Our #GoldenPints 2016

Wow, what a year for beer. Choosing our favourite beers of 2016 was such a hard exercise (made harder for some of us as we got really lazy on checking into beers on Untappd so have had to use the fading powers of memory). We've opted, in the most part, for beers we've stocked in the shop, but occasionally a truly exceptional beer from our travels has sneaked in.

Anyway, drum roll please, as we award our 2016 #GoldenPints. (TL;DR? Scroll down to the bottom  to see our ultimate winners, and feel free to take a trip down memory lane and see what we chose last year...

Favourite UK canned beer

Glenn says: "Shredder was most definitely a case of the right beer at the right time - first enjoyed during a 30-degree day at Magic Rock's tap room in Huddersfield, it was great to be able to relive that golden moment when it came out in cans shortly after. Mind you, Marble's Black Sunshine was pretty bloody exceptional too."

Favourite UK bottled beer

Cat says: "I bought more of this than anything else this year. My beer of the summer that was tasting just as great at Christmas time."

Favourite keg beer on flagon-fill

  • Marble Earl Grey IPA (Glenn)
  • Salopian Bulletproof IPA (Jen)
  • Beavertown Space Phantom (Jonny)
  • Tiny Rebel Clwb Tropicana IPA (Cat)
  • Tiny Rebel Stay Puft Marshmallow Porter (Laura)

Laura says: "Our bottle stock ran out within days - it was the most requested beer in HB&B history - so it was great to get this back on flagon-fill. Another really impressive release from Tiny Rebel, this was comfort in a glass."

Favourite international canned beer

Jonny says: "I had to be physically prevented from buying up all the stock of Westbrook's Key Lime Gose, or there would have been none left for customers. Super-hard to get hold of in the US, American visitors were always surprised (and delighted) to see this on our shelves. Such a great beer."

Favourite international bottled beer

  • Stigbergets Amazing Haze (Jen/Jonny)
  • Brekeriet Sour White (Laura)
  • Stillwater Mono (Lewis)
  • McLeod's Northland Summer Chili Pilsner (Glenn)
  • 8 Wired Hippy Berliner (Cat)

Cat says: "Originally available in 500ml bottles, this is a very accessible sour, perfect for sharing - except I'd usually drank it all myself. Now in 330ml bottles, I no longer have to feel guilty about not sharing - it's still my go-to sour." 

Favourite collaboration beer

Jen says: "OK, so I'm completely biased given that we helped make this beer, but we were so damn happy with the result that I couldn't not choose it. We've loved seeing Andy realise his dream and get so many awards and accolades along the way, it's been great to have been a part of it."

Favourite UK brewery

Glenn says: "Since head brewer JK took the helm, nothing but goodness has come forth from this Manchester stalwart. Smashing it in cans - Earl Grey IPA and Black Sunshine, to name two favourites - and killing it on the barrel-aged front too (Sister Agnes morello cherry old ale being a case in point), we've been insanely impressed with pretty much everything this year. A hugely deserving winner who probably don't get anywhere near the glory they deserve."

Favourite international brewery

Jen says: "Holy heck, where the hell did these guys spring from? Brewing since 2012, this Gotenburg brewery burst on to the UK scene with one solitary shipment that left everyone wanting more. We stocked three of their beers - Amazing Haze, GBG Beer Week and West Coast IPA - and can quite honestly say we've never seen beers cause such a reaction. Please sir, can we have some more?"

Favourite new brewery

Laura says: "Pulp is one of the best DIPAs I've had this year but the whole range is great - the sessionable Light Bulb, the incredible New England IPA Even Sharks Need Water... Great work, guys!"

Our friends at Marble take home our brewery of the year - hurrah! - and beer of the year (after fierce debate) goes to Stigbergets Amazing Haze. We love you all! Let's do it again this time next year.