Ah, the Golden Pints — a grim obligation undertaken out of habit rather than joy, a mere ‘circle jerk’, a relic of a past era of beer blogging…
Nah, we like ’em. We enjoy the chance to reflect, and to think about what we’ve actually been drinking and which beers have really stuck with us down the months.
We also enjoy reading other people’s. They’re often biased, full of odd choices, and demonstrate unabashed local boosterism… Which is what makes them great. When there are enough of them trends emerge and the same names to crop up again and again. And you know that beers and breweries from one part of the country grudgingly mentioned in Golden Pints from another must really be something.
We’ve decided this year that an important test of Golden Pint status is repeatability — in a landscape of infinite variety and choice, did a particular beer warrant a second pint? Did a particular pub demand a second visit despite the temptation to explore new territory?
With all that in mind, here’s what we came up with, omitting any category to which we didn’t feel we could give a decent answer.
Continue reading “Boak & Bailey’s Golden Pints for 2017”
With the idea in mind that January is a good time to try new things we’ve been looking at other UK bloggers’ Golden Pints posts for inspiration.
Some headlines: Northern Monk’s cans are impressing people (as they have us) and Buxton crop up frequently in the bottled beer category. Other recurring names are Beavertown and Magic Rock (the usual suspects, you might say) and Torrside, about whom we know nothing, but maybe that’s a Manchester mafia thing?
Our plan was to order as many of the bottled and canned beers as possible (or, rather, as is reasonable given our budget) and hopefully try a few beers we wouldn’t otherwise think to order.
The problem is that so far it’s proved tricky because the vast majority of the beers nominated are one-offs or limited editions released months ago and long out-of-stock everywhere we’ve checked. The few that weren’t — Magic Rock Inhaler, Five Points IPA, Buxton Axe Edge — we’ve already had more than once.
So, instead, we’ll using people’s suggestions as a hit list of breweries for 2017 rather than specific beers.
Anyway, in case you reckon you might have more luck than us here’s the list we came up with based on all the Golden Pints posts we could find using Google and Twitter:
- Alphabet Flat White (Hop Hideout)
- Almasty Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout (Myles Lambert)
- Beavertown Bloody ‘Ell (Martin Oates)
- Beavertown ‘Spresso (Brewers’ Journal/Steve Lamond)
- Beavertown Imperial Lord Smog Almighty (Glenn Johnson)
- Burning Sky Saison Anniversaire (Matt Curtis)
- Buxton Anglo-Belgique IPA (Beer O’Clock Show/Steve Lamond)
- Buxton Axe Edge (Mashtun & Meow)
- Buxton Bourbon Skyline (Beer Geek Blog)
- Buxton Yellow Belly (Beernomicon)
- Cloudwater DIPA V3 (Half Pint Gentleman)
- Cloudwater DIPA V4/V5 (Hop Hideout)
- Cloudwater DIPA V6 (Sharky)
- Five Points Hook Island Red (Ian Cann)
- Five Points IPA (Ian Cann)
- Four Pure Juicebox (Rob Derbyshire)
- Hawkshead Tiramisu Imperial Stout (Rob Derbyshire)
- Little Earth Organic East India Pale Ale (Tim Rowe)
- Mad Hat Tzatziki Sour (Barrel Aged Leeds, and us BTW.)
- Magic Rock/Cloudwater/Lees Three’s Company (Boozy Procrastinator/Martin Oates)
- Magic Rock Common Grounds (Jules Gray)
- Magic Rock Bearded Lady Grand Marnier Chocolate Orange Stout (Beer Geek Blog)
- Magic Rock Human Cannonball (Myles Lambert)
- Magic Rock Inhaler (Half Pint Gentleman/Craft Beer Channel)
- Marble Portent of Usher (Chris Elston)
- Marble Valancourt (Jules Gray)
- Northern Monk/Against the Grain/Nomad Clan Smokin’ Bees (Ed/Mark Johnson)
- Northern Monk Heathen (Simon Girt)
- Northern Monk Mango Lassi Heathen (Beernomicon)
- Northern Monk/Little Leeds Neopolitan Pale Ale (Beer O’Clock Show)
- Northern Monk Holy Trilogy series (Beernomicon/Barrel Aged Leeds)
- Old Dairy Tsar Top (Ed)
- Red Willow Weightless (Boozy Procrastinator)
- Thornbridge Days of Creation (Simon Girt)
- Torrside Brewing American Barleywine (Mark Johnson/Beers Manchester)
- Up Front Ahab (Barm)
- Verdant Pulp (Sharky)
- Vibrant Forest Imperial Red IPA (Glenn Johnson)
- Wild Beer Squashed Grape (Joe Tindall)
- Wylam Jakehead (Beernomicon)
Now, that’s specifically the beers named under bottles/cans — some bottled and canned beers were named in other categories such as, quite importantly, BEST BEER. (That probably explains Cloudwater’s relatively modest showing.)
We probably also just missed some lists altogether — it’s nothing personal, just let us know below and we’ll add a link (terms and conditions apply) — and there are a few more on the way, now that 2016 is actually over. But, anyway, it’s something to think on for now, isn’t it?
November was a moderately productive month with a smattering of posts that we reckon stood out as a bit better than usual, plus all the side orders dished up on Facebook and Twitter. (Do give us a like/follow.)
A quick side note: December being the month of lists, round-ups and predictions, we’re going to be putting together a Golden Pints piece as usual but, this time, it’s going in our email newsletter rather than on the blog. Sign up if you’re interested in knowing which was our favourite crown cap design (UK) and to find out who gets the award for best use of grapefruit juice. But now, back to business.
We started the month, like almost everyone else, by having opinions about Anthony Bourdain’s opinions about beer: ‘STOP TELLING PEOPLE THE BEER THEY ARE DRINKING IS THE WRONG BEER UNLESS THEY SPECIFICALLY ASK YOU FOR ADVICE!’
Continue reading “The Month That Was: November 2016”
Andy ‘Beer Reviews’ Mogg kicked off this year’s Golden Pints yesterday and, as this is about the one thing we try not to over-think, without much agonising, here’s our contribution.
Best UK Cask Beer: Penzance Brewing Company Trink
A strong pale’n’hoppy (5.2% ABV) that we used to trek to the Star Inn for but which, this year, has become a regular at the Dock Inn in Penzance. (Causing us to all but abandon our usual Proper Job at the Yacht round the corner.) It’s so much fun to drink, with all those tropical fruit and citrus aromas climbing out of the glass, that we always end up having one more than we ought but we forgive it for the hangovers nonetheless.
Best UK Keg Beer: None
We’ve not been around the UK much this year and there isn’t all that much kegged beer down here in Cornwall so we struggled to think of an obvious candidate. We might have said St Austell Korev or, searching old Tweets, the Marble Lagonda that got us all fired up back in March but, really, neither feels quite right. So, we’re leaving this one blank. (Hereafter, if we haven’t got a nomination, we’re leaving the category out altogether.)
Best UK Bottled Beer: BrewDog Electric India
It impressed us in the heats of our saison taste-off and then stood up to, and bettered, Saison Dupont in the final. BrewDog, we think, are at their best making decent, good value, slightly pepped-up versions of foreign styles.
Continue reading “B&B’s Golden Pints 2015”
Prompted by Andy Mogg at Beer Reviews, here are our nominations for the best bevvies, bars, book and blogs in the world of beer in 2014.
Bearing in mind that we live a long way from where the action is and haven’t been abroad, our choices are perhaps a bit parochial and conservative. In general, though we try to keep a bit of distance and remain objective, you might also want to cross-reference this lot against our disclosure page. And who knows how this list might have looked if we’d written it yesterday, or tomorrow.
Best UK Cask Beer: St Austell Proper Job
After much over-thinking, we decided that we wanted to recognise a beer from one of our local breweries, of which we have drunk several pints every week, usually at the Yacht Inn in Penzance, and which consistently delighted us — that is, made us say ‘Ooh!’ and ‘Ah!’ The peachy, pithy, juicy aroma gets us every time, laid over a clean, fresh-tasting beer with no rough-edges at all. Through compromise rather than design, it’s been an American-style IPA at session strength for some years, which is now apparently all the rage. We expect to drink lots more of it in 2015.
Best UK Keg Beer: Brew By Numbers Cucumber & Juniper Saison
At first, we struggled to think of any keg beers we’d drunk often enough to form a strong opinion — we dabbled with a lot of one-off glasses in Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Bristol and London, but didn’t go back for seconds of many or any. Then we recalled this beer which we enjoyed back in June and liked enough to seek out for a second session. A gimmicky beer from a brewery whose beers we don’t find universally brilliant, it nonetheless knocked us for six — the beer equivalent of a classic ‘fruit cup’. (We have also found it good in bottles, but not as good as from the keg.)
Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer: Thornbridge Tzara
The most convincing Kölsch you’ll taste outside Cologne and, debates over style and stylistic sub-divisions aside, one of the best lager beers around. The most impressive thing about it is the malt character — solid enough to chew on. Not flashy but classy, and a real demonstration of brewing skill. (Here’s what we said back in February.)
Continue reading “Boak & Bailey’s Golden Pints 2014”