Med prisen for Årets Udenlandske Bryggeri 2016 skydes Danish Beer Blogger Awards i dag i gang. Det er en pris med rigtig mange kandidater, men det kræver jo trods alt et bryggeri der har gjort særligt indtryk på mig. Ølrejserne gik i år til Bruxelles og Prag, så mere end én gang vil man i denne uge kunne læse at det er en tæt kamp mellem en belgisk og en tjekkisk kandidat.
Sidste års vinder Hill Farmstead har jeg smagt for lidt af i år, begrænset til et par timer med tap takeover på Warpigs. Londonbryggeriet The Kernel imponerede i flere omgange med deres enormt friske, lette pale ales. Først på Moeder Lambic i Bruxelles, siden på CBC, hvor de serverede det absolut mest drikkevenlige øl på festivalen. I sommers købte jeg en kasse engelske øl hjem fra Ales by Mail, hvor der desværre ikke var så meget Kernel at vælge imellem, men stadig en enkelt stjernestund. Jeg synes bare at det kræver et besøg i London med en tur til bryggeriet lørdag formiddag før jeg kan vælge Kernel som Årets Bryggeri.
Danish Beer Blog Awards er en lille uformel ting hvor de danske ølbloggere gør status over året der er gået og kårer det bedste fra året. Vi begyndte på det sidste år, og det var en stor succes som blev læst af mange og gav os bloggere lidt velfortjent opmærksomhed. Nu nærmer vi os tiden hvor vi tager fat igen og kårer det bedste fra 2016.
Der er ingen samlet kåring og uddeles hverken statuetter, diplomer eller store pengebeløb i forbindelse med Danish Beer Blog Awards. Det foregår ganske enkelt ved at de deltagende bloggere skriver et indlæg om deres personlige favorit til titlen. Alle indlæg i hver kategori postes den samme dag, så man kan læse på tværs af de deltagende blogs og sammenligne.
Beer experience of the year 2015 is the last award to give out this week in the end of year series from the Danish beer bloggers. It could have been one of numerous beer festivals and other beer events, but to me it’s just one particular beer drinking experience at home that stands out in my memory.
I’m rating beer on Ratebeer, and we’re a few people here in Odense who regularly get together and share a bunch of beers. Sometimes they’re as good as we expected, and other times they are a little disappointing. And then, every now and then, a beer stands out as sublime, far beyond what we could have expected. One cold, dark afternoon in early November, we had not one, but two of those, and I’m pretty sure that all three of us agreed that it was extraordinary.
It’s time to celebrate the New Beer of the Year 2015. Officially, what we’re doing is the best new Danish beer, but that doesn’t matter since my two top beers of the year are both brewed in Denmark. They are in fact very closely related, and I love them for the same reason. They are: Amager Batch 1000, and Amager/Oppigårds Building Bridges. Amager Bryghus got a lot of love when the Danish beer bloggers named the Danish Brewery of the Year, and now it’s my turn to show my love.
I like my IPAs dry and hoppy, and Amager Bryghus have perfected their beers to match my tastebuds. When you look at the top IPAs at Ratebeer there are quite a few that I would call too sweet and not bitter enough, and although these beers are bursting with amazing hop aroma, I also want my throat tickled with bitterness when I drink an IPA.
Today we’re naming the non-Danish brewery of the year, or International brewery of the year 2015. This category gives me thousands of breweries to choose from, but of course I managed to find one that stands out for 2015 in particular, not just for brewing consistently great beer.
Shaun Hill and Hill Farmstead Brewery has won pretty much every award there is, and now he can add Beertalk Brewery of the Year to the collection. One of the highlights of the year was a Saturday in May. My friend Martin had traded some beers and received absolutely fresh Hill Farmstead pale ales and saisons, among a few other fine, hoppy American beers.
For the category New Brewery of the Year 2015, most of the other Danish bloggers have looked at new Danish breweries, but I have looked a tiny little bit abroad to some nice people from Sweden. I could have tried to decide between Howling Monkey and Dry & Bitter, but in the end, I just have to give this one to Brewski from Helsingborg, just about as close to Denmark as you can be when you’re in Sweden.
The Swedes (who actually opened the brewery very late in 2014), haven’t just started a brewery and impressed me with their good beer. They have more or less added a new beer style to the Scandinavian beer scene. I had read about Berliner Weisse with tropical fruit made in Florida, and I have had a few fruited versions of Northern German sour beers from Freigeist, but I wasn’t convinced yet.
Picking the Danish Brewery of the Year 2015 turned out to be a somewhat difficult task. There are many candidates, and no clear stand-out. In the end, I went with my personal beer drinking experience in the past year.
The Danish Beer Blog Awards is much less pompous than it sounds. It’s simply a matter of Danish beer bloggers agreeing that in this week we will write about what was great in the past year. Five different categories in the next five days. I’ll be linking the other blogs participating on beertalk’s Facebook page as they are published.