There have been a lot of “Golden Pints” (best of 2011) blogs going around the internet lately. It is always interesting recap the year of beer, so I thought I’d chip in and do one as well...:
Best NZ Draught (Cask or Keg) Beer: Cassels and Sons Milk Stout. Deliciously smooth, sweet and creamy stout that reminds me that beer does not have to be extreme to have wow factor. Runner up: Speight’s Old Dark, February 22nd, at a country pub in Darfield after spending 5 hours getting out of earthquake stricken Christchurch. I have never needed a beer so badly and the Old Dark went down a treat.
Best NZ Bottled or Canned Beer: It’s been a long year with many, many beers but the one that immediately comes to mind is Epic Hop Zombie. Must be the best DIPA ever made in NZ.
Best Overseas Draught Beer: There has been very little overseas draught beer for me this year, the first one that comes to mind is Stone and Wood’s Pacific Ale. Another reminder that awesome beer does not have to be extreme.
Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer: Hmmm, many to choose from. Russian River Consecration perhaps. Mind blowing sourness.
Best experimental beer: As far as experimental beers go, there is no looking past Yeastie Boys Rex Attitude. I probably belong to the minority that neither loves or loathes it, but mad props for pulling it off!
Best Overall Beer: Cassels and Sons Milk Stout.
Best Pumpclip or Label: Don’t know, Don’t care. It took us 2 years to get some ourselves, they are alright…
Best NZ Brewery: I’ll toot our own horn and agree with the judges at the Brewers Guild of New Zealand Awards....
Best Overseas Brewery: Again, very hard to single out one brewery. Russian River is hard to beat though.
Best New Brewery: Liberty Brewing. Unbeatable homebrew passion turned (semi)pro.
Pub/Bar of the Year: Very hard to pick one, so I will pick one from each of the 3 major NZ cities: Pomeroy’s, Hashigo Zake and Galbraith’s.
Bottlestore of the Year: Regional Wines and Spirits. Still leading the market although there are many up and coming, passionate stores.
Supermarket of the Year: Blenheim New World. The local powerhouse in pushing good beer to the people and always itching to get new products on their shelves.
Best restaurant beer list: Joise Bones, Melbourne. One of the best food/beer experiences of the year. Can’t wait to go back and see if they are upholding the passion I saw during Good Beer Week in May.