Friday, June 22, 2007

THE MID-2007 HEDONIST BEER JIVE AWARDS

It’s been over 15 months since this site was launched, and through that time we’ve shared a great many stories, learnings and even some tears together. I wouldn’t trade my experiences with you during this magical time for all the beer in China! But one thing we haven’t done yet is hand out any hardware. So let’s get cracking, and announce the 2007 HBJ award winners!

BEST CRAFT BEER: Moylan’s Hopsickle
WORST CRAFT BEER: Aventinus Weizen Eisbock
MOST UNDERRATED BEER: Anderson Valley Boont Amber
MOST OVERRATED BEER: Stone Brewing Oaked Arrogant Bastard
BEST BEER BAR(S): Toronado (San Francisco, CA) and The Ginger Man (New York City)
MOST UNDERRATED BEER STYLE: American Amber
MOST OVERRATED BEER STYLE: Anything “oak- or barrel-aged”
BEST BELGIAN BEER: Trappistes Rochefort 8
WORST BELGIAN BEER: Poperings Hommel Ale
BEST BEER BLOG WITH ACTUAL VIDEOS OF BEER BEING POURED: Lagerheads
BEST BEER BLOG WITHOUT VIDEOS: Hair Of The Dog Dave
BEST BEER PODCAST: Pacific Brew News
BEST GLOSSY BEER MAGAZINE: Beer Advocate
BEST OFFLINE BEER RESOURCE - Regional freebie beer magazines - Ale Street News, The Celebrator, Northwest Brewing News, etc.
BEST ONLINE BEER RESOURCE: Beer Advocate
BEST US BREWERY: Russian River Brewing
RUNNERS-UP FOR BEST US BREWERY: Lost Abbey/Port Brewing; Moylan’s; Founders; Moonlight; Avery
BEST CALIFORNIA BREWERY: Russian River Brewing
BEST SAN FRANCISCO BREWERY: 21st Amendment
MOST OVERRATED BREWERY: Hair Of The Dog Brewing
MOST INSPIRING BEER CELEBRITY: Brian Hunt, Moonlight Brewing
BEST BEER RANTER: Dan Shelton, Shelton Brothers Distribution
BEST BEER DORK TREND: Illicit beer trading under the nose of The Man
WORST BEER DORK TREND: Raining underserved praise on beers with 10%+ ABV

19 comments:

Kyle said...

I'm with you on the nod to "American Amber" style.

On the beer trading front; someone told me they thought that it was no longer illegal to send beer in the mail. They thought wine industry lobbyists had gotten this changed. Is he full of it?

Jay said...

Kyle, I think it's the difference between "illegal" and "illicit". I know that if you tell FedEx, UPS etc. that you're shipping full beers, they won't ship it for you. Hence, "glassware" is my preferred description of the contents. But I don't think the whole thing is illegal......not sure.

Jeff Bearer said...

Rick Sellers, you SOB! I'm going to have to turn the show up to eleven for next years awards.

BEST CRAFT BEER: Moylan’s Hopsickle is a top 5 for this year. Best is too hard to pick, how about Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold for best classic style craft beer?
WORST CRAFT BEER: Shiner Bock
MOST UNDERRATED BEER: Anderson Valley Boont Amber, I agree.
MOST OVERRATED BEER: Stone Brewing Russian Imperial Stout. By at least 40 spots on BA.
BEST BEER BAR(S): The Blind Tiger or Sputyn Duvyl over the Ginger Man in NYC, and I have not been to Toronado, so I'll say the Publick House in Boston.
MOST UNDERRATED BEER STYLE: American Amber it is underrated, but I'd say Kolsch, or Dortmunder.
MOST OVERRATED BEER STYLE: octupple IPA's
BEST BELGIAN BEER: Afflegem Dubbel
WORST BELGIAN BEER: not sure.
BEST BEER BLOG WITH ACTUAL VIDEOS OF BEER BEING POURED: n/a
BEST BEER BLOG WITHOUT VIDEOS: Lew Brysons (maybe I'm a homer)
BEST BEER PODCAST: Basic Brewing Radio
BEST GLOSSY BEER MAGAZINE: Beer Advocate
BEST OFFLINE BEER RESOURCE - Regional freebie beer magazines - Ale Street News, The Celebrator, Northwest Brewing News, etc.
BEST ONLINE BEER RESOURCE: Beer Advocate
BEST US BREWERY: Russian River Brewing
BEST US BREWERY THAT I CAN GET: Bells, Brooklyn, Great Lakes, or Great Divide.
BEST CALIFORNIA BREWERY: Russian River Brewing
BEST SAN FRANCISCO BREWERY: Magnolia. (I've only been to both Magnolia and 21st once.)
MOST OVERRATED BREWERY: Hair Of The Dog Brewing, Wha? no way! most overrated I'd have to list as Stone.
MOST INSPIRING BEER CELEBRITY: Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery
BEST BEER RANTER: Dan Shelton, Shelton Brothers Distribution - Hands Down
BEST BEER DORK TREND: Appreciation of subtle flavors and lagers.
WORST BEER DORK TREND: Raining underserved praise on beers with 10%+ ABV Agree!

Sage said...

Good call on Hopsickle -- wish they made more so we could get it down here on a regular basis.

Dunno about "oak or barrel-aged" being overrated -- over-hyped definitely -- but do it right and it beats the same stuff coming out of the stainless tank every time.


W00t for my boys at Lost Abbey.

And you really need to come up with a cool name for the awards -- something like the "HeeBee JeeBees". Adds to the cool factor.

Jay said...

I'll agree with ya, Sage, that there is potential for oak/barrel-aged stuff to be outstanding - it's just not a taste I've warmed to yet and I don't get why folks go so daffy whenever some beer releases their "oaked" version. But at some point, I'm sure I'll find one that knocks my socks off. Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

I'm about 1000 times more sick of "aggressively hopped" beers (aka overly hopped) than I am of the oak aged thing so that gets my vote for most overrated beer trend. Or maybe just most overdone. The barrel aging doesn't work with every beer for sure but I think the potential outcome when it DOES work is a lot more varied & interesting (see Allagash Curieux) than the comparitively one-dimensional west coast style hop bomb. I know you're a hop man though, Jay. Also, i think Alesmith should get a mention in the best brewery category.

-scott

Jay said...

Scott, I know there is such thing as too many hops, but I've yet to find a Double or Triple IPA that seriously pissed me off. I'm sure it's around the corner as brewers continue to try & one-up each other. I have a bottle of Dogfish Head 120-Minute IPA in the fridge right now that I'm a little terrified of; I've never had it before and I'm afraid it will destroy my love of hops for good....

Sage said...

Jay said: potential for oak/barrel-aged stuff to be outstanding... Any suggestions?

Yeah, I don't get the whole "oaked" thing since most of the time they're just dumping oak chips (a la Oaked Arrogant Bastard) into the tank. I try and keep trees out of my beer.

As for barrel-aged stuff, I suggest Firestone-Walker's Walker Reserve, Wild Dog's Gonzo, and Lost Abbey's Angel's Share. All are exception examples of what you can do with a barrel and lots of patience.

Anonymous said...

I split a 12 oz bottle of 120 Minute IPA with 4 other people & that was about right. It's like a hoppy port or sherry! It's in it's own category for sure.

-scott

Kyle said...

I drank one whole one and it gave me a stomach ache. Splitting is a good idea.

Rick Sellers said...

Jay, thanks for the support man. With all the traveling lately I really MUST get something up again.

Good list overall, only minor disagreements - nice job.

Woo Hoo! Clearing a spot on my mantle and having t-shirts printed. Sorry Jeff, but Jay has spoken.

Hair of the Dog Dave said...

Thanks for the love. I'll be sure to stay away from the Poperings Hommel.

Anonymous said...

It's Affligem not Afflegem. Not being as knowledgeable as some of you all, but always on the lookout for new stuff to try, I immediately went to try and read more. Any beer someone is willing to call the best Belgian beer must be at the minimum worth a good try. Oddly enough, Google would only fix the spelling if the word dubbel was included.

120 min is an interesting and good beer. But no where near as stellar as 90. 120 is however my preferred vehicle on the rare occasion that I just want to get really drunk. For me, it's much easier and more pleasant to drink 3 of those at a leisurely pace than try to race my way through 10 of something tamer. Of course, WWS is a better beer but I think drinking 3 of those is in a row is physically impossible. That stuff is like cake in a glass.

tom said...

Poperings Hommelbier is great, although it's not for everyone. Give it a try and decide for yourself. Make sure to drink it cold.

Loren said...

Gotta rain on the oak chips in beer hating parade. It's an age old tradition as old as IPA itself. And hallmark US breweries like Ballantine used it before any US brewer even thought to put a beer in a spent liquor barrel. Besides, English brewers have been aging beer in oak barrels for...like...ever. Hating some of the products that are coming out of oak barrels is OK, but don't hate the process itself as there are many, many fantastic exceptions.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I love Popperings Hommel & feel that Affligem Dubbel is pretty unexciting. There's nothing to "know" other than knowing what you like. Take some chances - these lists are fun but highly subjective!

-scott

Steve said...

I don't care a whole lot for Poperings Hommel ale either, but this year I experienced a lot worse as far as Belgians go... Kwak and Buffalo Belgian Stout for example. I guess I was just lucky to try something worse than Hommel. That's just me though, of course.

Wörtwurst said...

Next year I'll win in the category of "Best Beer Blog Featuring Naked Girls Drinking Jolly Pumpkin in Videos that are Free." That's my goal anyway.

tom said...

Kwak's fine too... what's wrong with you people? I have to stop reading this thing...