So for what it’s worth…
I haven’t had every amazing beer or been to every event so from what I’ve sampled this year here it is…
Best kegged beer- SWB Mauna Kea- so much tropical punch in every single sip.
Best UK bottled beer- Brew Dog Born to Die- each batch has been incredible, especially the last one.
Best UK can- Brew Dog Jackhammer- quite simply stunning and continually one of my favourite beers.
Best overall beer- Brew Dog Born To Die- the last batch was the best UK produced IPA I’ve had. If it was an American release it would be GLOBAL!
Best overseas bottled beer- had so many this year thanks to @TheAleTrail and the star of the show was New Glarus Serendipity- wow I wish I could get this stuff flowing from my taps!
Best overseas can- Focal Banger from the Alchemist- quite simply the best beer I’ve ever tasted.
Best UK brewery- Buxton- they have a great tap house and keep turning out stunning beers with no fanfare at all.
I have to mention Northern Alchemy too as they are simply amazing and create sensational beers in the tiniest space you can imagine. Their Marmalade and Assam Tea IPA is easily in my top ten this year.
Best collab- Buxton/Tool Coral Seas- the saltiest damn gose I’ve sampled.
Best new UK brewery- Vocation- each release has been simply stunning. Keep them coming guys.
Best overseas brewery- Stone- I have loved each Enjoy By release but the April one blew me away.
Best supermarket- is there any choice? M and S by a mile. I only wish each store would stock the same beers.
Best bottle shop- Rehills of Jesmond- prices that beat everyone else and Sonny will try his hardest to get whatever beer I keep badgering him for. It’s now a second home. They just need to install that growler fill station.
Best Twitterer- this is a hard one. Over the last year I honestly feel that I have made an entirely new group of completely fabulous friends and this is coming from someone who doesn’t like people too much! @TheAleTrail and @Andy911 have gone from virtual friends to real ones! (And I’m very pleased to have met them). They are both a fountain of knowledge on all things beer. I have also been fortunate enough to meet @MylesLambert, @Weordie and @300lbCyclist, all are superb guys and again great beery dudes. @MindlessPizza, I actually feel as though I went on holiday with him and his photos are simply stunning. @UKBeerNetwork and @GoodBeerTweet helped me get into this Twitter thing properly and I thank them both so much. As for @Tribod and @HoptomisticDude- what can I say? Thank you both for your friendship and all the bloody laughs we have had this year. There has been many a time when the wife has come into the kitchen and found me wiping tears of laughter away from my face before asking me what the bloody hell I was doing. (The hamster episode was a particular favourite). You are both truly fabulous guys who really know your beery stuff. However for services to humanity I have to choose @CraftBeerHour as Tom has literally created a sensation! He’s also a bloody nice bloke to boot and I hope to meet him again real soon. (If I missed anyone I’m really sorry).
Beer festival of the year- My God Borefts by miles. If any of you haven’t been then do so. It’s like being transported to a different world. Thanks to @TheAleTrail and @Andy911 for getting me there.
Last but not least, Best Bar- Newcastle has great, great craft beer bars but my spiritual home is Brew Dog Newcastle. The quality of the beer they pour is fabulous, their staff are all knowledgeable and friendly but their crown jewel is in their amazing general manager- Jill!
Well that’s it folks- thanks for reading.