Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Golden Pints 2015

It's that time of the year again - the time where I actually pull my finger out and write a goddamn blog. Looking back over the past year, it's been a good one! I'm working my dream job in a brewery, I get to meet and talk to loads of really cool people at events and such and obviously I've had a lot of very good beers.

I mean, A LOT of beers as always. Writing this, I really really want to include some of our Redwell Beers but I've decided not to. I want it to be unbiased. I absolutely love all of the beers we've brewed this year but I can't keep raving about them on my blog!

It's just all so difficult to do because I've had so many beers. ARGH.

Anyway... what have I enjoyed most?

Best UK cask beer: Honestly, I'm still drinking very little cask beer but a beer I constantly get excited about when I see it on cask is Magic Rock Rapture. Such an outstanding beer.

Best UK keg beer: This is especially difficult because I've drunk more keg beer than anything this year but the one that stands out as a beer that I saw in a pub, had a pint then four more before finding another one with it on a week later and doing exactly the same is Cloudwater Session IPA.

Best UK bottled beer: This is an easy one. Brewdog Born To Die 27.11.15 - So juicy and fresh.

Best UK canned beer: Magic Rock Salty Kiss. Already one of my all time favourite beers but now I can drink it at home!

Best overseas draught beer: When I was in Prague, I undoubtedly had a  hell load of amazing lagers but it was Matuska Raptor IPA that stood out for me after a long day of solely drinking lagers. As good as any American style IPA you'll get here or even in the USA. Oh fuck, this is a tie. Galway Bay of Foam and Fury totally blew my tits off too.

Best overseas bottled beer: Well this is difficult. I'm trying to think what I had. I really enjoyed Sam Adams Rebel IPA and drank two sixpacks to myself over just a couple of nights.

Best overseas canned beer: I reckon this was Metalman Pale Ale when I was in Dublin.

Best collaboration beer: Beavertown/Dogfish Head Londonerweisse. A simply beautiful beer.

Best overall beer: Has to be Brewdog Born To Die.

Best branding: I've been trying really hard not to include Redwell in any of these since I work for them and it may seem bias but our branding is really fucking awesome.

Best pump clip: Tbh I don't have a clue. I don't really pay attention to the design of pump clips.

Best bottle label: Originally I hated Brewdog's new bottle labels, but they grew on me and they feel really nice.

Best UK Brewery: Brewdog. Every time I'm in a Brewdog bar I love it. Their beers are available in nearly every shop I go to and they're just awesome. Born to Die really brought me back to reality.

Best overseas brewery: Difficult one but probably Galway Bay.

Best new brewery opening: If I'm honest, I don't know who opened this year or last year but goddamn Cloudwater are nailing it every time.

Pub/Bar of the year: Absolutely loved BeerGeek Bar in Prague. Beers all served in sexy glasses... like the Matuska Raptor IPA I had that was served in a spiegelau IPA glass. Great selection of draught beers from Eastern Europe. Awesome.

Best new bar opening: I've gotta say Howling Hops. Not only are their beers great, but the tankroom is a really great concept that works well. I always love popping in after a night hosting Our Round at Swan Wharf round the corner.

Beer Festival of the Year: I've only been to one, Norwich Beer Festival, and it was shit.

Supermarket of the Year: Morrisons.... I'm so thankful it's my nearest Supermarket as they have four packs of Brewdog Dead Pony Club and Punk IPA.

Independent Retailer of the Year: To be honest, we don't have many around these parts but We Brought Beer in Balham is great. They have an awesome selection and team. I went there to host a "We Brought... Redwell" night and left with extremely heavy bags!

Online Retailer of the Year: I can't even remember ordering beer online in 2015. I either didn't bother, or I was fucking wasted whilst I did it.

Best Beer Book of Magazine: Really enjoying the American Craft Beer and Brewing magazines that I ordered for work purposes.

Best beer blog/website: Man, I've been slack with reading blogs and stuff so I don't even know.

Best Beer Twitterer: I always enjoy @Ben_Brg's wisdom.

Best Brewery Website/Social Media: Come on, we have a fucking unicorn on ours.