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Friday, 4 January 2013

Golden Pints 2012

I tend to drink a lot of beer over Christmas, so I wanted to wait until the New Year before I posted this. If you're wondering what the Golden Pints are, have a look at this.

Best UK Draught Beer
Brewdog Dead Pony Club. How many breweries make sub-four-percent beer that has body and mouthfeel and brilliant hop flavour? Not enough. Not enough, because it’s bloody difficult to get right. If someone offered to replace my tap water with Brewdog Dead Pony Club, I’d ask for advice on how to get the other-half to agree to it. Brilliant, brilliant beer. A style that American craft beer drinkers are desperate for, but that nobody is doing better than us.

(Kernel’s Table Beer was memorable for the same reasons).

Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer
Beavertown Black Betty. The most memorable beers I drink are often those that are opened without expectation. Never more true than when I de-capped a bottle of this black IPA. Excellent balance of malt and hop flavour, enough dark malt character to prove a point whilst never becoming too much. Expectation for future Beavertown beers is now through the roof.

Best Overseas Draught Beer
Gahh, whatever! Too difficult! Taras Boulba in its native Brussels is always exceptional; it’s the first thing I order if I’m lucky enough to find myself at Moeder Lambic. I drank Goose Island at the brewery this year and it was faultless. Whether at home or abroad, a lot of the best draught beer I’ve consumed this year has one thing in common - it was drunk at, or very near to, the place it was made. For that reason, I’m going with Three Floyds Gumballhead. A pint of Gumballhead, gulped down in the brewery car park, whilst the madness of Dark Lord Day unfolded around me. Hard to beat.

Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer
Three Floyds Dark Lord. Wonderfully ridiculous. Perfectly over the top. Associated with good times and smashed bottles.

Best Overall Beer
I’ll go Gumballhead, but ask me tomorrow and I’ll probably say something completely different.

Best Label / Pumpclip
Camden Town have done amazing things with their branding this year. Their bottles and clips look sophisticated and grown-up but cool and on-trend at the same time. When I see a bottle of Camden beer, I want to drink it. That’s the highest praise I think you can give.

Best UK Brewery
I think we widened the gap in 2012. Those breweries that were already good, got better. Magic Rock, Buxton, Kernel, Gadds’ and so on. Whilst those that aren’t so good, haven’t really improved. I think Brodies need a shout out here - I’m a sucker for their creativity and willingness to try things out. Really only Thornbridge can be given this title though. Who else is brewing beer as diverse and consistent as they are? Nobody.

Best Overseas Brewery
Last year I wrote this: “The Cantillon brewery is one-of-a-kind. I could happily spend every Saturday morning there, watching American tourists recoil at their first taste of lambic and drinking some of the best beer in the entire world”. Nothing’s changed. I tried my best to put the magic of Cantillon in to words this year. I failed. I was always going to fail. If you like beer, go.

Pub/Bar of the Year
Any of the micro pubs that are spreading across East Kent like they think they’re Tesco Express. Four Candles, The Why Not, Bake & Alehouse. A pint of fresh local cask ale, a locally made pork pie, crisps cut from potatoes grown two miles away. All in a room the size of your lounge. What more do you want? I’d say go out of your way to visit one, but it would defeat the entire point.

Online Retailer of the Year
You might be lucky enough to find equivalent service to Beermerchants.com, but you won’t find better.

In 2013 I’d most like to...
We’ve championed the opening of new breweries in London for a couple of years now. I want to see an improvement in quality. Don’t open a brewery if you don’t know how to make beer. I don’t care that a pub has beer from ten London breweries if all ten of those suck.

It’s probably about time I repeated myself about this too. I’d love to see better use of hops from London breweries in 2013.

I also plan on blogging it a bit more again.

Open Award: Go-To Brewery ...

Kernel. By a mile. I probably drink twice as much of their beer as I do from any other brewery.


dredpenguin said...

Kernel Table beer in best overseas draft?

Apart from that a load of good thoughts Mark.

Mark said...

So maybe I didn't write this from top to bottom and maybe I pasted that under the wrong heading ....


Corrected now. Thanks for pointing out! :)

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with Dead Pony Club.

My golden pints are on:


check 'em out

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Giulia Bongiovanni said...

Hey everybody! it's a nice post =) !
We are students of a Swiss University and we did a report about the social media presence of three beers (Guinness, Heineken and Peroni). If you are interested, please read it, vote it and comment. or maybe post it on your blog. We would be very happy to have your support for our project!!
Thank you very very much

RealAley said...

Re: Dead Pony Club... have you tried Wierd Beard's Little Things That Kill? Only 3% but overflowing with body and flavour, for my money the best low ABV beer I've yet come across.

@. said...

Beer branding: appealing or disgusting? Heineken's brand BRAND (what's in a name?) just launched a new campaign, using imagery that could lead to brand damage. Read my blog and vote: http://wp.me/p5nRiT-J 

huynh quyen said...

Khi mang thai người ta thường quan tâm :những thứ bà bầu nên ăn trong 3 tháng đầuvà còn cần phải lưu ýnhững dấu hiệu bất thường khi mang thai,cách chọn thực phẩm cho phụ nữ mang thai,bị rạn da khi mang thai,bai thuoc tri ho cho me bau.Bên cạnh đó vấn đề tránh sinh non củng rất cần thiết,ta phải biết được tránh sinh non cần làm sao.

Trúc Tiên said...

hiện nay chúng tôi đang cung cấp thuoc chua benh trao nguoc da day thuc quan hiệu quả nhanh nhất. nếu bạn đang bị chứng viêm thực quản trào ngược thì hãy liên hệ ngay với chúng tôi để được chữa trị. bạn đang mắc phải chứng ợ lên thức ăn cần được hỗ trợ hảy nhanh chóng liên hệ với chúng tôi gấp nhé.
cách chữa trào ngược dạ dày thực quản nỗi lo lắng của bạn sẽ bị đánh tan nhanh. hãy truy cập trao nguoc da day

KiLi Liên said...

máy đưa võng tự động là một thiết bị được gắn trên chiếc võng xếp giúp đưa võng hoàn toàn tự động mà không cần tác động của người dùng. máy đưa võng nhỏ gọn, tiện lợi, tiết kiệm điện lại rất an toàn khi sử dụng cho trẻ. Máy đưa võng phù hợp với tất cả các loại võng hiện có trên thị trường hiện nay và rất dễ sử dụng.

Thao Nguyen said...

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Hoàng Gia là thương hiệu wedding planner và tổ chức các sự kiện đặc biệt hàng đầu tại Việt Nam, luôn sáng tạo và đi đầu với những ý tưởng sân khấu tiệc cưới vad dịch vụ tổ chức cưới cưới độc đáo, ấn tượng. Ngoài ra, chúng tôi chuyên cung cấp phu tung oto chính hãng giá rẻ như phụ tùng ô tô huyndai, phu tung oto mitsubishi, phu tung oto ford, phu tung oto kia chính hãng. Đói bụng cần tìm chỗ ăn món vịt om sấu, bánh rán doremon, phở cuốn, cút lộn xào me hay những quán ngon hà nội hoặc tìm quán cafe đẹp thì lên lozi.vn nhé