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Golden Pints 2017

We did a recap podcast about our beer highlights of 2017 HERE, but the following is our Golden Pints Awards for 2017. One of us wrote a lot, one of us wrote a little.

Tom

Best UK Cask Beer
This is a tough one, but Faith by Northern Monk is what stands out in my mind.

Best UK Keg Beer
I can’t think of any other beer I’d go to straight away if I saw it other than Jakehead (by Wylam Brewery)!

Best UK Bottled Beer
Burning Sky’s Cuvée Reserve

Best UK Canned Beer
Cloudwater’s DIPA V11, drank a lot of these. Feels like the last DIPA they did that I really enjoyed.

Best Overseas Draught
Hill Farmstead. Lucky enough to get a load when in Copenhagen last month.

Best Overseas Bottled Beer
3 Fonteinen

Best Overseas Canned Beer
Tired Hands

Best Collaboration Brew
Prime Evils by Bottle Logic and Pure Project. Carolina Reaper chilli man!!!!

Best Overall Beer
Mikkeller Yuzu Spontan, to have a sour beer of that magnitude in a tall boy was mind blowing!!!

Best Branding
To Øl, always interesting, eye catching and unique designs!

Best Pump Clip
Only shit pump clips stand out to me!

Best Bottle Label
Trve Brewing have the metalist bottle labels I know!

Best UK Brewery
Northern Monk, I don’t think I’ve had a bad beer from this brewery! Not I only our their beers of a high standard but their events and involment with artists is something to be admired.

Best Overseas Brewery
Tired Hands, from great IPAs to beautiful saisons.

Best New Brewery Opening 2017
Whiplash Beer, not sure if they started operating earlier than 2017 but their release in Manchester this year was outstanding! Shout out for their tote bag!

Pub/Bar of the Year
The Pilcrow, been some great events here through 2017. With it being right by my station I’m in a lot and never disappointed with what’s on offer.

Best New Pub/Bar Opening 2017
None come to mind sorry.

Best Taproom
Blackjack, I’m a little biased

Beer Festival of the Year
Hop City

Supermarket of the Year
Aldi

Independent Retailer of the Year
Chester Beer and Wine

Online Retailer of the Year
Mikkeller Webshop


Ross

Best UK Cask Beer
Northern Monk – Heathen
The Northern Monk tap takeover at Cafe Beermoth, during the IMBC weekend I think, heralded some amazing beer. Heathen on cask was by far my favourite. Luscious, thick, creamy, bags of flavour. Hit the spot on every level.
Honourable mentions; Marble Brewers – Lagonda IPA, Torrside – American Barleywine (2017)

Best UK Keg Beer
Cloudwater Brew Co. – Islay BA Russian Imperial Stout 
Best beer CW have ever done. Thankfully living so close to the Barrel Store means I have swigged this back a few times this year and its always sublime. Still kicking myself for not buying that single bottle I saw of it halfway though the year.

Best UK Bottled Beer
Cloudwater Brew Co. / Brewdog – New England IPA
Had 3 bottles of this the year. First was excellent, second was better, third was sub-par. But those first two have been hard to beat since the start of the year. (V2 wasn’t great though.)

Best UK Canned Beer
Marble Brewers – Pint
Could of picked any canned Marble beer. No idea what they do differently but their canned stuff always taste phenomenal. Remember having a can on Pint though earlier in the year and absolutely downing it, it was so fresh tasting and light.

Best Overseas Draught
Tired Hands – Alien Church
Feeling quite ropey in Copenhagen I got a text from Jai Koria saying I NEEDED to get to Warpigs and I NEEDED to drink Alien Church. So I did. Thanks Jai, because it was an amazing beer we all drank lots of. When I say we I mean about 30 people all from the North of England sat outside Warpigs, drinkin’ Alien Church and talking shit. It was fun.
Honourable Mentions: Warpigs – Lazurite, Westbrook – Mexican Cake

Best Overseas Bottled Beer
Three Floyds – Dark Lord
Encountered two Dark Lords this year; one in Copenhagen, one in Manchester. One courtesy of James, one courtesy of Kieran. Both times it felt special to crack them open and both times they delivered on being fantastic beer. Not to mention the amazing artwork. Could be nothing else.
Honourable mentions: Anything from Cantillon

Best Overseas Canned Beer
To Øl – Dangerously Close To Stupid Amount of Papaya
On my birthday trip to Bristol Tom bought this as a walking beer between two bars. Is was the best tasting DIPA id had all year and remained so. Been stuck in my head since. Need another can of it.

Best Collaboration Brew
Legitimate Industries / Northern Monk – Belgian Quad
We were lucky enough to interview people from both these breweries this year and man, they came together so well for this beer. Big, boozy, malty, sweetness balanced so well. And then the Cherry version on cask for Dark City solidified this as the best.

Best Overall Beer
3 Fonteinen – Hommage (2015)
The bottle of this we had from Koelschip last month was the best beer I had this year, if not ever.

Best Branding
Legitimate Industries
I love a good theme and the one that runs through the beer, pump clips, twitter, website of Legitimate Industries makes me laugh a lot. The twitter especially is something unique in the beer industry. The artwork for the cans and pump clips may not be ground breaking but for me the whole look and aesthetic of that brewery stands out and I think thats what good branding should do.

Best Pump Clip
Marble Brewers – Manchester Bitter
Tried to think of some out-there clip I saw this year but this just kept popping back into my mind. Classic, simple, to the point, just cant go wrong with it. And the sight of it means I’ll always being having a pint of it, like Pavlovian’s dogs, I see this pumpclip and immediately start to drool.

Best Bottle Label
Brew By Numbers – 5th Anniversary Pale Ale
Come on now, there is only one. Could look at it for a long time. Simple, to the point and classic looking. Simplicity is often foregone for over the top eye-catchiness which can become so muddled it fades into the background. BBNo have stuck with the simple classic look themes of their bottles and transferred it into a stunning can design.

Best UK Brewery
Northern Monk Brew Co.
My UK brewery of the year in 2016 has to get it again. As a whole package no one can touch Northern Monk in the UK this year. Keg, cask, can, branding, Patrons Project, The Refectory and then add to that they hosted Hop City and Dark City this year just puts them on another level. Had the most fun drinking, talking and attending NM this year so this is a no brainer.
Honourable Mention; Marble Brewers – could drink Marble cask all day, everyday. Done some interesting and delicious collaborations this year whilst upping the already high standard of their core range, Marble Arch is still the best pub. Plus they have the best tasting canned beer in the country. They celebrated 20 years as a brewery this year and long may it continue.

Best Overseas Brewery
Tired Hands
Not really accessible to most people, I’ve only managed to drink a decent amount of Tired Hands through foreign bar tap takeovers or trader friends sharing cans, but they are always on the mark. They have packed loads of flavour into their IPAs without going down the ‘green’ or ‘hopburn’ route. Artwork is always interesting and on point. As mentioned above, memories of drinking Alien Church will be remembered fondly for years to come. Cant fault them.

Best New Brewery Opening 2017
Little Earth Project
Ok, so they did officially start in 2016 but I didn’t try any of there beer until this year and they are really good so sod it. Tom is doing something pretty unique down in Suffolk and having tried a few beers this year im nothing be excited about what the future and his barrels hold.
Honourable Mention: Pomona Island

Pub/Bar of the Year
Tap and Bottles
A tough category, and I can probably count on two hands how many times ive been to Tap and Bottles this year, but every time I do I sit there for hours on end drinking great stuff. Cask is kept so well, always interesting, sometimes worldwide keg on and always something special tucked away in the fridge to share at the end of the night. Had some ridiculous tap takeovers for a place like Southport that doesn’t have the vast array of bars/breweries/pubs like Manchester or Leeds. Just a fantastic place for a beer really and the staff are lovely.

Best New Pub/Bar Opening 2017
GRUB
The team at GRUB have put together something special this year. Ignoring the food side for a minute the bar always has loads of great stuff on. I always think ‘they don’t have to put all this good beer on, I would come anyway for the food’, but the fact they put such beer on anyway and take pride in it is a testament to their brilliance, and the reason why Ive been at least once a fortnight since they opened.

Best Taproom
Cloudwater Barrel Store
Found myself visiting at least once a fortnight, some weekends I’ve visited 3 times. It can get very busy, so you may be turned away or asked to wait. Constantly keep going back though, new stuff every week, great staff, nice place to sit and have a beer. Feel lucky to have it so close.

Beer Festival of the Year
Beavertown Extravaganza
New fest on the block and it hung in tough to be my favourite of the year. Amazing line up, really well organised, superb beer, lovely atmosphere, solid food on offer, a double decker bus and a mariachi band. Yes there were some rather long queues, but only for 4 breweries, a very small percentage of what was on offer. I avoided them and had a great time. Might miss next years but will definitely be back again.

Supermarket of the Year
Booths
Get new exciting beer in every few weeks now and at very decent prices. Luckily there is one round the corner from where I work so I frequently pop in on a friday for a few beers. Spot on.

Independent Retailer of the Year
Beermoth
Easy. Its my go to. Have to go in if I am near, always end up buying something. Always end up having to stop myself buying more.

Online Retailer of the Year
Mikkeller Webshop
Don’t really buy beer online but when I do I make pool my moneys together and get a nice big box from here. And we got to interview them in November which was mint.

Best Beer Book or Magazine
Didn’t read any

Best Beer Blog or Website
Yes! Ale Blog
Few and far between are Dave’s blogs, quality over quantity. Always humorous and knowledgeable, Dave does what he does so well and words it wonderfully.

Simon Johnson Award for Best Beer Twitterer
Everyone who has called out dumb sexist shit this year.

Best Brewery Website/Social media
dontdrinkbeers
coz #BIL

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Cheers!

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