That Was 2012: The Beers

008 (2)When I do this each year, casting my eye back over my notes and blogs, memories and episodes, I always do it with a smile on my face. There’s so much damn good beer out there. Of course, there was some indifferent, lacklustre, and downright bad beer too (from all kinds of brewers, too) , but not that much. Really. On average, I think we do quite well. Either that, or I don’t drink enough.

My list of beers that really put a smile on my face are below, but first, a couple of honourable mentions for beers that really knocked me for six. Brodie’s London Sour not only packed a hell of of a lot of flavour, taste and drinkability into a 3.8% package, but must be the only UK Berliner Weisse that I’ve tasted (if there’s more, please let me know). Considering the only over Berliner Weisse I’ve tasted is, well,  Berliner Kindl Weisse, that’s pretty unique. I can’t think of many other styles I’ve only drunk two examples of. Massive kudos has to go to Jamie, Lizzie and the crew at Brodies for not only having a go at this – but absolutely nailing it.

I’ve given Oakham praise on too many occasions now; their entire range is packed with great beer after great beer; from the zesty, summer vibes of Inferno, the innovative Citra (still the best Citra beer out there in my opinion – you won’t find one more quaffable and balanced) to the dark deliciousness of Hawse Buckler, the ace up their sleeve is simply to pack their beers with flavour. You can tell an Oakham beer a mile off; it’s full-bodied, generously hopped, yet eminently drinkable.

Green Devil IPA is a masterstroke; and a welcome addition to that family. I won’t repeat what I said on my recent post about it, but if you’ve not tried it yet, then you really are missing out on possibly the best (in my humble opinion, of course) IPA from these shores right now. And yes, that does include Kernel’s imperious output.

Well done those two. Here is my list of some of the beers that have truly stood out for me this year.

Wold Top Scarbrough Fair IPA * Marble/Emelisse Earl Grey IPA * Marble Saison * Marble/Fuller’s Old Manchester * The Brew Co Hop Ripper * Magic Rock Bourbon Barrel Bearded Lady * Summer Wine Maelstrom/Kopikat * Hop Studio XS * Wild Beer Co Modus Operandi * Thwaites Tavern Porter * Revolutions London Calling * Hardknott The English Experiment * BrewDog Dead Pony Club * Saltaire Empress IPA * Bristol Beer Factory Ultimate Stout * Quantum Bitter * Nottingham Brewery Extra Pale Ale * Hawkshead Drystone Stout * Wensleydale Coverdale Poacher * Stroud Tom Long * Sharp’s Quadrupel * St Peter’s Old Style Porter * Adnams Ghost Ship * Roosters/Odell The Accomplice * Nils Oscar Kalasol * Cerveza Tramuntana Rotja * Thornbridge Halcyon 2012 * BrewFist Spaceman IPA * Windsor & Eton Windsor Knot * Beavertown Smog Rocket Smoked Porter * Mallinsons Sorachi Ace *Chapel Down Curious Brew * Crouch Vale Yakima * Five Towns Dunkel * Brodie’s Kiwi * Flying Dog In De Wildeman Farmhouse IPA * Williams Bros Double Joker IPA * Harvey’s Best * Fuller’s Past Masters Burton Ale *

And many, many others, I’m sure….

Ones to watch? The beers of Wild Beer Co have been excellent each time I’ve tried them, and I think that Hop Studio’s cask offerings are getting more consistent, too. I know I feature them a lot on here, but I’m looking forward to seeing what Tom and Ol Fozard do with Outlaw in 2013, as well.

Here’s to 2013!


About leighgoodstuff

Blog: 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.

Posted on 16/12/2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. London Sour was an absolute triumph – I regret not trying more of the fruited versions. The Kernel have apparently just done a Berliner Weisse also called London Sour, currently available at the brewery, I believe. Buxton’s Berliner Weisse has been conditioning for months, I hear.

  2. John Clarke

    I have to say the Wild Beer Co beers have left me completely underwhelmed. In fact a few of us were discussing these at Port Street Beer House the other day and were all of a similar opinion that we have bit of an Emperor’s New Clothes thing going on here. Of the three I have tried Modus Operandi was dull as a dull thing (was shared with knowledgable beery friends at IMBC and we all agreed on this), Scarlet Fever was OK but nothing special while Fresh was just unpleasant. Way to go yet I think.

    • Morning John – I get your point – that you didn’t enjoy WBC’s beers – but ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ is a bit much, isn’t it? Nothing wrong by saying you don’t like them, but to use that phrase is a little disrespectful to both the brewer and those who have enjoyed them? I’ve enjoyed thier beers (or they would not be here), and find their take on brewing (ie barrel-aging, doing stuff a little differently) refreshing. It’s nice to see a startup begin life with something other than ‘pale and hoppy’. But taste is subjective, of course.

      • John Clarke

        The phrase wasn’t mine but I’m not apologiisng for it either. If you have liked them for what they are (and I don’t doubt that for one minute) then that’s down you your personal taste. All I can say is that many people I have spoken to about them (and all pretty beer savvy) think they are nothing to write home about. So, when or two people start saying how fantastic they are, well you do have to wonder at times – after all (and I’m certainly not accusing you of this) there are a fair few “dedicated followers of fashion” in the beer blogosphere.

        I agree it’s refreshing to see a start up do somehting different. But – if you do that then you need to do it really well and to me WBC have yet to deliver anything remarkable. I believe there are more beers of theirs around or in the pipeline so I’ll be giving them a go. Hopefully they don’t prove to be too niche for their own good.

      • Morning John – ok, that’s a little more balanced! I do understand your point – and you can see from other comments that you’re certainly not alone in your thoughts! Looks like I may have struck lucky! Seriously, it’s just the term that I can’t stand.

  3. I’ve not been impressed with the wild beer co beers either, most specifically the one in the york tap that tasted of blue cheese so ended up going back…first time in a long time i’ve had to do that.

  4. Have to say I agree with John re: Wild Beer. Definitely underwhelming. Still, early days..?

  5. Great list, Leigh. Now I’ve got tons of new beers to look out for. The best beer I had this year was at Harpoon’s location in Windsor, VT: their Catamount Maple Wheat. If you’re ever in Vermont… (

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