Golden Posts: Best of Beer Blogging 2014

'Pelikan nib with green' by srslyguys, from Flickr, under Creative Commons.

Chris Hall suggested back in the summer that the best blog category in the now annual Golden Pints wasn’t enough to capture all the good stuff going on around the blogoshire and proposed the Golden Posts.

We’re inclined to agree and so here are our nom­i­na­tions, using (most of) Chris’s sug­gest­ed cat­e­gories, for the best blog posts of the year.

This was sur­pris­ing­ly hard work: there are lots of great beer blog­gers who, between them, have come up with lots of great blog posts. As a result, some of our favourite blog­gers don’t get a men­tion below but hope­ful­ly no-one will take it per­son­al­ly.

We also decid­ed not to name run­ners-up even though it was a close call in a cou­ple of cat­e­gories because it began to feel a bit every­one-gets-a-prize. Suf­fice to say that our blog roll (left) indi­cates who we read reg­u­lar­ly and our week­ly link round-ups for the last year was, in effect, our long list.

Best History blog post: Ron Pattinson on Beer Quality in the 1920s

This was actu­al­ly loooooooooong series of posts analysing fig­ures giv­en in the Whit­bread Grav­i­ty Book. Along the way, this series uncov­ered lots of inter­est­ing nuggets, not least that so-called ‘Lon­don murky’ is noth­ing new, but if we have to pick a sin­gle post to rep­re­sent the whole project, it’s this one which chal­lenges 1970s prej­u­dices by con­clud­ing that: ‘It’ll feel weird seek­ing out Watney’s pubs when I’m hol­i­day­ing in the 1920’s. But they’re prob­a­bly the safest bet.’

Best Impassioned Rant: Richard Taylor on Brewmeister

There was no com­pe­ti­tion here, real­ly – not only impas­sioned and ranty but also a thor­ough­ly-researched piece of prop­er jour­nal­ism:

When you’re open­ly blasé about new cus­tomers wast­ing their mon­ey on your prod­ucts, what does that say about you? Brewmeis­ter are cock­roach­es. They should be cast aside, and boy­cotted from every bar and bot­tle shop in the coun­try.

Best Pub Piece: Ten Inch Wheels on a London pub crawl

This was a tough cat­e­go­ry to make a call on but this piece, which made Boak feel home­sick, real­ly was a joy to read:

The bar­man – who I once saw described as ‘relent­less­ly weary’ – is here, look­ing after a hand­ful of pun­ters. It’s a small cor­ner plot, immac­u­late­ly kept. Cosy. You’d be pleased to find a pub like this any­where. On oth­er nights there are piano sin­ga­longs – includ­ing, we are weari­ly told,  ‘My Old Man’s A Dust­man’ in Swedish.

Best Palate Post: The Beer Nut on Thwaites’s craft range

We could have picked almost any of his more-or-less dai­ly tast­ing notes: they’re always detailed, per­cep­tive and, cru­cial­ly, enter­tain­ing – they very often make us laugh out loud. We picked this one part­ly because we think it describes these beers with pin­point accu­ra­cy, but most­ly for the line ‘all-craft-and-no-trousers’.

Best Beer Travel Post: Lars Marius Garshol on Norwegian farmhouse ale

Again, this is actu­al­ly part of a much larg­er and, we think, rather impor­tant project, but the first post is par­tic­u­lar­ly evoca­tive:

Soon, a young man in a bat­tered pick­up truck showed up, pre­sent­ing him­self as Yngve. He was the son of the brew­er, Sig­mund Gjernes. We were led a cou­ple of kilo­me­ters along a nar­row, wind­ing road through pine forests, going steeply up the hill­side. We were brew­ing on a farm, though it didn’t much look like one, since the fields were all out of sight, hid­den by folds in the steep hill­side.

Best Insider Gen (open category): Ed Razzall on how he runs his pub cellar

A clear, frank, debate-prompt­ing post which gave us a glimpse into what, for us, is an alien world – the pub cel­lar. Good work, Ed!

I’ve left beer in the cel­lar for weeks. I’ve had a Broad­side in there for 6 weeks. I’ve had a Ghost Ship in there for two months… The dif­fer­ence is remark­able, I promise you. Gone are the spiky prick­ly hop notes, and the beer is mel­lowed, malty and spritz­ing­ly car­bon­at­ed. The beer will be glacial­ly clear. Any funky off notes from the yeast will have gone, and it will be a joy to drink.

Image: ‘Pelikan nib with green’ by srslyguys, from Flickr, under Cre­ative Com­mons.

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