Breweries of 2011 (as voted by Bloggers)

The deadline for Golden Pints nominations has passed and the Beer Monkey (Hannah) has gone through the painstaking task of compiling the results (thanks!). You can find them here. There aren't many surprises, though thought I'd take a closer look at breweries of the year. (NB only top placed breweries are mentioned)

Kernel 11 votes 
Magic Rock 7 votes 
Summer Wine 7 votes 
Buxton 3 votes 
Fullers 2 Votes 
Marble 2 Votes 
Hawkshead 2 votes 
Adnams 2 votes 
Thornbridge 1 vote 
Otley 1 Vote 
Red Willow 1 Vote 
Dark Star 1 Vote 
Grain Brewery 1 Vote 
Fyne Ales 1 Vote 

Its telling that the top four breweries are of the new breed of hop-forward brewers, with very few traditional breweries making the list at all, with the notable(and deserved) exceptions of Fuller's and Adnam's who have developed some interesting beers in recent years earning their place on the list. Kernel won British Guild of Beer Writers Brewer of the year this year and it seems that there will be no slow down in 2012. Promotion of beer via Twitter has seen both summer wine and magic rock reach a wider audience than perhaps they would have through traditional channels.  I've heard of all bar Grain brewery (now following) and with the exception of Red Willow tried a number of the beers. Plenty for 2012 still though!

I can't help but think there must be some excellent breweries that have slipped through the cracks. If you think there are others we should look out for then say so below!


  1. I had some stunning beers from Stuart Howe at The Draft House around May 2011 and maybe we should add a category for best brewer next year, as he probably deserves an enormous amount of credit for where the UK beer scene is at. This could also help with Gipsy #1, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø.

    Also - I favour big bold flavours so my awards are really what I like and probably not indicative of the whole UK beer industry. There's a propensity for the bigger gutsier beers to do well in these kinda polls in that a. they tend to be more memorable, and b. a hell of a lot of these award came from the craft beer side of the fence.

  2. Which I think is indicative as a whole of what beer bloggers prefer.

    Yes, a brewer of the year as voted by bloggers would be interesting.

  3. Good point Rick but would that not just lead to a similar result in terms of a brewer from Kernel, Magic Rock, SWB or whoever steps up to the exciting beer plate. Not that I'm against that in any way as it is still a great idea.

    Do either of you predict any of the more mainstream old school breweries taking note of these types of polls or general trends and starting to get their own piece of the action?

    As a side note, what about having a regional category for beer of the year etc, maybe help someone lesser established in getting noticed?

    I suppose the list could go on for ever ;)

    Cheers Phil

  4. its already happening, with both thwaites and brains bringibg out their own "craft" ranges this year!

    I'd like more bloggers to tell us about what's happening locally, definitely