My memory of beers, events, nights and other miscellaneous information not great, but for what its worth here is my list of the hits of 2011.
Best UK Draught Beer – Magic Rock High Wire, Runners Up - Redemption Trinity, Camden Town Gentlemans Wit
Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer – Kernel Imperial Brown, Runners Up – Buxton Moor Top, Fullers Vintage
Best Overseas Draught Beer – Oscar Blues Gubna, Runners Up - Avery Maharaja, Ithaca Flower Power
Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer – Bear Republic Racer 5, Runners Up - 21st Amendment Bitter American, Sigtuna Summer IPA
Best Overall Beer – Magic Rock High Wire
Best UK Brewery – Kernel, Runners Up - Magic Rock, Camden Town
Best Overseas Brewery – Odell’s, Runners Up - Oscar Blues, Victory
Pub/Bar of the Year – Craft, Runners Up – Southampton Arms, Old Red Cow
Beer Festival of the Year – London Brewers Alliance, Runners Up - Planet Thanet, GBBF
Supermarket of the Year - Waitrose
Independent Retailer of the Year – Kris Wines, Kentish Town
Best Beer Blog or Website – Pencil and Spoon, Beerbirrabier
Best Online Brewery presence - Brewdog
Food and Beer Pairing of the Year – Sam Adams Boston Lager and burger in New York, Schlenkera Rauchbier and sausage beans & chips
In 2012 I’d Most Like To… Go back to the USA, drink more British lager, and cook more with beer
Open Category: Best launch/event – London Fields Brewery opening night
A great year for Magic Rock, going from nought to sixty in no time – they get my beer of the year simply because the High Wire has been terrific in both cask and keg, but London has produced some excellent drinking this year with Trinity, a stunning session beer, and a late entry in the Gentlemans Wit from Camden, which blew me away. My foreign list is all from a visit to New York, which had all the great beers we get imported over here and more, just fresher. I haven’t drunk quality foreign beers from anyone more than Odell so they get the nod. Although Magic Rock have impressed me, as a London drinker Kernel win out, having made some amazing beers this year which I drink regularly. Craft had been great from the start, and actually improving through the months to become London’s premier beer drinking spot. It has been my best beer drinking year by some distance, with a first trip to the US and taking advantage of London’s emerging breweries, and hopefully 2012 will be just as good. I have drunk some great lager this year and hope to see more, especially from UK breweries, and I would love to see more craft beer in good restaurants, which there is currently not enough of.
Happy holidays and good drinking to all!