This is my entry into the Golden Pints of 2015, also known as the “bloggers just make up awards for specific things they wish to heap praise on.”
Best UK Cask Beer – Nothing fancy, just massively high quality beers that I have to split into categories to heap enough praise on both: Dark goes to Espresso Stout by Squawk and Pale goes to Sonoma by Track Brew Co.
Best UK Keg Beer – Evil Keg Filth award goes to – CloudWater – DIPA – don’t let anyone tell you any different but they got off to a very ropey start which the hype, marketing and the courting of London steered them through long enough to see them hit a really, really strong and positive stride in the final quarter of 2015 and this was one of their crowning achievements (along with their lagers).
Best UK Bottle or Can – Bottle goes to Native Sun Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Doppelbock (2014) by BlackJack and Can goes to Heart & Soul by Vocation Brewery
Best Overseas Draught – Think I’ll plump with Of Foam & Fury by Galway Bay Brewery (a highlight at Indy Man)
Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer – Black Albert by Struise
Best Collaboration Brew – Hmmm, I’ll go with Five Towns Brewery and the Art Decade made in collaboration with Beers Manchester…and me…(I’d like to thank the academy, my mum and dad…)
Best Overall Beer – Though I may feed into an ego I will go with Satanic Mills by Beer Nouveau
Best UK Brewery – Allgates Brewery
Best Overseas Brewery – De Struise Brouwers
Best New Brewery Opening 2015 – Going with Vocation Brewery
Pub/Bar of the Year – I still won’t be drawn on, there are too many good ones.
The What the Fuck and Why – Common Bar, Manchester – Lets turn a great bar with its own personality into a cold, sterile 10-a-penny IKEA knock-off to look more mature but then have a really childish and unprofessional Twitter account.
Supermarket of the Year –Still don’t really use supermarkets for beer shopping.
Independent Retailer of the Year – Heaton Hops – hands down, no contest.
Online Retailer of the Year – Not shopped online for beer in 2015.
Best Beer Book or Magazine – Not read many so would seem daft to give an award from a field of 2.
Best Beer Blog or Website – Beers Manchester for his beer/pub crawl reviews and Mark for his Beer Compurgation blog about everything else
Best Beer Blog Piece – This piece by Mark it isn’t about beer but it is one of the most important & honest pieces I’ve read on any subject (and he probably isn’t drunk enough to take the praise).
Best Beer App – Twitter. Untappd is just for badges.
Best Beer & Food Pairing – Well as the Tagine by Squawk isn’t available nationally (two fingers up to those who haven’t tried it) I’m going with Karkli
Simon Johnson Award for Best Beer Twitterer – @CraftBeerHour – granted its a collective effort but I can think of nothing better than bouncing ideas of fellow beer drinkers and brewers, well apart from going to the pub with the same group, which would be financially crippling.
Best Brewery Website/Social media – Squawk Brewing Co (@SQUAWKBrewingCo) – you like beer, food, wild animals and 80’s cheese then this is just pure entertainment.
Roll on 2016