Blogging and writing

Golden Posts: Best of Beer Blogging 2014

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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