Despite a pretty bleak year, there have certainly been some great beery experiences. And Golden Pints seemed like a fun way to briefly sum some of them up. Happy 2021!
In summer 2020, I moved to Berlin and immediately fell in love with the Hausbrauerei Eschenbräu, tucked away in Berlin-Wedding. I have been impressed by the consistent quality of the core range beers, including Pils, Dunkles and Weizen. All beers are unfiltered and unpasteurised, and growler fills have been one of the few opportunities to drink brewery fresh beer during lockdown.
Best bottled beer
A new go-to beer is Keesmann Bräu Bamberger Herren Pils. Since I was unable to travel to the Upper Franconia region this year, it was a pleasant alternative to grab a cold Bamberger Pils from my local bottle shop Hopfen und Malz on my cycle home from work.
Best draught beer
This category belongs to Päffgen Kölsch. Kölsch is characterised by balance and drinkability and Päffgen is certainly no exception, standing out from the others with slightly enhanced hop aroma and bitterness. A particular special moment was serving this wonderful beer from a 10L gravity keg at my wedding.
Best beer from outside of Germany
I have not done much beer tourism this year but a definite highlight was drinking U Fleků on a weekend trip to Prague. We spent a pleasant evening at the brewpub in the Czech capital eating hearty food and drinking tmavý ležák with mead chasers.
The Zollpackhof Biergarten and restaurant in Berlin-Mitte undoubtedly wins this category. This spot offers Augustiner Helles from a wooden barrel, a superb view of the River Spree and socially-distanced Gemütlichkeit in the German capital.
Foersters Feine Biere in Berlin-Steglitz has quickly become my number one pub. Our Stammtisch groups meets at this family-owned bar and terrace on a monthly basis for draught Franconian beer and traditional Brotzeit.
Best beer blog
If you’re interested in decoction mashing, historical German/Austrian beer styles and homebrewing, Daft Eejit by Andreas Krennmair is a must-read. Andreas conducts primary research relating to the history of brewing and presents his findings in a simple, approachable manner.
Best beer research article
I read plenty of papers this year whilst writing my dissertation, so I thought it might be fun to add a new category. An article entitled “Analysis of Selected Hop Aroma Compounds in Commercial Lager and Craft Beers using HS-SPME-GC-MS/MS” written by Johanna Dennenlöhr, Sarah Thörner, Aneta Manowski and Nils Rettberg published in the Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists was my number one read in 2020. The authors present a novel method for the quantifcation of hop-derived volatiles in beer. This article helped to spark my newfound interest in beer aroma analysis.
And there we have it for my Golden Pints 2020. Happy holidays!