>2009 Review

>Well, it’s that time of year when I cast my mind back to what we’ve tasted, seen, and cried our way through in 2009.

My Blog of the Year spot goes to Thornbridge’s brewer’s blog. I like the simple design; the articles are always interesting and present a nice mix of brewing inside-knowledge, know-how, and personal experience. As a budding microbrewer myself, this aspect really interests me – I’ve really enjoyed following thier exploits in brewing and running a growing business throughout the year. For me, Kelly and the gang are always happy to share their experiences, which is again sometimes lacking in the brewer/blogger relationship. Blogging should be embraced by brewers – we are, after all, the beer drinkers that take time to shout from the rooftops our love of their product. And I do love Thornbridge’s beers – to me, they represent a vibrant, young, questing set of brewers who represent this country at the highest level. British Brewing dull? Not these guys. So well done, Thornbridge, and I look forward to drinking in 2010 with you – mine’s a pint of Kipling.

Other honourable mentions go to the ever-excellent Boak & Bailey, Zak Avery’s YouTube Vlogs (still effortlessly head and shoulders above the rest – and apologies for not making the TNP tasting – I was busy failing my driving test) and The Beer Nut, which is consistently engaging and honest.
My Beer Venue of the Year award goes to Pivo, a great beer bar in the middle of York. I’ve always said that York is a real hotbed of great, solid English pubs and beer – and having a little slice of international craft beer on the scene ices the cake, really. It’s very small, but perfectly formed. I’m going to find it hard to visit York without dropping in from now on.
Kudos to Leeds Brewery for opening The Brewery Tap, which brews its own Leodis Lager on site. I’m not massively enamoured of the beer, but I like the idea. What about a Koelsch for the summer, guys?

Beer of the Year – always a tricky one. This year I’m copping out with a tied #1 spot for Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch – which managed to be the hoppiest beer I think I’ll ever drink and yet retain excellent balance – and Nogne-O’s IPA – another masterclass in balance between hops and body. Thanks for the memories, guys.
Also memorable were Dark Horse’s Hetton Pale, Orkney’s Red Macgregor, Dogfish Head’s Johnny Cask, Taddington’s Moravka, Sleeman’s IPA, Stone’s Levitation Ale ,Meantime’s London Pale and Young’s Special London Ale, which I am finding is taking my addiction to one type of beer to a whole new level. Wonderful beers, them all.

Beer Event of the Year goes, without a doubt, to Flying Dog’s tasting, which happened at The Cross Keys in September. The full post is here but it made such a nice change to go a well run event, with great hosting by James Brophy, and meet so many great people who are passionate about beer. Thanks again to all involved. North’s Orval & Cheese day was random-yet-inspired, and The Barge and The Owl in Rodley ran their annual beer & music festival to even greater numbers than last year, proving that the appetite for family-oriented community beer events is still there. Well done, lads.

Next Year? Well, more of the same I hope. I’m getting married in September, and my honeymoon will take in Milan, Florence, Venice and Verona – so I’m hoping to finally fill that black hole I have in my knowledge about Italian Craft beer. If anyone has any pointers for me, drop me an email. Can’t wait.

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About leighgoodstuff

Blog: https://goodfoodgoodbeer.wordpress.com/ I'm Leigh Linley; born and bred in Leeds, and writing about it since 2005. TGS exists solely to highlight the great beers that are out there; brewed with passion by Craft Brewers around the World. I also edit the 'Tavern Tales' section of Culture Vulture, which looks at Pubs and Pub Life rather than the beer in the glass. If you'd like to submit a piece for Tavern Tales, or contact me about any Freelance writing you think I would be suited to, then don't hesitate to contact me via email here.

Posted on 16/12/2009, in 2009 round-up, Beer Review, beers of the world, Dark Horse Hetton Pale Ale, flying dog, Nogne O, North Bar, Pivo, thornbridge brewery. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. >Went to Pivo yesterday and it was excellent, can't see any obvious faults at all. I'm not a huge fan of Brewery Tap but PIN is good and Leeds Brewery have had a great year.Flying Dog event in Leeds was excellent but I'd have to say that Tactical Nuclear Penguin Tasting and the bloggers ramble around London were my personal event highlights.Wish I'd got to Rodley, sounds good. Keighley Valley makes an interesting beer festival in the setting of the train museum at Oxenhope.Haven't got any Italian craft brewing knowledge I'm afraid but enjoy Italy and getting married!

  2. >Thanks mate, I'm honoured by your honorable mention.The only restaurant in Venice I found with craft beer is Vini de Gigio. But my wife wouldn't let me order any. Hope you marriage gets off to a better start than that.

  3. >BN – thanks mate – will check it out. Hope things got better! (I have a feeling they did!) Mark – yep, The Tap is one more interesting diversion in Leeds. But the only one with a lager brewery upstairs…

  4. >Cheers for letting us know you like the blog! Hopefully will get a bit more time in the new year and update it more regularly… agree with you that there is definitely a gap between the technical aspect of brewing and it's accessibility to people who are interested in beer. Hopefully will keep trying to close it!Cheers and beers,Kelly

  5. >Good stuff, i'm glad to see im not the only fan of hetton pale ale, i gave it my uk draft of the year in our recent golden pint awards.i was in Pivo with Mark – had some great beer and free wifi ;o)hope you will make it to the beer blogger meet up in Jan.

  6. >Andy – what's going on in Jan? Send me an invite and I'll happily share a pint. On balance, I think the Hetton Pale was one of the most enjoyable draughts of the year. Kelly – thanks mate – keep up the good work. Velky – Cheers – much appreciated.

  7. >Ah…was going to the Winter Beers Festival that day!

  8. >Thanks, Leigh. The odd pat on the back is very good for our morale and motivation, and much appreciated.

  9. >It's a pleasure, Bailey.

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