wine Breweries

So many options here but what I like about all of the above is their simplicity and continuity throughout the range. Each are instantly recognisable across a bar on in a bottle fridge, Kernel is the simplest of all but nonetheless fabulous.

Best UK Brewery

Inseparable winners: Buxton, Summer Wine & Magic Rock Breweries Runner Up: Hardknott Brewery Honourable mentions: I’ve already listed far too many so I’ll stop before it all becomes pointless..

Best Overseas Brewery

Winner: De Molen  Joint Runner Up: Odell and Stone  Honourable mentions: t’Hofbrouwerijke and any of the Trappist brewers

Pub/Bar of the Year

Winner: Port Street Beer House Runner Up: Craft Beer Co Honourable mentions go to: Mr Foleys, The Free Trade Inn and my local The Bulls Head (Burslem)

Beer Festival of the Year:

Winner: GBBF Runner Up: The Bhurtpore Inn Honourable mentions to: Stoke CAMRA

Supermarket of the Year

Winner: Sainsbury’s Runner Up: Morrisons

Independent Retailer of the Year

Winner: Brown and Green for holding a great selection of locally sourced beers and being willing to try new suggestions Runner Up: BeerRitz Honourable mention to: Utobeer

Online Retailer of the Year

Winner: My Brewery Tap Runner Up: Beermerchants Honourable mention: Beers Of Europe

Best Beer Book or Magazine

Winner: Tasting Beer (Randy Mosher) Runner Up: Beer (CAMRA)

Best Beer Blog or Website

Winner: Ghostdrinker Runner Up: The Good Stuff Honourable mentions: Broadford Brewer, Beer Reviews, Pencil and Spoon and Beers I’ve known

Again there are so many I could have mentioned for different reasons, but I value all of the above for the sense of fun, experimentation and most of all interaction.

Best Beer Twitterer

Winners: @broadfordbrewer @BeersIveKnown& @6townsmart all top bananas Honourable Mentions: @tuff86@hardknottalex@Abarth50010, @kempicus, @Ghostdrinker@krider2010 in fact everyone who follows me and interacts, really sorry I can’t list every one of you…

Best Online Brewery presence

Winner: If we are talking Twitter, all the Hardknott’s take it, what a clan, Sooty’s latest residence. For their websites: Magic Rock and Summer Wine both rock.

Food and Beer Pairing of the Year

Winner: Leigh at The Good Stuff for Crab n’ Prawn Cakes with Bath Ales Wild Hare Runner Up: Mark Dredge from Pencil and Spoon for Punk Ass Chicken and I loved Beer On Toast, crazy but fun and informative. Honourable Foodie Mention goes to: Leigh again for Bamberg Pulled Pork, this time hosted on Beer Reviews by Andy Mogg

In 2012 I’d Most Like To… Gain more knowledge about beers and brewing, understand flavours and food parings and hopefully get the chance to brew. I also really fancy getting some brewery tours, pub visits organised and a bottle swap night set up locally with likeminded people in the area. To enjoy beer

The Judith Chalmers Award for beery travels, sharing the knowledge and even fetching me the odd beer from half way across Europe goes to: Mart Ridge aka @6townsmart for services above and beyond the call of duty

Special Mentions: to my favourite local breweries Lymestone and Offbeat, really looking forward to trying more of your beers in 2012. Also to everyone who has supported me, hosted me, sent me a beer or just read the blog and made comments good or bad, Thank You.

Finally the Golden Pint award for services to the UK & International brewing industry goes to: My lovely wife Rach, for helping me to embrace my passion for beer and enduring the aftermath… Luckily she likes a beer too!