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Beer of the Year

This is the kind of thing we usually chicken out of but, in the pub one night this week, we thrashed it out and made a decision.

We’ve been quietly naming a beer of the week almost every week since February and so looked over that list first to see if any of the candidates leapt out. The full list is below, after the jump, if you’re interested.

We decided, on reflection, that there were certain beers we not only enjoyed but kept coming back to. We had multiple pints of St Austell Tribute, Thornbridge Jaipur and Fuller’s ESB.  We drank many bottles of Sam Smith’s Taddy Porter, Brew Dog’s Punk IPA, Anchor Liberty Ale, Pilsner Urquell and Flying Dog Old Scratch (our stand-by beer this summer). We would keep going back for Wuerzburger Hofbrau Pils if we lived anywhere near Wuerzburg.

But one beer that we’d never mentioned as beer of the week, and which always delights us, is Dark Star Hophead. Dark Star might be our favourite UK brewery, if we have to choose, and Hophead is one of the best of their beers. It’s not too strong (several pints won’t kill you) but absolutely bursting with freshness and up-front hop flavour. It’s a corker. We love it. We’re going to drink lots more of it in 2010.

* SS Taddy Porter
* Brakspear Triple
* Fuller’s Chiswick
* Tribute
* Hoegaarden Grand Cru
* Meantime Chocolate Stout
* Bernard Dark
* Chimay Red
* Little Creatures Pale Ale
* Brooklyn Brown
* Badger Hopping Hare
* Oscar Wilde Mild
* Flying Dog Old Scratch Amber Lager
* Schneider Weisse
* Wuerzburger Hofbrau Pils
* Goose Island IPA
* Brodie’s Wit
* Fuller’s Vintage
* Adnams Bitter
* Svyturys Ekstra Draught
* Sierra Nevade Pale Ale
* Summer Lightning
* St Bernardus Abt 12
* Rogue Chocolate Stout
* Sierra Nevada Porter
* Augustiner Lagerbier Hell
* Durham Brewery Temptation
* Liberty Ale
* Meantime Pilsner
* Dark Star American Pale Ale
* Pagoa Zunbeltz
* Brooklyn East India
* Titanic Chocolate and Vanilla
* Cooper’s Stout
* Bristol Beer Factory Milk Stout
* Otley O1
* Fuller’s ESB
* Freischem’s Stout
* Heller’s Pils

7 replies on “Beer of the Year”

I’ll keep an eye out for it. I’m sure it will turn up at Cask in Pimlico at some point — they always seem to have one or two Dark Star beers on.

Hophead is one of the finest beers that we have in the UK, it’s a classic and get’s lost too often in awards or what have you…

funily enough, I am wearing a DarkStar Hophead tour t-shirt from a few years back right now! lol.

Agreed, Phil – Dark Star don’t get the love they deserve, even though they’re innovators of breadth and quality to match the likes of Thornbridge and BrewDog. I love Hophead and their now-regular APA. The Harp keeps a smashing pint of both…

Totally agree with the Hophead verdict – I was visiting London from’t York last week as I often do on’t business and had 5 exquisite pints of this pulchritudinous ale – 2 in the Severn Stars, Carey St and 3 in one of my favourite London real ale haunts – The Harp just off Strand.

Both houses were serving it like it was going out of fashion it was that popular and both served it in stunning form. Woke up with a clear head due to it being a sensible ABV.

Pure heaven…

Thanks for the shout out and thumbs up for 2009. Should your travels take you to Oregon in 2010, plz be sure to visit the brewery in Newport nestled along scenic Highway 101 and sample Rogue’s Chocolate Stout at the source. In the mean time, check my blog for pairing notes, recipes, and other notions about this beer !

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