Personally, I have had the best year. My daughter, Betty was born in February and I’ve never been happier with family life. Obviously, this has taken time away from writing for the blog but I feel my time away will have helped me improve on my writing and be more selective with the direction I’m hoping to take it. Also, the time away has let me forge new friendships but also strengthen those with others that I spend time drinking with as I am enjoying my beer for what it is; a tool for social interation, and not looking for the next blog post or controversial statement. I hope you enjoy reading my #GoldenPints and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you in 2018.
Best UK Cask Beer: Marble Dobber
Runners Up: Track Sonoma, Wild Beer Modus Operandi (From a red wine cask at IMBC ’17)
I drank pint after pint of Marble Dobber at the relaunch during Manchester Beer Week. It was very brave but tasted so good.
Best UK Keg Beer: God knows…
I mostly drink keg beer so it’s hard to pin down the ultimate beer but a short list would include:
- Northern Monk Heathen
- Track Skyway
- Torrside BA Rauchwine
- Brew By Numbers Coffee Porter – Imperial
- Burning Sky Anniversaire
Best UK Bottled or Canned: Magic Rock Clairvoyance
Runners Up: Marble Dobber, Brewdog Tactical Nuclear Penguin (2013), Cloudwater Mormora Sour
I was blown away by Clairvoyance. At a time where you couldn’t escape canned IPA/DIPA it shone out as a beacon of hoppy bitterness and juicy aroma. A perfect mix. Marble Dobber also got re released in cans this year.
I also finally opened the Brewdog Tactical Nuclear Penguin I received as a wedding present in April 2014. It tasted so much better than I expected. Super smooth and no excessive burn.
Mormora Sour snuck in last night. It has a lovely sharpness but then smacks of cold brew coffee. Awesome!
Best Overseas Draught Beer: Dugges / Omnipollo BA Anagram
I can’t choose anything else. This beer is a beast of a beer at over 14% with a perfect sweetness that, hangover aside, makes you want to have a few.
Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer: The Alchemist Heady Topper
Runners Up: Other Half All Citra Everything, Kent Falls Juice Maker
American IPAs from the east coast met the demands of those after a NEIPA, haze fix and their freshness didn’t disappoint when brought over for this year’s beer festivals
Best Collaboration Brew: Cloudwater/Lervig – I Got Pils
Runners Up: Marble/Melissa Cole – Prime Time, Cloudwater/The Veil Brewing – Chubbles
Right at the end of the year I headed out for the Lervig collaboration releases at The Northern Type. I’ve always been impressed with Lervig lagers but the pilsner was brilliant. Super crisp but with good use of late hops for a lovely aroma.
Best Branding: Marble
*Special mention: Brew By Numbers
Marble’s return to its previous, classic branding made me really happy. It looks awesome on the cans and sets it out from the rest of the market
*I really hope BBNo stick with the branding on their 5th Birthday can. It was a thing of beauty.
Best UK Brewery: Torrside
Runners Up: Cloudwater Brew Co. and Northern Monk Brew Co
I tried to write a clever passage to say why i’ve put Torrside at the best UK brewery but I believe Super Hans put it better than I can when he started selling bathrooms in
“You’re looking for classic meets modern, yeah? So clawfoot bath with thinline cistern. Fancy taps but rainforest showerhead.”
Torrsides repetoire is a massive mix of styles without the quality suffering and they must be applauded for this.
Best Overseas Brewery: Other Half
Other Half’s availability in the UK has grown massively in 2017 following Hop City and Indy Man Beer Con. The hoppy IPAs and DIPAs are arriving fresh and tasting great.
Pub/Bar of the Year: Bundobust Manchester
Runners Up: Cafe Beermoth, Stalybridge Buffet Bar
With a great beer selection backed up by some amazing indian street food dishes it had to be Bundobust. If my bank balance allowed it; I would eat there everyday.
Cafe Beermoth always have some stand-out beers on offer and the staff at the Buffet Bar really know how to keep and serve their beer.
Best New Pub/Bar Opening: Fairfield Social Club
Runner up: The Northern Type
Fairfield Social club is a breathe of fresh air on the Manchester Beer Scene. GRUB Indoors. Excellent food stalls and a fantastically curated beer selection.
The Northern Type technically opened in December 2016 but I didn’t start going until 2017. Six keg taps and a superb bottle and can selection in Eccles, Salford. I’m hoping to spend a lot more time here.
UK Brewery Taproom of the Year: Cloudwater Barrel Store
I’ve started spending a lot of time at the Barrel Store. Great atmosphere with some of the best UK beers on tap and in cans. Food also available from Pollen Bakery just down the road
Beer Festival of the Year: The Independent Manchester Beer Convention
Runners Up: Hop City 2017
See blog post. I’m sure Dark City 2017 would have been a runner up too but I wasn’t in the country
Beer Retailer of the Year: The Beermoth
Runners Up: The Northern Type
I buy most of my beer from The Beermoth as I know I can get exciting bottles and some mainstay beers in one trip but now I also have The Northern Type nearby always ensuring they have the best beers in their fridges.
Best Beer Blog or Website: Mark Johnson’s Beer Compurgation
One of my closest friends but thats because we speak the same language. Although he speaks fluently, and I’m more Spainglish.
Best Beer Label: Rivington Brew Co. American Barley Wine 2017
When I first saw this bottle it immediately caught my eye. It oozes class and sophistication; I hope the beer inside lives up to it. I’m looking forward to what they have in store for next year