Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!
I could write a long blog post full of drivel about how this happened, and that happened and the other happened in 2012 for beer but I won’t because I reckon you’ll be figuring out what your first beer of New Year’s Eve is going to be. As am I. (As soon as I get back from watching the Panto in town with my Mummy Beer Beauty). But seriously 2012 has been a good year for beer on the whole. Here’s why I think it has been:
• More breweries open in Britain now than ever (1,000 or so)
• Pubs closing down at a slower rate – 18 a week on average now (but sadly they are still closing so keep supporting your local pub!!)
• 100,000+ people signed an e-petition to get a Commons debate urging the Government to review the Beer Duty Escalator which makes basically beer stoooopidly more expensive for us drinkers, when compared to our European friends (despite the fact the coalition aren’t going to review it until 2014 methinks, we got there) , I watched the 2 hour long debate offered my POV
• More collaboration brews – the Project Venus brewsters and my chum beer writer, Melissa Cole being pretty prolific on this score churning out some great beers too as well as launching a rather excellent book
• Sara Barton being the first woman to be awarded The Brewer of the Year award from the British Guild of Beer Writers; even more chuffed because the Chocolate Cyn beer was one of the first collabs she embarked on
• The fabulous Great British Beer Festival from where I brought you no less than 7 informative & slightly crazeballs videos from the UK’s biggest annual beer festival and visiting the superb Czech brewery, Budweiser Budvar
There were some personal achievements for me too:
- becoming a Beer Sommelier, accredited by The Beer Academy
- clocking more hours than ever on TV talking beer (BBC2’s Great British Food Revival with celeb chef Angela Harnett and plying Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield with beer on ITV1’s This Morning, they both loved all the beers BTW
- becoming Precious Blogger of The Year
- and hosting more events spreading the word about the beauty in beer (like showcasing some Badger Ales beer to the annual conference for the network of incredibly talented Mum (and Dad!) bloggers, BritMums and meeting a host of new friends along the way, You know who you are!
There were so many more highlights, I’m sure I forgot to mention (and which I’m sure you can nudge me in the side about. Wasn’t intentional, honest!). But remember I said this wasn’t going to be long and full of drivel, right??
My fave beer of the year? Apart from my lovely Destiny IPA collaboration beer that I brewed with Brains, it’s gotta be the juicy, mango-fruitilicious, hopped into orbit Baby-Faced Assassin by Roosters Brewing Co in Knaresborough, North Yorks. It was one of the speed tasting beers at the European Beer Bloggers Conference back in May up in Leeds. Quaffed at my local, The Bartons Arms, Green Devil IPA from Oakham Ales was a close second – this beer has similar qualities to the Roosters with Oakham’s characteristic punch you on the nose bitterness.
Most exciting brewery right now? Beavertown Brewery in Hackney – not just cos of the obvious Midlands connection and the cool peeps who run it: Logan, James and Hannah to name some of the mega-stars there. But because they make crazily delicious beers and serve them in the maddest rib shack ever, Dukes’ Joint. You just gotta go there!
Cheers to more fun with beer. Thanks to each and every one of you who’s read one of my blog posts this year, tweeted me, Facebook messaged me and watched one of my many You Tube videos.
What am I looking forward to in 2013 – hitting BritMums again this year with a bigger and better beer offering, going to the European Beer Bloggers Conference in Edinburgh, I’ve got my eyes heading to the CAMRA AGM, judging more beer competitions, visiting many more breweries and talking to the wonderful people who work there and make amazing beers for us all to drink, hopefully more telly (fingers crossed). And – now I’m a Beer Sommelier – hosting more beer dinners and events (I’m available for weddings, borthdays and bar mitsvahs!)
Plus I’ve got some exciting stuff up my sleeve planned for you on the blog for 2013, so stay tuned and lock on to all my updates. It’s gonna be lively!! Happy New Year!! Enjoy your celebrations tonight!!