This is our contribution to The Golden Pints 2011, run by Beer Reviews and Mark Dredge.
Best UK Draught (Cask or Keg) Beer: Penzance Brewing Company Potion 9 (4%)
From our nearest brewery and, in fact, probably the last brewery in the country. (Everything down here claims to be the last, most southerly or most westerly one in the country.) Best consumed where it is brewed, at the Star Inn in Crowlas.
Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer: Fuller’s Past Masters XX Strong Ale (7.4%)
We liked the idea and liked the beer; and, as we’ve worked through a case, it’s slowly become one of our absolute favourites.
Best Overseas Draught Beer: none
We haven’t had a foreign draft beer which has really blown us away. They often seem a little stale by the time they reach the UK and (boo hoo) we haven’t been to Germany, the Czech Republic or Belgium this year.
Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer: Westmalle Tripel
A new beer from an up-and-coming little brewery you might have heard of…
Best UK Brewery: Thornbridge
When we go into a strange pub and see a Thornbridge pumpclip, we get excited. Variety, consistent quality (at least in our experience) and style.
Pub/Bar of the Year: The Sheffield Tap
A great idea, great premises and great beer, and still going strong after a couple of years. We look forward to a Tap in every city. (Bristol next, please!)
Beer Festival of the Year: CAMRA Kernow, Falmouth
The only one we’ve been to this year. We had a great time.
Supermarket of the Year: Marks and Spencer
Their own range is varied and interesting and the quality keeps improving. Top marks for labelling, too.
Online Retailer of the Year: Beermerchants
We’ve found them reliable, friendly and they have the beer we want (Belgian, mostly) at the right price.
Best Beer Book or Magazine: CAMRA’s quarterly BEER Magazine
Where What’s Brewing is still the preserve of the man-in-blazer photograph and moldy old Keg Buster strip, BEER feels like a 21st century publication with an inclusive attitude and articles from many of our favourite beer writers.
Best Beer Blog or Website: it’s complicated
Any blog we’ve linked to in a post this year is one we like and/or find interesting. If pushed, though… The Beer Nut does make us laugh, and write beer reviews like nobody else.