NewWave Tim - Golden Pints 2016
Tim manages all our accounts in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and those in-between. He likes cricket and wear salmon trousers. His views are not endorsed by the company, only published and then circulated on social media, so we can see how that may seem like a contradiction.
1 Best UK Cask Beer
I’ve had a few stunning pints of Siren Undercurrent this year, which is still their best beer (Siren might not agree). Wild Beer Bibble I reckon - such flavour, much body, very refreshing. One more please. Wish I’d drunk enough Salopian to give it to them, but its always sold before I get to it (and I know exactly where it goes!)
2 Best UK Keg Beer
Currently having an ethereal experience with Cloudwater IPA Mosaic Exp 431. Its stunning, as many IPAs from The Kernel, Brew By Numbers and others have been this year. But for me, there was something really special about Moor Envy. Seriously. A UK hopped, fresh-hop pale with floor-malted barley. Kinda beautiful in its simplicity. The whole room of serious beer nerds at a tasting just went quiet in appreciation. The JJJ was a big pot of jam I’d like to bathe in though.
3 Best UK Bottled Beer
Tempest Bomber IPA. I was previously in an employment situation where Tempest were direct competition, but life is a lot bloody easier now I get to sell their beer in Scotland. Blowing (almost) anyone else in South East Scotland out the wort.
4 Best UK Canned Beer
I’ve consumed an unholy amount of High Wire Grapefruit as ever, and Gamma Ray is my go-to shower beer (should be a separate category), but it HAS to be Lupuloid right?
5 Best Overseas Draught
Had the absolute privilege of Zwanze day at Six Degrees North this year, and my word anything that was on deserves to win this. But, they wouldn’t give into my drunken requests for cheese way after closing so it goes to Dry & Bitter Dank & Juicy.
6 Best Overseas Bottled Beer
I have a long list of worst overseas bottled beers, as some imports are starting to look seriously sub-par in the face of the amazing UK beer scene this year. The vertical tasting of Cantillon Gueze at Zwanze probably. Don’t ask which year.
7 Best Overseas Canned Beer
Schoferhoffer Grapefruit Hefeweizen Mix. Shut up.
8 Best Collaboration Brew
I would like to qualify this by saying a lot of collaborations have left me sad this year. Sad and disappointed. This is probably an exaggeration. Northern Monk/De Molen Malt was outrageously stunning - the golden syrup worked so well.
9 Best Overall Beer
I mean, its Thornbridge Lukas. But for the sake of difference, I would like to give it to Redchurch Cold Brew coffee bean sour for being completely unlike anything else.
10 Best Branding
We get to see both sides of branding (or in three dimensions really) - how we, the industry trolls respond to it, how our customers respond to it and how the public do (plus the jibes of fellow brewers I guess). All in all, aside from the obvious stunners like Magic Rock, Beavertown & The Kernel, I’m going to throw this bone to Wiper & True, cos its just so damn pretty.
11 Best Pump Clip
I hate badges.
12 Best Bottle Label
Tiny Rebel In & Around The Mouth. If you don’t know why then you shouldn’t be reading this and don’t follow my twitter.
13 Best UK Brewery
Magic Rock. Everything they make makes me so happy and my long-term love for them burns strong. Moor come in a very close second, but everything I get the pleasure to work with is just so tasty.
14 Best Overseas Brewery
Probably Dry & Bitter, as a second half 2016 entry. Rodenbach get a nod. I’ve always got a special place reserved in my liver for To Ol, but didn’t drink enough of their beer this year - especially their ground-breaking dry hopped sours.
15 Best New Brewery Opening 2016
Fierce Beer. Super impressed and amazed at how much traction they have gained with their wacky beers. Really shows that A) quality means absolutely everything. Their beers taste of what they’re meant to, and we haven’t had any complaints. For a new producer, that is amazing. B) there is still just about room in the UK market if you’re going to do something interesting, honest, and stick to your guns.
16 Pub/Bar of the Year
Picture the scene. At the end of a gruelling four days at one of the UK’s most intense and boozy beer festivals, a group of intrepid Scottish reps and brewery staff tracked across the East End of London (bit run down but weirdly expensive now, right?) in search of some good beer they hadn’t been mainlining into their veins for 72 hours. On a Sunday, they staggered into a council estate. The walk had been long, and doubts crept in. Was there such an establishment nearby? Out of nowhere, The Kings Arms in Bethnal Green appears. And, it was empty. And, there were 8 taps of Rodenbach on. “Kitchen open pal?” “Yeh mate.” Bliss.
17 Best New Pub/Bar Opening 2016
I’ve spent a lot of time annoying the staff at Salt Horse. Its nice, and they’re nice. ^ Degrees Edinburgh have done a fantastic job with a potentially awkward unit, but I’m gonna send this to Bryant & Mack, a wee speakeasy cocktail joint off Rose St that could have been a parody of itself if it wasn’t run by such great guys.
18 Beer Festival of the Year
Craft Beer Calling at Wylam. I did IndyMan, but I need to spend more than 1 session there next year. CBC was the best atmosphere by miles. Its possible but unlikely it wasn’t great for punters, but I got to re-live my bartending days and dance the night away to Dave Stone’s Worst DJ Set of the 21st Century.
19 Supermarket of the Year
Does Tebay count as a supermarket? If not, then Booths win. I usually take chat from the North of England with a pinch of salt (i.e what my family says), but Booths is off the chain. I shop at independents though, Scotland is blessed with them.
20 Independent Retailer of the Year
Cornelius. But massive shout outs to all the independents this year. Supermarkets went all in aggressively at the craft beer market in 2016, and the superb independents stand strong. I hope breweries continue to support them.
21 Online Retailer of the Year
Nope. My BeerHawk advent calendar was about 30% average muck. Buy local - that extra pair of hands is feeding an extra pair of employees.
22 Best Beer Book or Magazine
Beer & Food by Mark Dredge. Not a new release, but still my bible.
23 Best Beer Blog or Website
Boak & Bailey bring levity and entertainment. I still think absolutely everyone in the industry should read Martyn Cornell’s zythophile.co.uk
24 Simon Johnson Award for Best Beer Twitterer
@pilotbeeruk killed it in the last few weeks of 2016 just enough to retain their crown, but special mention goes to @NewWaveFella as a corporate troll account.
25 Best Brewery Website/Social media
I mean, we’re all just telling lies to sell beer.
Disclaimer - almost everything on here is something that I get to sell now, because I’m really fortunate to now work for, and in, the best industry in the world. I mean, have you seen our portfolio? Behave.
The UK beer scene still has a lot to get right, especially in Scotland, but we’re all having a nice time most of the time. P.S don't tell Chris I said this, he’ll make me work for fun and drip-tray dregs again. Also apologies to anywhere in Glasgow/Newcastle/North of the wall but I don’t drink there much.