I wasn’t planning on doing the Golden Pints Awards this year (organised by Mark Dredge and Andy Mogg for beer lovers to nominate their favourite beers, pubs, etc) – I’ve tried so many great beers in 2012 and went to so many great pubs and it was difficult to remember what they all were. However, it would be a shame not to sing the praises of some of the best, so after some time and effort (mainly going through my old tweets and my blog) I just about managed to narrow it down to a final few – here they are:
1. Best UK Draught (Cask or Keg) Beer – Ole Slewfoot Citraville APA. Juicy, refreshing, zesty – summer in a bottle.
Honourable mention: Buntingford Imperial Chocolate Wheat. Incredible rich, full-bodied beer
2. Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer – Oakham Green Devil. Resinous tropical fruit hops.
Honourable mention: Buxton Wild Boar IPA. Tropical fruit aroma and flavour and incredibly hoppy
3. Best Overseas Draught Beer – De Molen Vuur & Vlam. Wow. Light, refreshing, loaded with US hops.
Honourable mention: Rogue Chocolate Stout. Amazing choc flavours, liquid loveliness.
4. Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer – St Bernadus Pater (6).
Honourable mentions: Deschutes Black Butte Porter (Oregon) and Brewfist Caterpillar Pale Ale (Italy)
5. Best Overall Beer – St Bernadus Pater (6). Wonderful, delicate beer that I could sip on for hours on end.
6. Best Pumpclip or Label – Oakham Citra. Just look at that cute little green hop man.
7. Best UK Brewery – Buntingford, Herts. Never fail to deliver the goods, fantastic brewery with a wide range of great beers.
Honourable mention: Oakham, Cambridgeshire. Again, wonderful brewery that makes consistently good beer.
8. Best Overseas Brewery – Deschutes, Oregon. Fantastic brewery, they know how to make great quality beer
10. Beer Festival of the Year – Cambridge Beer Festival. Beer on the grass in the sun. Wonderful fest.
11. Supermarket of the Year – Waitrose.
12. Independent Retailer of the Year – Bacchanalia, Cambridge. Wide range of beers from around the world.
13. Online Retailer of the Year – N/A
14. Beer Book or Magazine – ALE, Cambridge’s CAMRA mag
15. Best Beer Blog or Website – Pints and Pubs blog – Pub history, quirky anecdotes about innkeepers and locals, and interesting beer and pub reviews
16. Best Beer Twitterer – @pintsandpubs
17. Best Online Brewery presence – Grain Brewery
18. Food and Beer Pairing of the Year – Thai veggie curry with Rogue Juniper Pale Ale (at the Cambridge Blue)
19. In 2013 I’d Most Like To… Go back to the US to drink more American craft beers (pretty much the same as 2011’s entry, but I didn’t manage to get back this year)
20. Open Category: Best UK beer city – Norwich. Full of great free houses promoting local Norfolk ales, and lots of fantastic microbreweries.