So, twobeergeeks' Brewery of the Year 2016 was not an easy one to decide. In fact, we couldn't decide and so settled for a split decision, like a dodgy boxing match....
Following in the footsteps of Magic Rock, our pick for 2014, we have seen our 2015 selection of noobs Neepsend go from strength to strength this year and 2016 has seen a whole posse of new local producers brewing some stand-out ales right from the get go.
Danny's pick - Hop Jacker
Great name and great beers. Since getting out of The Bath, Edd Entwistle has seamlessly shifted into the role of 'Edd' Brewer at the Dronfield Arms, the tap house for Hop Jacker. Their ales are very solid but not predictable. We both enjoyed their IPA types and their darker brews with the Roobarb and Custard porter being a real big time brew. Like many of their's , this collaboration (with the wonderful White Lion of Heeley) is a must on any beer hunter's list.
|Think Hop Jacker, think unfined!|
Mike's pick - Lost Industry.
The standard expectation in the industry is to start safe with a core range of 4 or 5 brews in traditional styles, nailing them, and then tentatively venture into slightly stronger brews or different styles. The Seaton brainstrust don't subscribe to that school of thought though and jumped straight in with a maverick abandon citing yoghurt sours early in their brewing timeline. Sure, the packaging is clearly on the d.i.y. lines with occasional local references but the best art is usually on the inside of their bottles. Lost Industry have recently done some real works with their Black Heart coffee porter one and their wonderfully weird Foraged, using locally sourced berries and whatnot, I kid you not!
|Pic borrowed from rate beer. Ta.|
OK. So we know that these two operations are not the finished article but such strong starts need recognition and so we are pleased and proud to select Lost Industry and Hop Jacker as our joint winners of the twobeergeeks Brewery of 2016. Cheers chaps!