My Golden Pint 2012

imageThose of us who indulge, have indulged, and Golden Pint Awards have been blogged.  It’s the time of year where you can show your appreciation to some of the brewers and brewery owners who have created something for our enjoyment.  It’s hardly ever possible to reach out properly and say well done, but this tradition is one I enjoy despite the difficulties in picking between tens of great beers.

I picked Buxton Brewery’s Imperial Black IPA as my beer of the year.  Why? because I love the beer and because it’s a beer style that taunts me. It’s a pale beer that’s black, it’s hop aroma should be understated, yet it dances in front of my nose like a fame-hungry contestant on one of THOSE shows, and it promises to warm me up, but doesn’t mind being served cold.  It’s a beer style that keeps me guessing and one that I have tried brewing on four occasions, each brew resulting in a different black/dark brown beer.

To the other smashing beers that made me smile this year, I have to say that it was more than me just flirting, I loved you all dearly, and it wasn’t you, it was me.

Golden Pints 2012

I’m joining in with the Golden Pint Awards.  It’s all just a bit of fun, I may not have tried all of the beers that you have, so here’s my 2012 in beer.  Thanks to Mark and Andy for organising it.

Best UK Draught Beer:

Winner: Magic Rock High Wire

Runner up: Buxton Axe Edge. Honourable mentions: Lovibonds Sour Grapes. Hawkshead NZPA.

Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer:

Winner: Buxton Imperial Black

Runner up: Thornbridge Raven. Honourable mentions: Kernel / Redemption Big Brick Red Rye Ale & Adnams Solebay Celebratory Beer.

Best Overseas Draught Beer:

Winner: Mikkeller Sort Gul.  Runner Up:  Ska Brewing Modus Hoperandi

Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer:  Smuttynose Imperial Stout (2007). Honourable mention:  Russian River Pliny the Elder (thanks to @Toby_SR for sharing).

Best Overall Beer: Buxton Imperial Black

Best Pumclip or Label: Red Willow, a brand where less is more (sorry Toby, I couldn’t resist)

Best UK Brewery: Buxton Brewery. Honourable mentions: Magic Rock, Thornbridge, Kernel

Best Overseas Brewery: Mikkeller

Pub/Bar of the Year: Friends of Ham (Leeds).  Honourable mentions: North Bar (Leeds), The Grove (Hudds) and The Sparrow (Bradford) Fantastic pubs, I just don’t get to them often enough.

Supermarket of the Year: Booths

Beer Festival of the Year: Independent Manchester Beer Convention

Independent Retailer of the Year: Beer Ritz

Online Retailer of the Year: Beer Merchants

Best Beer Blog or Website: Joint Winners: Beersay and Oh Beery Me
Runner Up: Boak & Bailey. Honourable mentions: Probably Due to Network Congestion (pdtnc), HopZine, The Good Stuff, Ghostdrinker.

Best Beer Twitterer: @Filrd

Food and Beer Pairing of the Year: Black pudding scotch egg & Mikkeller Sort Gul (at Friends of Ham).  Also a superb meal at Mr Foleys back in April, cooked up by Tyler Kiley and matched with Brooklyn beers.

In 2013 I’d Most Like To: More beer festivals, more brew days to gain brewing experience, more beer in general.  Watch this space (famous last words).

Open Categories:

My ‘Go To’ beer: Hawkshead Lager

Most helpful brewers if you are a homebrewer and have an imagination that moves faster than your actual brewing abilities: In no particular order….

  • Dominic – Thornbridge
  • Jeff – Lovibonds
  • Matt- Hawkshead
  • Ol – Roosters
  • Jay – Quantum
  • James – Sandstone
  • James – Buxton
  • Ade – Saltaire
  • Gregg – Weird Beard Brew Co
  • Brian – Bitches Brew Co
  • Rob – Copper Dragon
  • Helpful homebrewers too, but too many to mention. You know who you are.

Golden Pint Awards 2011

Best UK Draught (Cask or Keg) Beer:

Winner: Buxton Axe Edge

Runner up: Hardknott Code Black

Honourable mentions: Ilkley Mary Jane, Magic Rock Curious NZ

Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer:

Winner: The Kernel India Pale Ale 100 Centennial

Runner up: Red Willow Ageless

Honourable mentions: Oakham Citra, Traquair Jacobite

Best Overseas Draught Beer:

Winner: Nøgne Ø Imperial Stout

Runner up:  Great Divide Rumble

Best Overseas Bottled Beer: Joint:  Stone Arrogant Bastard / Pretty Things Jack D’Or

Honourable mentions:  Stone Cali-Belgique 2010, Flying Dog Gonzo

Best Overall Beer: The Kernel India Pale Ale 100 Centennial

Best Pumpclip or Label: Redwillow brand/logo instantly recognisable

Best UK Brewery: The Kernel Brewery

Honourable mentions: Red Willow, Buxton, Hardknott, Magic Rock, Adnams

Best Overseas Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.

Pub/Bar of the Year: Winner: Mr Foleys (Leeds)

Runner up: The Sparrow (Bradford)

Honourable mention: The Grove (Hudds) – will feature heavily for me in 2012

Supermarket of the Year: Waitrose

Runner up: Morrisons

Independent Retailer of the Year: Beer Ritz, Leeds

Online Retailer of the Year: Winner: MyBreweryTap

Best Beer Blog or Website:
Winner: Ghost Drinker
Runners up: The Good Stuff, New Briggate Beer Blog
Honourable mentions: The Beer ProleHopZine, BeersIveKnown, Beersay, Boak & Bailey

Best Beer Twitterer: Joint: @Filrd and @BeersIveKnown always on hand with friendly banter and beer (and cheese) recommendations.

Food and Beer Pairing of the Year: The Good Stuff: SummerWine Diablo IPA with Baked Feta

In 2012 I’d Most Like To… visit the breweries that have kindly extended an invitiation.  Learn about brewing beer.  Brew more beer.  Await lottery win.  Sell beer.  Kick back.  Bad Back.  Employ Brew Monkey.

Open Category:

Most prolific beer rating site in the North West: The Ormskirk BaronCaptained by @Baron_Orm and ably assisted by @Christoper_R – keep up the good work chaps!

Beer and Food Alchemist of the Year: Tyler Kiley (@Tkiley1), Chef at Mr Foleys.  Oh and rumour has it that his triple cooked chips aren’t bad either.