Thursday 19 December 2013

Golden Pint Awards 2013

2013 has seen a change in my beer drinking habits. It may have been this episode in 2012 which changed my outlook, but I have turned into a mamil. I entered 2013 nearly two stones lighter and considerably fitter than I entered 2012. I have experienced a reduction in appetite for food and beer. Strangely, my beer tastes have also changed. The most conspicuous aspect of this change is that my tolerance for bitterness has reduced to such a degree that I find, for instance, IPAs almost unbearable. The corollary is that I have renewed my passion for the beers of Belgium, a country that has largely escaped the big-hop tyranny. I now crave delicacy, a characteristic sadly sometimes lacking in the marvellous new wave we call "Craft."

In the following I am not going to mention any beers from my home county of Cumbria. I know many of the brewers so I want to avoid any snipey comments about favouritism. 

I am also not going to mention any beers from my brother's brewery, Out There Brewing Companywhere I am occasional mash-tun digger-outerer. I am especially not going to mention his spectacular "Next Stop Mars" which is currently available in Newcastle's finest hostelries.

·         Best UK Cask Beer

Hmm, this is a bit of a head scratcher. I'll have to go for a particularly memorable single pint experience: Mordue Brewery's Workie Ticket as consumed at the GBBF.

·         Best UK Keg Beer

Magic Rock's "Circus of Sour."

·         Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer

Camden Hell

·         Best Overseas Draught Beer

Birrificio Italiano's "Tipo Pils"

·         Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer

Anchor "Breckle's Brown" tied with "Silly Saison" by Brasserie de Silly tied with "La Trappe Dubbel" - Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven.

·         Best Collaboration Brew

Sorry, no opinion.

·         Best Overall Beer

[watch this space]

·         Best Branding, Pumpclip or Label

·         Best UK Brewery

[watch this space]

·         Best Overseas Brewery

Birrificio Italiano

·         Best New Brewery Opening 2013

[watch this space]

·         Pub/Bar of the Year

The Free Trade Inn, Newcastle upon Tyne.

·         Best New Pub/Bar Opening 2013

Pleased to Meet You, Newcastle upon Tyne. Proof that craft beer has mainstream appeal.

·         Beer Festival of the Year


·         Supermarket of the Year

·         Independent Retailer of the Year

I don't recall using any specialist beer retailer this year so I'll have to pass on this one.

·         Online Retailer of the Year

No opinion.

·         Best Beer Book or Magazine

CAMRA's "Beer" despite its propagandistic drum-banging.

·         Best Beer Blog or Website

·         Best Beer App

No opinion

·         Simon Johnson Award for Best Beer Twitterer

The brewing legend Pierre Van Klomp

·         Best Brewery Website/Social media

No Opinion

·         Food and Beer Pairing of the Year

Magic Rock's "Circus of Sour" with a packet of Monster Munch (I kid you not).

Finally, a special FUCK OFF to the IPA-addled craft wanker who sneered at my choice of Pilsner Urquell when serving me in a craft beer place I shan't name.