Monday 23 December 2013

Brewers of the Year

My beery year has been somewhat deflated this year, I've had great beers with good people and that is what it's all about, right? But the industry is getting somewhat diluted by assholes too who need to crawl back under their rocks.
In what has been a great year for growth in sheer number of breweries this is one of the hardest and possibly my favourite category to pull out of the yearly naval gaze that is the Golden pints.

There are several nominations for my brewer of the year and they are as follows….

Mark Tranter - Burning Sky Brewery.
Aurora and Plateau are two of the best beers i have tasted this year. In my opinion, Burning Sky will be the next cool brewery for the geeks, sorry Mark!
Outstanding beer : Plateau.

Angelo Scarnera - Brew Wharf.
Based in a restaurant that gives it's name to the brewing industry, i find it insane that the staff couldn't give a shit about the great beers that Angelo is brewing. The collab of 21st Amendment's Imperial Jack really was a stand out beer for me.
outstanding beer : Imperial Jack.

Oliver Fozard - Roosters.
Oli was my choice at last years BGBW awards for brewer of the year and whilst Sara Barton was more than deserving, i still would have voted for Oli. He's making some stunning new beers whilst keeping to the traditions and recipes of the previous owner, Sean Franklin.
outstanding beer : Buckeye.

Tara Mallinson - Mallinsons.
Taras beers are simple, tasty and stunning. I wish i could get them every week!
Outstanding beer : Alias.

John Bryan - Oakham Ales*
Oakham Citra is one of the finest beers on cask at the moment, it's always on top form and always worth spending that £4+ at Oaka in Kennington. With an experimentation of kegged beer coming i think that Oakham and John will become very cool, very quickly, he'll fucking hate that! 
Outstanding beer : Citra.

Sara Barton - Brewsters.
Always underrated by the beer snobs and still carries on brewing great beers. Keg beer is pretty damned decent too so if you see Brewsters on the bar, go for it!
Outstanding beer : Marquis.

Tom Newman - Celt Experience.
Toms enthusiasm for creating new beers is infectious, thankfully his beers aren't! The Silures and the Gold are two of the most improved beers of the year and simply stunning.
Outstanding beer : Golden (Keg)

John Keeling - Fullers.
The dry wit of John Keeling is only dwarfed by the sheer knowledge of brewing that the man has, he once wrote 'Are we too traditional for this wall' on the wall of The Rake, no John, you're a perfect fit for it. Brewing isn't just about the next big thing, it's also about sharing the knowledge and he's so very good at that!
Outstanding beer : Vintage '99

So there you have it, my top eight brewers for 2013. Not that it means much in the grand scheme of things. if you were to push me for a winner it would be Tara Mallinson as her beers have been a revelation to me this year! So many great brewers there though and i'm glad to either know them or get beer off them from time to time(or both!).

Happy Festive piss-ups everyone. Play nice.

* - John doesn't do social media(yet, there's always time John!) but you can follow the OakhamAles twitter for updates, they are getting better at it!

Friday 20 December 2013

Beers of the Year, 2013

I'm not going to do Golden Pints but i am going to do a few posts with some highlights of the year.

Starting with beers of the year, 2013. Beers, plural because i'm doing 1st, 2nd & 3rd for eight categories.

1) 5 Points, Pale Ale - was blown away by this on cask in August.
2) Oakham, Citra - consistently great beer.
3) Mallinsons, Alias - very recently i had this for the first time and it was sublime.
Very special mention to Burning Sky's Aurora & Plateau! This brewery IS the next big thing.

1) Otley, Motley Brew - I am biased, yes but i also drank more of this IPA than anything else this year and I love it!
2) Bear Republic, Racer 5. Stands up against any good American IPA.
3) Brewdog, Punk IPA - Amazing bottle of this at Heathrow whilst waiting for a plane to Cape Town.

D.A.B - No disrespect intended here, these aren't the most exciting beers around but are still very good beers.
1) Fullers, London Pride - had this at the Hock Cellar and it's hard to beat a fresh pint of this!
2) Butcombe, Bitter - excellent when fresh.
3) Oldershaws, Great Expectations - a bottle of this hit the spot a while back, what a lovely drop!

1) Tap East, Smokestack - a collab with Greg Hall, again, yes I am slightly biased but this beer just got better and better!
2) Birra del Borgo, Keto Reporter - this is amazing on draught.
3) Titanic, Plum Porter - Just, wow.

1) O'Hanlons, Port Stout - Had this for the first time in a while recently and it's still a great beer.
2) Titanic, Chocolate Vanilla Stout - Very moreish.
3) Hardknott, Dark Energy - On keg this is hard to beat.

1) Cantillon, Kriek. - love it, sour and cherry, what's not to like?
2) Flying Dog, Pineapple Saison - this really surprised me actually, Flying Dog are a great brewery so it shouldn't have but it did.
3) Van Honsbrouck, Kasteel Rouge - gets on the list because i haven't seen any Echte Kriek all year, where's it gone???

1) Jever, Pils - in a bottle, very important, loses loads of aroma on draught!
2) Fullers, Frontier - Very easy to drink this one. 
3) Sly Fox, Helles - Canned lager, who'da thunk it. 

1) Cantillon, Gueuze - goes down like water for me, possibly the beer of 2013 for me.
2) Timmermans, Lambicus - What a great beer and so easy to drink!
3) Horals, Mega Blend - I said this about another beer but it must be said again, just wow!
Special Mention - Kernel Sour & Beavertown Sour - finally the London breweries are starting to make great sours!

It's been a great year for brewing all over the globe and i'm still proud to be in this industry, no matter what sort of hard time it gets from people. Next up my brewers of the year.

Thursday 19 December 2013

The Aspirational Lambic Awards!

It's that time of year again, cue random people throwing up in random places, the office snog you people wish you never had and once a year amateur drinkers invading your personal space in the pokey craft boozer that they never knew existed!

The golden pint awards are in full flow now everybody is starting to realise just how insignificant they are because they're not on anyones awards list (hint fucking hint people!!)

FEAR NOT! I am here to save you all, if you want an award just ask for one, after all it's meaningless horseshit isn't it?

My awards are a little different this year as you can see from the title. i aim to please after all! Without further ado then, here are my Aspirational Lambic Awards….

BEST BULLSHIT IN 140 CHARACTERS : Why @LetTherebeTim of course! - you should all follow him if you're on Twitter.

WOULDN'T SERVE IT TO MY WORST ENEMY : Sam Adams Boston(ahem! Kent) Lager.

SKINNY JEANED, CRAFT LAGER SWILLING HIPSTER : @Natedawg - he bought skinny jeans, he's jumped his shark. Traitorous fucker.

MOST BORING BEER STYLE : If i see another fucking Saison in London…

TASTES LIKE VINEGAR : Sarsons obvs...

HAPPY MISTAKES : Any collab by Melissa ;) x

MORE LIES THAN ANY POLITICIAN YOU'VE EVER IGNORED! : Let There Be Beer. - I have never wanted to put my fist through my laptop so much in my life. I feel dirty having the link on my blog if i'm being honest.

YOU THINK IT WAS THE KEBAB THAT GAVE YOU THE SHITS BUT YOU'RE NOT ENTIRELY CONVINCED : The shots of Sambucca in that 'spoons the other night….


GO HOME YOU'RE DRUNK! : Me actually, ha! losers! Close runner up - Natedawg - You've seen his tweets, the guy's a piss artist!

IF IT LOOKS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT'S PROBABLY A LIE :  The definition of craft beer in the UK.

So there it is, like i said, if you feel left out and ignored by all means ask for an award and i'll happily ignore the fuck out of you.

Happy Jesus Birthday everyone!