At the end of every year, Mark Dredge and Andy Mogg invite all beer bloggers to list their best beers and beer related things of the year.
This is my first year and it’s gonna be really fucking difficult….
Best UK Draught Beer: Golden Triangle Black Hops – It’s the Black IPA/Indian Black Ale I always dreamt would exist. A year ago if I was doing this, I can guarantee that I wouldn’t have picked a beer from Norfolk. (Runners up: Magic Rock Tequila Barrel Aged Clown Juice & Moor Nor’Hop)
Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer: Bristol Beer Factory Southville Hop. Holy fuckery, this was amazing. It’s bursting with about 5 different fruits. Way too drinkable. (Runners up: Humpty Dumpty Double W IPA & Thornbridge St Petersburg)
Best Overseas Draught Beer: Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA. In Brewdog Camden a couple of months ago. Jesus fuck. They did good. (Duchesse De Bourgogne & DeMolen Vlur & Vlam)
Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer: Oh c’mon; you know what I’m gonna say. Russian River Pliny The Elder! (Runners up: Cantillon Gueuze & Stone 16th Anniversary IPA)
Best Overall Beer: Russian River Pliny The Elder. Predictable.
Best Pump Clip or Label: Ska Brewing Modus Hoperandi. It’s cool! (Runners up: Anything by Magic Rock & Stone Brewing Co)
Best UK Brewery: London Fields. I only discovered London Fields when Norwich Taphouse opened 2 months ago. I’ve had maybe 7 of their beers and every single one has been fucking awesome. (Runners up: Magic Rock & Williams Brothers)
Pub/Bar of the year: TheBlack Heart, Camden. Rock music and fucking awesome beer. What’s not to like? (Runners up: Norwich Taphouse & The White Lion in Norwich)
Beer Festival of the Year: The Great British Beer Festival. (Runners up: Norwich Beer Festival & The White Lion Beer Festival)
Independent Retailer of the Year: We’re really stuck for choice here in Norwich. Two Brewers was great but it closed down. I’m not sure if that was last year so I’m gonna go for Get A Round on Dereham Road in Norwich. Great Belgian and British selections. Also, it’s only £3.79 for 4x500ml cans of Carling!
Online Retailer of the Year: Beers of Europe. Amazing selection, amazing delivery times & amazing customer service. (Runners up: Beer Merchants & Ales By Mail)
Best Beer Book or Magazine: I haven’t really had a chance to read anything this year sadly.
Best Beer Blog or Website: This is really fucking difficult. I read so many amazing blogs all the time. I have to choose Rich Milligan and his blog Playing Monopoly With TheBGC. His aim is to visit all of the cask marquee pubs on the Monopoly board. His blog is informative and hilarious. (Runners up: Justin at Get Beer.Drink Beer & Matt at Total Ales)
Best Beer Twitterer: Man, again; this is like having to pick a favourite child. I really enjoy a lot of you but I’m gonna go for Pete Favelle (@PeteDrinks). He’s a good laugh; engaging and just generally one of my favourite twitter twazzocks. (Runners up: @CKDSaddlers & @BeerGenie)
Best Online Brewery Presence: As much as it pains me to give them any kind of award, Brewdog are as engaging as they are annoying. (Runners up: Adnams & Magic Rock)
Food and Beer Pairing of the Year: My Thai Food & Beer pairing session with Justin at TheVine was fucking awesome. The winner of that day was Panther Brewery Black Panther with Chicken on Toast Dipped in Homemade Soy Sauce. (Runner up: Rolling Rock & Chili Beef Instant Noodles)
In 2013 I’d Most Like To: Start homebrewing. I need to get my lazy fucking arse in gear. Do more brewery tours. High five Pete Brown.
I have a few…
Most Yawnworthy Debate of the Year: Defining ‘craft’ which is a joint winner/loser with ‘cask vs keg vs bottle vs can’. Please fuck off in 2013.
Person who got me into a beer style that I previously hated but now love: Mr Glyn ‘RabidBarfly’ Roberts for lambics/gueuzes.
Best macro-beer of the year: Carling
Nate Dawg's Award for Special Contribution to Beer: Simon at CAMRGB. He's a top bloke and he puts in a lot of work to get good beer recognised and organise meetings of the twitter army. Cheers mate!
Congratulations to all of the winners! If you’re not a winner, it means I probably hate you. Actually, that’s a lie. I probably don’t hate you.
Thanks to everyone for an awesome beery year. Can 2013 be even better? Maybe…