Golden Pints 2012. Probably

I struggle with the concept of 'best'. Ever since I drank a pint of 'best' bitter that was 'best' only if the definition of 'best' was 'baby vomit after one too many Farley's Rusks'.

So, here's my Golden Pints. But substituting the qualifier 'best' with 'I remember that this was a rather interesting...'

UK Draught (Cask or Keg) Beer

Thornbridge Chiron. Keg. Because when I saw it on a bar, I drank it. Ditto for Oakham Green Devil. Cask.(1)

UK Bottled or Canned Beer

Adnams Ghost Ship. Because I drank it on a train near Ely and was thankful for a decent, hoppy beer in a can. And, let's face it. Everyone likes it in the can (2)

Overseas Draught Beer

I've had nothing this year that's excited me madly. I can't believe I've just typed that.(3)

Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer

Orval. Surprise? Pucker up, buttercup.(4)

Overall Beer

Orval. Obviously.(5)

Pumpclip or Label(6)

UK Brewery(7)

Three stood out for me.

Thornbridge for continued innovation. And Buxton.

Tiny Rebel for being a brewery that excited others and made me excited enough to want to find their beers. And then drink them like I stole them when I found them.

Beavertown for brewing "America Fuck Yeah", a spiced pumpkin ale. A pumpkin ale. With spice. That wasn't a clusterfuck. And, as my first beer by them, was one fuck-yeah of an introduction.

Lovibonds kept subverting expectation. Brodies too. And Moor are massively under-rated and all the better for it.

And that's not three. So sue me.

Overseas Brewery(8)

Orval. Get with the program.

Pub/Bar of the Year(9)

If only there was somewhere that sold decent stout and kegged hoppy stuff and had an eighteenth century cottage as a drinking den. And made hot Scotch eggs. And had deep leather sofas outside. And Mrs Scoop could recover me from a nearby car park. Oh, wait. There is.

Exeter Arms, Derby

Beer Festival of the Year

IndyManBeerCon. You were great. A whole bunch of brewers and rare beers with enthusiastic punters to serve them to - I even worked behind the bar on my night off.

But.. you still weren't as great as Nottingham. Because you didn't have a castle.

Supermarket of the Year

Sainsburys.  For bombers of Punk. And when they ran out, Meantime London Pale, 3 for £5.

Independent Retailer of the Year

Not telling. OK, I'll say. Liquid Treasure in Belper. Only because there's only four people I know who will go there. And you already go there. And you don't buy all the Cantillon.

Online Retailer of the Year

Beermerchants. Yes, there's the rare shizzle. But there's also all the usual suspects lined up in a row.

Beer Book or Magazine

IPA. Hands and feet and other organs above anything else I've seen this year(10).

Beer Blog or Website

It's me. I demanded a recount. It was me again.

But this old bugger was close.

Best Beer Twitterer

Gunmakers. The vicarious pleasure of reading their menu, seeing their locals and being privy to Jeff have a good old rant reminded me of the good old days...

Online Brewery presence

Not sure I understand this. But if it's the overall way in which a brewery uses and abuses social media, it's got to be Magic Rock. For the dodgy webcam, their elegant website and Stu's tweets about pizza.

Food and Beer Pairing of the Year

Every time I remembered to pair food and beer. Because when I didn't, having a surfeit of the latter and little of the former, I fell over.

In 2013 I’d Most Like To…

Drink in Germany. If only to drink kolsch in Koln. And rauch in Bamberg.

Open Category: You Choose

For everyone who has an attitude about beer in the UK to do this: look back five years. The beers you drank, the styles they were, the brewers that brewed them. Look what's happening NOW. Imagine what could be in another five years time.

Be positive or negative?

You choose.

Scoopies tomorrow. Peace and love xx

(1) It has to be about the beer that I would buy without hesitation or deviation. But definitely with repetition.

(2) You may need to have listened to the Session to get this joke.

(3)  Don't get me wrong. I've enjoyed a shit-ton of foreign beer this year. But nothing grabs me knackers as I write this. Which speaks volumes. Hopefully.

(4)  Still can't find where I know the line 'pucker up, buttercup" from. I suspect it's from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Can't be arsed to check.

(5)  I refer the honourable visitor to a blog I blogged some moments ago

(6)  Just looking at that tickles my willy in a special way

(7)  Exclusion is not a slap in the face. Difficult to nominate the best of the best of the best. It just turns into a circlejerk if we're not careful.

(8)  Once again, for the record

(9)  I'd award this to the Grove in Huddersfield. But with that slow train back, I need to piss into a bottle. Not easy with Orval's narrow neck. And an audience.

(10)  Why Beer Matters by Evan Rail came within a gnat's chuff


  1. Huzzah for Tiny Rebel! If you ever want some of their limited bottle releases just ask, i'm CwrwAmByth on BeerAdvocate.