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!