So here I go again with my Golden Pint Awards. As this is my paper engineering site, this time I have made a stylised box thats meant to be a pint (construction described below). Not very golden but when you see my choices you will see why ….
Winner :- Tempest Red Eye Flight Mocha Porter :– My comfort beer at the start and end of the year. I love its intense smooth indulgent chocolate coffee flavours. Is fantastic in bottle but on tap sublime. Outstanding beer
Highly Commended :- Anarchy Sublime Chaos, Redwillow Heartless, Ilkley Siberia, Cromarty Brewed Awakening, Tempest Double Cresta, Tyne Bank Piccolo Black
Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer
Winner:- Moor Old Freddy Walker :– I described it as the best Christmas beer I had drank in quite a while. Amazing dark fruit flavours smothered in chocolate and a liquorice background.
Highly Commended:- Durham Diabolus (test brew), Summer Wine Kopikat, Tempest Red Eye Flight Mocha Porter, Bristol Beer Factory Ultimate Stout / Southville Hop, Redwillow Remorseless
Winner:- To Øl Mochachino Messiah :- Not the subtlest Coffee Flavour, but sweet chocolaty with a bit of caffeine zip. Very very nice
Highly Commended:- Anker Gouden Carolus Noel, Ska Modus Hoperandi, Odell IPA, Nøgne Ø Imperial Stout, Mikkeller Soot Gul
Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer
Winner:- Nøgne Ø Dark Horizon II :- Opened with friends after being kept for over 4 years. Amazing intensity of flavour of dark fruits, chocolate and liquorice with a big boozy kick.
Highly Commended:- Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout, Southern Tier Mocha (or Pumpkin) ale, Ska Steel Toe Working Class Milk Stout, Oud Beersel Kriek, Kindl Berliner Weiss wt Woodruff syrup (aka playdoh)
Winner:- Tempest Red Eye Flight Mocha Porter
Winner:- Redwillow Tree motifs :- Every year I talk about instantly recognizable pumpclips and this year is no exception. The tree design itself is excellent but the colour usage is really clever. Added to this the ellipse shape of the actual clip is so subtle.
Highly Commended:- Truefitt Jigsaw pieces, Nøgne Ø subtle designs on bottles/glasses
Best UK Brewery
Winner :- Redwillow – This was very tough. So many breweries have really stepped up this year and made remarkable beer. Amongst these are a number of new and established breweries(many from the north east). But not all of them have been consistent, and in the end I wanted a brewery I could recognize as quality and producing a stunning range of beers across the board. I think any of the below could lay claim to this, but my vote goes to Redwillow for Heartless, Fathomless, Remorseless, Smokeless….. et al
Highly Commended :- Tempest, , Cromarty, Anarchy, Durham, Tyne Bank, Summer Wine, Magic Rock, Bristol Beer Factory, Moor
Best Overseas brewery:-
Winner :- Nøgne Ø :– Again a tough category, but Nogne make consistently great beer that takes risks.
Highly Commended:- Evil Twin, To Øl, Mikkeller, Ska, Southern Tier
Winner:- Free Trade Inn, Ouseburn – We are lucky in Newcastle that the beer renaissance continues to gather pace with more and more real ale houses opening and improving. But we essentially have three leaders in the Brandling Villa (in Gosforth), the Bacchus (in Newcastle) and the Free Trade (in the Ouseburn). Each push the boundaries of craft ale in the city by running events and accessing a wide range of beers. If I have to make a choice, it still has to be the Free Trade, it is my local, it still has the best view from a pub and feels like home.
Highly Commended:- Brandling Villa, Bacchus, Friends Of Ham, Holyrood 9a, Port Street Beer
Beer Festival of the year:-
Winner:- York – Get over the fact it has plastic glasses. This festival continues to be the one that all CAMRA festivals should strive to be. Over 300 beers – 200 from local quality providers, lots of cider and a very good foreign beer bar with ale on tap and in bottle. And its in a tent!!!
Highly Commended:- Scottish Real Ale Festival, National Winter Ale Festival
Supermarket of the Year
Winner:- Tesco (in Scotland only) – Range has got less but still worth a look at.
Independent Retailer of the Year:-
Joint Winners:- Rehills & Coppers 8 till 8 :- As I said last year, these have played an enormous part bringing some of the best British & continental bottle beers to the city. Both are getting bigger ranges and are almost impossible to choose between.
Highly Commended:- Beeritz (Leeds), More & More Beer (Plymouth), Scottish Real Ale Shop (Callander), Beerhive (Edinburgh)
Online Retailer of the Year:- Didn’t buy online from dedicated retailers but from breweries themselves
Best Beer Book or Magazine
Winner:- Moleskine Beer Journal :- I love Moleskine books and a one on beer was too tempting to turn down. From its embossed front to its dedicated sections, it geekiness personified
Winner:- Oh Beery Me – When Andrew told us in the pub that he was going to embark on his beer366 journey, I did think it was the beer talking (Surprisingly he was drinking at the time). But knowing this driven young man, I was never in doubt he would complete this project. Initially, I thought he would open a bottle, take a photo, give a short description and move onto the next (like so many other websites) but I was amazed of the amount of work he put into this blog. Just reflecting on the histories that have been told of the breweries and people involved, the depth of the descriptions of beer styles/flavours and the amount of popular culture nonsense, it is an astonishing piece of writing that I have learnt from and been entertained by. Well done, Sir. I will miss my daily read
Highly Commended:- Newcastle Real Ale Listings
Best Beer Twitterer:-
Winners:- @TheAleTrail :- A big hand to the Newcastle (& North East) drinkers and publicans tweeters who have continued to promote the rise of the Real Ale consciousness in the Area. But there is one tweeter, who when he isn’t running his own single handed feet off metro seats campaign, is unafraid to step from the comfort zone to constructively challenge a bad pint or complain about customer service. He tweets enthusiastically about great beer, is insightful in his views, and when he goes on an Ale trail trip makes us very jealous with his reporting. He also instigated the Newcastle twitteratti cup. Gary aka @TheAleTrail , well done.
Winner:- Magic Rock. I think this site gets better every time I go on
Highly Commended:- Brewdog, Tempest
Best Food & Beer Pairing:-
Winner:- York Tap at 11am in morning, a late breakfast of a pork pie with apple topping paired with Ilkley Siberia. Zippy Rhubarb, sweet apple and earthy pork, lovely.
Free Category – When Craft Ale really came to Toon 2012 Award
Winner:- Durham beer launches at the Free Trade Inn were excellent. Article here
Highly Commended:- The opening night of Brewdog Newcastle, and the drunken scene which was like entering a happy Walking Dead set. Article here
In 2013 I would most like to:- Be more consistent on the blog, finish the last two parts of the beer quadrilogy…. Maybe this counts as one.
The construction of the cardboard pint, was fairly simple to achieve once the measuring was complete. Starting with a base of 4cm square on the brown card, I had to draw up 4 sides 8 cm in height with a top edge measuring 6 cm. Joining the top and bottom edges gives the sloping edges. On one side the top of the box is drawn 6cm square. Tabs are placed at points to make sure construction is clean and easy. See diagram for details. Before cutting out, the opposite side is printed with all the category winners repeating. The head of the pint follows a similar process but with Golden Pints 2012 all over the lighter cream card.
So roll on 2013, and lets hope this great time for craft ale continues