The Scoopies 2009

I've had literally some enquiries as to whether I'd be getting hopelessly drunk on New Year's Eve and presenting a vast number of meaningless awards. Ladeez en jayneteelmen - I give you, The Scoopies 2009

The Cheshire Cat Award for Most Contented Beer Moment

- sat on a pallet outside Thornbridge Hall brewery with Ian Harrison of pubsandbeer, enjoying a ham cob and a pint after enjoying a morning's brewing

Unfeasibly Good Pub of the Year award (sponsored by the Fat Cock Inn, Little Dribbling)

- The Bear Inn, Alderwasley, Derbyshire. Miles from a main road, dominoes by the fire in the bar, top quality food, nooks and crannies, beer garden overlooking Crich Stand, Thornbridge Jaipur - ticks all the boxes

The 'Maybe We Can Turn Back The Hands Of Time" award for best new Best Bitter

- not awarded due to lack of entries

The 'New Technology Baffles Pissed Old Hack' award for Most Entertaining #techfail of the year

- Me trying to blog live about Brewdog 5AM Saint at the Harlequin, Sheffield, via a steam-driven mobile phone. Proof positive that this toper can't drink and think at the same time.

The Death Of Conversation Award for Most Flagrant Misuse of Technology in a Beer Context

- myself and Dave 'Unpronounceable' Szwejkowski, sat in the Kelham Island Tavern, bitching about drinkers sat four feet away from us... by Facebook status updates.

The "I'm Not Pished, Ossifer" Award for Most Entertaining Pratfall

- Me, after only a couple of pints of BrewDog Paradox Smokehead, Derby CAMRA Winter Festival. I went to lean against a pillar; sadly, it was a poster. Fortunately, the beer escaped unharmed.

The Best At-Seat Service on an English Rail Route

- er, me again. For serving myself Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA on the way back from the GBBF. When the steward asked, "Would you care for a coffee, Sir, or are you happy with your beer?" I told him that I was *very* happy with my beer

The "Fucking Students" Award for Most Annoying Soap-Dodgers With Fat Mouths Ruining A Good Pub

- the slow drinkers in the University Arms, Sheffield. Yes, I know it's practically on campus, but FFS. Go drink shite in a union bar. I don't want to hear such tripe as "There are three things I look for in a woman...." btw - I'm imagining those things are desperation, solvency and a predilection for Rohypnol

The 'Are You Looking At My Moobs?" Award for Best Mistaken Identity Incident

- the bloke in the yellow shirt at the Platform 4 urninals, Sheffield Station, who mistook me for the actor Kevin Kennedy (Norman 'Curly' Watts of Coronation Street fame).

The 'Thank My Lucky Stars For A Transcontinental Retailer On My Doorstep' Award for Best Supermarket Beer

- Asda, for selling BrewDog Punk IPA. Often on offer. So I was able to buy it on the way to work, shove it in the fridge and then be able to enjoy it on the way home. I mean, when I got home. Honest, officer.

The Hey Nonny Nonny Award for Unexpectedly Good Morris Dancing At A Beer Event

- Pecsaetan Morris at the Thornbridge Hall Garden Party

The Life of Brian "Yes, Yes, We Are All Individuals" Award

Anyone who runs a beer blog based solely around regurgitated press releases and commenting on other blogs. Thinking is so important, Baldrick.

The 'Suspiciously Traditional Categories That Almost Match Up To The Golden Pint Awards But Fall Short Because I Can't be Arsed To Write That Much Anymore' Awards

Beer Festival of the Year: Beer, Blues and BBQ at the Coach & Horses, Dronfield. For many reasons, but mainly for Thornbridge/Epic Halcyon. And barbecued fish on a stick.

Online Retailer of the Year: - yes, they are proud suppliers of free beer to this site but I have yet to find another online retailer with such depth and breadth of stock, keen pricing and superb customer service.

Best Beer Book: Good Beer Guide Belgium. The finest vicarious beer journey of the year

Best Beer Blog: Martyn Cornell's Zythophile

Food and Beer Pairing of the Year: A carry-out of cask Thornbridge Jaipur enjoyed with fish and chips from Carlo's Catch, Spondon.

Pork Pie of the year: Lanes of Leicester for the second year in a row. Not the fattest, crustiest or meatiest pie of the year, but by far and away the most moreish

Most Interesting Brewery: Hopshackle. Nigel is brewing up a quiet revolution; historic styles delivered with passion. And the 2008 Restoration is ageing supremely; another year and I reckon it'll be Trappist-beating.

Best Bottled/Cask Beer: Not telling. There's been too many where the combination of beer, place and people elevated the malt and hops onto a higher plane.

But because I'm a generous old soak, honourable mentions must go to Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, Russian River Pliny the Elder and BrewDog Hardcore (bottle); Brunswick Black Sabbath, Marble Dobber, Captain Lawrence Captain’s Reserve Imperial IPA and Thornbridge Jaipur (cask)

Well, as the head gardener said to the confused bulb-holding apprentice, that's shallot. 2009 was a blast; great beers found and enjoyed with great friends old and new. 2010 has a lot to offer and some important changes here at Reluctant Scooper - keep your eyes peeled over the weekend for more gory details.

Unitl then, dear topers - drink them like you stole them. TTFN.


  1. So you've clocked Hopshackle, too. Interesting things going on there - and not yet on geekdom's radar.

  2. Some great original categories!
    Sounds like you had some memorable beer times in 2009.
    Here's to a good 2010!!