Golden Pints 2014
2014 has been absolutely mammoth for me because I finally got myself a job in the beer industry, at Redwell Brewery in Norwich. I've been drinking Redwell beers since the beginning and I've known everyone involved since way before it started so I was so happy when they offered me a job. Basically what I'm doing is covering all aspects of social media, marketing, promotions, events, beer festivals amongst other things. I've been here about a week and a half now, and it's just awesome! I'm so happy to be working in an industry that I love, with some really awesome people who I call friends.
Anyway, I do Golden Pints every year and it's always so difficult because I drink a ridiculous amount of beer. Probably too many beers. I'll give it a crack, though, as always.
Best UK Cask Beer: Oakham Citra (again) - Seriously, I have no reason to choose any other cask beer. This is probably because these days, I don't drink enough of them and when I do it's almost always Citra.
Best UK Keg Beer: Magic Rock Cannonball - Realistically, if this is on in a pub I am going to order it. No question.
Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer: This is a toss up between Beavertown Gamma Ray (can) & Fourpure IPA (can) - Both are incredibly juicy and delicious.
Best Overseas Draught Beer: Tbh, I'm gonna go with Lagunitas IPA again. It's just brilliant, widely available and reasonably priced. I can't get enough of it.
Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer: Three Floyds Zombie Dust. I bought a few bottles from Mikkeller's webshop earlier this year. I require more.
Best Collaboration Brew: Adnams/Sixpoint Make It Rain - An American IPA brewed exclusively for Wetherspoons and incredible. It rained down my throat many times.
Best Overall Beer: It's gotta be Three Floyds Zombie Dust. GIVE ME MORE.
Best Branding, Pumpclip or Label: Love Weird Beard's branding because I could never grow a beard as weird as the ones on the labels.
Best UK Brewery: Beavertown. They just do everything right.
Best Overseas Brewery: Sierra Nevada - they manage to get every style they do right and their Kellerweis has made me especially happy.
Best New Brewery Opening 2014: Was Fourpure first opened this year? Probably not but that's when I discovered them and I love them.
Pub/Bar of the Year: The Swan in Stratford St Mary's. I went twice this year, first on The Craft Wanker Day Trip and secondly for dinner on a trip away. Everything about this pub is amazing.
Best New Pub/Bar Opening 2014: The Mash Tun, Norwich. 15 keg lines, a hop infuser, 4 handpumps, loads of great spirits and Harbercue cooking American inspired smoked meats. Not to mention the soon-to-open Gin Palace upstairs which will have over 150 gins and infusions!
Beer Festival of the Year: London Craft Beer Festival was great... it allowed me to try so many beers that I otherwise wouldn't have had access to.
Supermarket of the Year: Waitrose - I don't get there often but when I do I'm always impressed by the selection.
Independent Retailer of the Year: Harper Wells, Norwich. Although predominantly a wine shop, Brian (with the help of Redwell's distribution arm) has turned it into the number one place to buy bottled and canned craft beer in Norwich.
Online Retailer of the Year: Ales By Mail - I think I've used them more than any other online retailer this year.
Best Beer Book or Magazine: Although not 100% beer, I really enjoyed The Enlightened Imbibers Guide to Alcohol by The Thinking Drinkers.
Best Beer App: Untappd, obviously. How else would I know what I've drunk before?
Simon Johnson Award for Best Beer Twitterer: Without a doubt it's Michael McGrorty. If we lived closer we'd be the best mates ever and hang out all the time.
Best Brewery Website/Social media: Redwell because I'm their social media guy and I'm awesome.
Food and Beer Pairing of the Year: De Dolle Oerbier with Game Pudding at The Swan.