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It’s the annual beer blogger awards! Thisis the best of my drinking from 2011 and it’s taken me weeks to put thistogether as the whole year has passed in a beery haze...

Best UK Draught Beer

Dark Star Tripel, aged a year, servedat the Beer Bloggers Conference. Just a stunning, beautiful beer. Dark Star’sSix Hop at the Planet Thanet beer festival takes second. Dark Star are doinggood things – Saison on keg is also a winner.

Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer

Fuller’s Vintage. Somewhere between2000 and 2002. Second place goes to Avery Brown Dredge, of course.

Best Overseas Draught Beer
Avery Maharajah IPA with Ithaca FlowerPower a close second. Pilsner Urquell gets an honourable mention because Ican’t help but love it and I’ve had a few great glasses of it in 2011.

Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer

For the moment: drinking a can of 21stAmendment Bitter American on the roof of a New York hotel looking over the stunningskyline.

Best Overall Beer

Avery Maharajah. We’d been drinking allday in New York. We stopped in Rattle n Hum and ordered four samples. Maharajahwas so good that Matt and I both ordered a pint of it, even though it was10.5%. I can still taste it now.

Best Pumpclip or Label

I’m obsessed with Oh Beautiful Beer tothe point that I lose hours a week looking on there. The world of beerpackaging can be sexy and exciting and really beautiful (as opposed tohorrific, as shown here). Some favourites are the 21st Amendment’scans, Uinta’s rebrand and Fullsteam.

Best UK Brewery

For innovation, quality and consistencyI’m going for two: Adnams and Fuller’s. For kicking off and kicking on it’sMagic Rock and Kernel. And for what I know is coming in 2012 and for what I’vespent most of the last four months drinking, it’s Camden Town.

Best Overseas Brewery

I don’t drink consistently from manyoverseas breweries, but I’ve always had good beer from Odell.

Pub/Bar of the Year

If I could go and drink anywhere rightnow then it’d be Barcade in Brooklyn or Bir & Fud in Rome. Closer to homethen I’m going for Craft Beer Co for all the times I’ve realised that if Idon’t leave immediately then I’ll miss the last train home (it’s happened fartoo often).

Beer Festival of the Year

The Snowdrop Inn’s festival in Leweswhich Mark Tranter from Dark Star chose the beers for.

Supermarket of the Year


Independent Retailer of the Year

The Bottle Shop in Canterbury – greatplace!

Online Retailer of the Year

I spent most money at myBreweryTap soit goes to them.

Best Beer Book or Magazine

Adrian Tierney-Jones’ Great BritishPubs is superb. Anyone drinking in London should definitely have Des de Moor’sbook which is also excellent. CAMRA’s BEER magazine is always a great read.

Best Beer Blog or Website

Oh Beautiful Beer for the website but alot of blogs have been great to read this year and the ones I never miss are Beer.Birra.Bier,The Good Stuff and Boak and Bailey.

Best Beer Twitterer

@Simonhjohnson. Just to see how muchhe’s drunk and where he’s drunk it. @caskcrusade is also a great read fromItaly (again to see how much he’s drunk or where he’s drinking it).

Best Online Brewery Presence

Adnams do a brilliant job all round.

Food and Beer Pairing of the Year

Pizzarium pizza and a bottle ofBrewfist’s Milk Chocolate Stout. An amazing, surprising pairing while sittingon a Rome backstreet with the most delicious pizza I’ve ever had. Second placegoes to Toccalmatto’s Stray Dog with pizza in Bir & Fud. Pizza and beer didwell this year.

In 2012 I’d most like to...

Start homebrewing (I now have a garageso I can!), travel more, write more things for print and drink in more pubs (Idon’t drink in enough different pubs).

In 2012 I’m most looking forward to...

Going to the World Beer Cup!

Best beer I’ve drunk in a brewery in 2011

Unfiltered Budvar Dark straight fromthe tank. Incredible.