Ireland

Irish Golden Pints 2015

This is the first time I’ve nominated beers for the Golden Pints awards and I was initially torn between doing a UK list or Ireland list, then quickly realised I’ve had a lot more Irish beer this year than ones from England, Scotland or Wales.  So that’s sorted then.  Also please remember when reading this that it’s what I think.  You probably won’t agree with a lot here but that’s ok – next time you see me you can buy me a beer and we’ll talk about it like reasoned adults.

Best Irish Cask Beer – Farmageddon Mosaic IPA

Cask is a rarity in Ireland, north and south.  The best tasting cask beer I experienced this year was at the Belfast Beer and Cider Festival in November and goes to Farmageddon’s Mosaic IPA.  A cracker of a beer, fresh, crisp, fruity and one of the few beers I tried more than thrice, ahem.

Best Irish Keg Beer –  O Brother Brewing Brutus

My winner by a long way.  I fell in love with it at the Irish Craft Beer Festival in Dublin’s RDS in August and I still love it.  Very much.  Also shout outs to The White Hag’s Black Boar and 8 Degrees for their new Belgian stout, Signal.


Best Irish Bottled/Canned Beer – Galway Bay 200 Fathoms  

A Teeling Whiskey barrel aged imperial stout is right up my street.  Their chocolate milk stout Buried At Sea is also high up the list as is O’Haras Leann Folláin.

Best Overseas Draught – Brewdog IPA is Dead Citra
I’ll class overseas as mainland GB in this list and first place goes go the juggernaut that is Brewdog, had in their self-named bar in Liverpool.  Titanic’s Plum Porter and Fallen Brewing’s Platform C are crackers too.
Best Overseas Bottle Beer – Williams Bros Froach 22

Loch Ness’ 10%abv Double Cask Prince is fantastically smooth but it is pipped to the top spot by the 11%abv Williams Bros Froach 22, a heather ale matured in ex-sherry casks which were previously used to mature Auchentoshan single malt (it just sounds good!)

 

 
Best Overseas Canned Beer – Beavertown Gamma Ray

The two top spots here go to Beavertown from that there London town with the American pale ale Gamma Ray coming 1st.  Also look out for their stunning triple IPA Power of the Voodoo, it’s a beezer.
Best Collaboration – Galway Bay Goodbye Blue Monday

Another winner for Galway Bay. Brewed in collab with Begyle Brewing from Chicago, it’s a hoppy oatmeal IPA.

 
Best Overall Beer – Galway Bay 200 Fathoms

I’ve been dreading this category…but had to narrow it down to about 5.  And then 3.

And then finally 200 Fathoms.  Maybe absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that guff but it pains me to have had it only once this year – I miss you 200F.
 


Best Branding – 8 Degrees

Respect is paid to Northern Ireland’s two new publicly owned co-ops, Lacada and Boundary for having something different but the boys at 8 Degrees take the crown.

Best Pumpclip – O Brother’s Brutus.

Loved it.

 

Best Label – Red Hand Pale Ale

Small brewer Red Hand pale ale from Co Tyrone – a child’s hand.  So simple.

 

Best Brewery – Galway Bay

Another one for the GB massive.  Although 8 Degrees and O Brother did run them close.

Best Overseas Brewery – Beavertown

Hmmm… Loch Ness, Isle of Skye and Brewdog are right up there but again it goes daaaaan saaaaf to that Landan taaaan brewery Beavertown.

Pub of the Year – Kiwi’s Brew Bar, Portrush

I thought I’d venture out of a city and award this to a cracking wee bar with a really good range of bottles in a town not overly known for its craft beer selection. Plus it shows football on tv. Well done Kris and the team.

 
New Pub of the Year for 2015 – The Woodworkers, Belfast.  

Although it opened in December 2014, it’s a winner here. Regular meet the brewer events, great rotating taps and a fantastic food selection to boot!

 
Best Festival – Irish Craft Beer Festival

Despite being involved in the Belfast Beer and Cider Festival my favourite festival of the year was the ICBF in the RDS in Dublin last August.  So many brewers selling their Irish beer, so many great food stalls out the back with ample seating and a good DJ doing his thang..

Supermarket of the Year – None

A lot of them are still quite rubbish so I’ll pass on this until (some chance) they reach somewhere near the level of independents.
Independent Retailer of the Year – The Lighthouse

Within 10 miles of Belfast, it’s this fantastic place in Whiteabbey. Also great to see others like The Vineyard, Gap Wines, Lavery’s, Wineworks and Neill Wines have a wide ranging selection too.
Online Retailer of the Year – www.drinkstore.ie

I’ve used a few but the winner is Drinkstore, primarily for their discount policy!

Best Beer Blog or Website – http://thebeernut.blogspot.co.uk

Always informative.

Simon Johnson Award for Best Beer Twitterer

@thebeernut for his dry wit or @twattybeer (Twatty Beer Doodles)
Best Brewery Website/Social Media – ……

Anyone who doesn’t retweet 50 fecking times a day.

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4 thoughts on “Irish Golden Pints 2015

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