Friday, December 16, 2011

Golden Pints 2011

I used to get into the British blogging scene end of year wrap ups, (the pre blog days of the forum seem a long time ago now) but haven’t recently. As my new year’s resolution will be to give this blog some more love and Stu has kicked off doing it in the Antipodes I thought I should do one to.

Best Local draught beer: Emerson’s Brownsville Brown . An American brown ale with the perfect rounded soothing malt profile to back up the US Hops.
Runner up Townshend Sutton Hoo, an awesome blend of New World Amber Ale and English Best Bitter.
I have to say that with conflicts of interest accepted Emerson’s RSB 2011 would be a  very strong contender for me to.
Best Local packaged beer: Twisted Hop Red Zone Enigma, great story but more importantly an outstanding beer that most definitely did improve from its enforced conditioning.
Runner up Yeastie Boys xeRRex, the perfect execution of a totally bonkers idea that will most certainly divide people into lovers and haters. I’m a lover.  
Best Overseas packaged: Fullers Past Masters XX Strong Ale. Rich, hoppy, fruity and fantastic. That Ron has achieved influence to get historic beers produced is proof that there can be justice in the world.
Runner up Coronado Islander IPA.  A unique American IPA that manages to differentiate its self and be interesting in a style that all too often is boring and uniform.  
Best Overall Beer: Such a hard one to answer. I had a wonderful and rare bottle of Westvleteren 12 and while the context perhaps has influenced me it was profoundly wonderful. Another contender would be the genius Emerson’s Tawny Mild from the handpump at Albar, fruity, malty, complex and amber and at 3.2%abv I could drink it all night.
Best Pumpclips: My vote goes to Parrotdog who although are one of the newest and youngest brewing crews around were together enough to supply me with a pumpclip as they delivered the kegs to me, brewers NEVER do this. The actual pump clip was pretty sexy to.  
Best NZ Brewery: again conflicts of interest accepted I really can’t go past Emerson’s. They not only turn out large volumes of tasty well balanced craft beer week in week out but they also manage a range of fantastic seasonals, draught only limited Brewers Reserves, and small pilot brew releases. They are doing exciting things on multiple levels and the brewery does sometimes feel a little like the Willy Wonker’s of beer.
Runner up for me would have to be Yeastie Boys, interesting diverse beers, sometimes challenging , sometimes just bloody fantastic.
Best New Brewery: From a parochial stance I have to vote The Garage Project. Brewing returns to the Wellington CBD which is cause to celebrate. Pete brings diverse experience from Brakspear, Hepworth and James Squire to the table and the result is experimental, unorthodox but almost always quality. I can’t wait for the full plant to go in.  
Best Overseas Brewery: Fullers. My desert island brewery. Awesome house yeast, awesome beers, and a great diverse range. They do what many family brewers should, keep things interesting.   
Pub/Bar of the Year: Albar, if I wish I lived at Galbraith’s then I would want Albar as my neighbour. Runner up is tie between The Hop Garden and LBQ. Both new this year and both have given Wellington something different in terms of places to drink craft beer.   
Beer Festival of the Year: Beervana, bigger, different and ultimately better than ever before.
Supermarket of the Year: Island Bay New World. Maurice’s groundwork continued.

Independent Retailer of the year: I would have to say Regional. I think we are doing a good job.
Online Retailer of the year: I would have to say Regional again. But then I would wouldn’t I ? J
Best Beer Book/Mag: Amber Gold and Black Martyn Cornell. Ok so it didn’t come out this year but I have read it several times this year.
Best Blog: A tie between Beerforayear, and Phil Cook for NZ. For the UK it has to be Zythophile with Boak and Bailey as runner up.
Best tweeter: I’m to new t twitter to know.
Best Online Brewery Presence: Epic, Luke and Kelly are masters of E-Communication.
Food and Beer Pairing of the Year: Emersons Pilsner and Oysters at Beervana, genius.
Best event of the Year: I reckon it would be the Galbraith’s Great Brewer Cask Ale Series, even though I haven’t made it to one at all. In fact I haven’t visited Mecca at all this year which is a real shame.   

What I'd like to do in 2012: I have many plans , some of them may even happen.


Jessica said...

Thanks for the ups to Beervana Kieran--see you in 2012!

Hoptimist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoptimist said...

Hop Garden. I'm not so sure. Perhaps they have a way to go before they can be respected as a decent craft beer outlet. Regrettably the staff there were lacking knowledge of the beers and styles on my visit. Still 2012 may see an improvement...

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

Well my experiance differs to yours. It's my local in regards to work and I think the staff are pretty good, the beers tend to be great, ambience top notch and the food is outstanding.

Stu-urns said...

Albar is fantastic. I think one thing which makes it really special is that it's not a "novelty beer geek" kind of place, it's just the local pub, and it happens to be the best bar in the country.

I dunno, does that make sense?

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

Yes definitly.

I think the Hop Garden is similar in that its a pub and restaurant with good beer rather than a 'craft beer bar'.