Best of Best of 2011

I’ve had this blog for about a week and change so I don’t really feel up to doing a full-blown “Best of 2011” post despite the genre demands of the season. Luckily, every other beer blogger and their auntie are doing it so I can just steal link to the ones I like! So here are the Best of Best of 2011, as presented by others more knowledgeable than me (and better writers, too!):

Ace London beer bar Euston Tap recently named their “Champion Beers of 2011”, which is naturally the only best-of-2011-list we Londoners care about. However, they did it on Twitter and so far the results have not been posted on the Euston Tap blog, so in case you are not a compulsive Twitter follower like me, you may well have missed this essential best of-list. These were the winners:

Top three bottled beers of 2011: (3) Cantillon Kriek, (2) Uinta Detour Double IPA, and (1) Kernel Imperial Brown Stout.

Top three kegged beers of 2011: (3) Thornbridge Halcyon, (2) Thornbridge VersaWeisse, (1) Magic Rock High Wire.

Top three cask beers of 2011: (3) Redemption Fellowship Porter, (2) Bristol Beer Factory Acer, (1) Thornbridge Raven Black IPA Dry Hopped Edition (the latter prize was considered ‘the most prestigious’).

Most consistent brewery of the year: Thornbridge.

Most innovative brewery of the year: Magic Rock.

And there you have it, folks. The Euston Tap team sees a lot of different beers flow through their bar so they are well-placed to judge the best of 2011. As a London beer blogger, I’m of course happy to see Kernel top the bottle list (I couldn’t agree more – the Imperial Brown Stout is an outstanding beer and both batches I’ve had have been  wonderful) and that Redemption placed well in the cask beer category (now I just have to taste some Redemption offerings), and as a beer drinker, I would wholeheartedly agree that Thornbridge is a consistently excellent brewery and that Magic Rock are the innovative newcomer of 2011.

As I said, this is really the only best-of-2011-list you need, but in case you’re interested, I’ve found some other lists that may be of interest to fellow beer geeks. Here are some links to other Best of 2011 posts from around the beer blogosphere, with brief comments.

  • The aletalk forum has hosted a year-long competition to find Britain’s Best Beers of 2011, and here are the results. London makes a good showing thanks to Kernel, who won Best bottled beer with their Black IPA (a damn good beer!).
  • The annual UK Beer Blogger Awards, the 2011 Golden Pints, are not quite here yet, but here, here, here and here you can read the nominations from some other good beer bloggers (many, many more are contributing nominations – this is just a highly selective and subjective list). Kernel features prominently on most lists, as you can see, which of course makes me very happy. London Beer Blog hopes that next year one or two other London breweries will also make their way to the top!
  • Musings On a Year of Craft Beer from Julia Herz at CraftBeer.com. Wholly focused on the US craft beer scene but if you want a solid overview of major trends and debates in the biggest craft beer market in the world, this is your stop.
  • Click past the ad and see which beers the lad mag of lad mags Esquire has down as the top 7 brews of 2011.
  • OK, so this is not actually the fifty best beers of 2011, more like the fifty best beers ever, but it’s still a pretty good list, even if it has some surprising choices. It’s much less US-centric than the two previous ones, too.
  • Wine drinkers also like beer. This is the top 25 beers of 2011 as chosen by Wine Enthusiast magazine, downloadable as a pdf file.

Happy New Beer, everyone! Sorry, but it was the obvious joke and I couldn’t resist. But jokes aside, folks – I also have a question for you. What’s the last beer you are drinking in 2011? Let London Beer Blog know!

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Posted on December 31, 2011, in Feature and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Right now it looks like my last beer of 2011 is the Kernel Brewery Amber Ale Cascade/Perle (ABV 4.9) I had yesterday, as today we are going to a New Year’s Eve party with wine only…

  2. I’m in charge of the “bring strange beer”-activity at the event I’m attending so it’ll be one of Mikkeller Black, Dark Horizon, or Red Horizon.

  3. It looks like the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale I had more than one hour ago will be the last this year. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll have another blue Chimay.

  4. All of these sound like totally respectable beers to end the year with… Too bad my bottle of Mikkeller Nelson Sauvignon will not arrive until next week.

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