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Golden Pint Awards 2015

Golden Pint Awards 2015

When I started this beer blog a few months ago I intended my end of year post to follow the same format as the ‘Food Geek Awards’ over on my food blog.

But that was before I know ‘Golden Pints’ were already a thing in the beer blogging community. I thought long and hard about whether to stick with my own awards or go with those already established.

In the end, I decided to go with Golden Pints. Although, I have tweaked the format slightly.

I drank a LOT of beer in 2015 (as Untappd will testify), most of it great beer. So I’ve selected a top three for many of the categories rather than a single winner. But the winner is my Golden Pints entry, the runners up are for my own benefit.

Best UK…

Best UK Cask Beer

Best UK Cask Beer

I’m not generally known for my love of cask beer. But for the right beer, at the right time – and crucially, when it’s well kept – it’s a beautiful thing.

All three of these beers are a perfect example of that, the winner in particular just wouldn’t be the same on keg.

3rd: Track – Sonoma
2nd: Quantum – Stock Ale

1st: Buxton/Omnipollo – Yellow Belly Sundae

Best UK Keg Beer

Best UK Keg Beer

This was tough. There were so many to choose from you could ask me again tomorrow and get a different order or even an entirely different top three.

3rd: Kernel – Export Stout London 1980
2nd: Buxton Brewery – Wyoming Sheep Ranch

1st: Magic Rock – Magic 8 Ball

Best UK Bottled Beer

Best UK Bottled Beer

As above really. Almost impossible to choose three, let alone one. I’ve had a go though.

3rd: BrewDog – Born To Die 04.07.2015
2nd: Thornbridge – Bracia

1st: Marble – Marble Arch Inn 125 Barleywine

Best UK Canned Beer

Best UK Canned Beer

I so wanted Magic Rock to feature in this category, Cannonball and High Wire Grapefruit in particular as they’re stunning beers on keg. Unfortunately, they haven’t quite nailed the cans yet, hopefully next year!

3rd: BrewDog – Jackhammer
2nd: Beavertown – Black Betty

1st: BrewDog – Black Eyed King Imp

Best Overseas…

Best Overseas Draught

Best Overseas Draught

3rd: Arizona Wilderness – American Presidential Stout
2nd: Dogfish Head – 90 Minute IPA

1st: Ballast Point – Grapefruit Sculpin

Best Overseas Bottled Beer

Best Overseas Bottled Beer

While this was another tough and very competitive category with loads of beers vying for the top three, the 1st place is a clear winner.

3rd: Stone Enjoy By 02.14.15
2nd: Mikkeller – Nelson Sauvin Brut (White Wine Barrel Aged)

1st: Cantillon – Iris (2014)

Best Overseas Canned Beer

Best Overseas Canned Beer

3rd: Ballast Point – Grapefruit Sculpin
2nd: Westbrook – Gose

1st: Oskar Blues – Ten Fiddy

Best Overall…

Best Collaboration Brew

Best Collaboration Brew

3rd: Põhjala / To Øl – Taanilinn Cognac BA
2nd: Mikkeller / Lindemans – Spontanbasil

1st: Mikkeller / 3 Floyds Brewing – Blå Spøgelse

Best Overall Beer

Best Overall Beer

It’s virtually impossible to name just one. But I’ve gone for this as it left me quite literally speechless. Not many beers do that.

1st: Cantillon – Iris (2014)

Best Branding…

Best Branding

Best Branding

3rd: Beavertown
2nd: Omnipollo

1st: Magic Rock

Best Pump Clip

Best Pump Clip

1st: Magic Rock – Un-Human Cannonball

Best Bottle Label

Best Bottle Label

3rd: Magic Rock – Cannonball (can)
2nd: Mikkeller / 3 Floyds Brewing – Blå Spøgelse

1st: Omnipollo – Noa

Best Breweries…

Best UK Breweries

Best UK Breweries

The top two are certainties, although they could change position depending on my mood. The 3rd spot is somewhat up for grabs with honourable mentions going to Old Chimneys, Marble, Siren and BrewDog, amongst others.

3rd: Kernel
2nd: Magic Rock

1st: Buxton Brewery

Best Overseas Brewery

Best Overseas Brewery

3rd: Cantillon
2nd: Mikkeller

1st: To Øl

Best New Brewery Opening 2015

Best New Brewery Opening 2015

I know Cloudwater will clean up in this category. But when you open a brewery with seemingly unlimited funds, a team of staff with experience working for established breweries and somehow manage to get the biggest bars in the country to host your launch events, I think producing decent beer is the bare minimum required.

Whereas Chorlton are operating on the other end of the scale, from a tiny railway arch in Ardwick. Yet they’re turning out some of the most interesting and best quality modern sour beers in the UK.

They officially opened late in 2014 but I don’t think their beers were publicly available until 2015, I first had them in January 2015 anyway.

3rd: Vocation
2nd: Cloudwater

1st: Chorlton Brewing

Best Venues/Festival…

Pub/Bar of the Year

Pub/Bar of the Year

5th: Il Santo Bevitore, Venice
4th: Buxton Tap House, Buxton
3rd: The Marble Arch, Manchester
2nd: Six Degrees North, Aberdeen

1st: The Grove, Huddersfield

Best New Pub/Bar Opening 2015

Best New Pub/Bar Opening 2015

3rd: Hop Locker, Southbank Market
2nd: Beermoth Cafe

1st: Magic Rock Tap

Best Retailers…

Supermarket of the Year

Supermarket of the Year

1st: Booths

Independent Retailer of the Year

Independent Retailer of the Year

1st: Epicurean, Didsbury

Online Retailer of the Year

Online Retailer of the Year

1st: BrewDog website. As well as selling their own beers at generally good prices (especially with shareholder discount) they have an excellent range of guest beers from UK breweries like Wild, Siren and Buxton as well as foreign beers from breweries such as Mikkeller, To Øl, Ballast Point (RIP), Oskar Blues etc..

Also, a special shout-out to Eebria, although their model of charging £5.99 delivery per brewery you order from is frustrating, the flipside is that beers are dispatched directly from the breweries meaning they’re usually super fresh.

Best Media…

Best Beer Book or Magazine

Best Beer Book or Magazine

I don’t read many but am currently enjoying Mark Dredge’s new book, ‘The Best Beer In The World’.

Best Beer Blog or Website

Best Beer Blog or Website

I’m pretty new to beer blogging and too busy running two blogs of my own as well as a business to read many others.

I do enjoy the occasional post from BoozyProcrastinator though. Bar some cross over in the middle we have pretty different tastes but I love his no-nonsense attitude (and also that he’s one of only two other people I know not taken in by the Cloudwater hype).

Simon Johnson Award for Best Beer Twitterer

Simon Johnson Award for Best Beer Twitterer

I’m ashamed to say I don’t even know who Simon Johnson is and hardly follow any beer people on Twitter. Mike from Chorlton Brewing does make me laugh a lot though.

Best Beer App

Best Beer App

1st: Untappd, obviously.

And a (pointless) shout out to my best beer friends and our beer orientated WhatsApp group. These awards wouldn’t be the same without them/it since they’ve shared in many of the above beers and days/nights out with me.

Although my productivity, bank balance and liver would be in a considerably better state.

Phew! That was tough.

I may elaborate on some of them in the coming days, but had to get this in before the New Years Eve deadline. Plus, there’s beer to drink tonight!

Feel free to let me know in the comments whether you agree/disagree or those a glaring omission.

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