They say…

Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor

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Top Tastings 2009

Aromatherapy... Photo: Tom Stainer

Here are 30 beers which really stood out from the many others I tasted during 2009. They’re not necessarily new beers, just beers I hadn’t tasted before, or for a long time, and that from the first taste made me want to laugh, jump, shout or simply chill out in a warm dark corner with a satisfied smile on my face, contemplating the riches of international beer culture and the pleasures it can deliver. They’re not necessarily the “best” beers I tasted during the year, though all of them scored on the high side for quality, but they’re all rich in interest and speak of the skill, dedication, imagination and urge for self-expression of their creators.

The selection inevitably reflects my personal tastes but I’m still pleased it’s quite varied. There are some big hitters from the USA in there — I’ve been really impressed with the variety and quality of American beers this year — and some decent stuff from Franconia. One great evening I spent in the Monk’s Kettle in San Francisco where I tasted two astonishing brews, Hair of the Dog Adam and North Coast Brother Thelonious, in succession, but even more memorable was a tasting at Fuller’s that included three variously aged samples of the incomparable Vintage Ale.

The beers are in alphabetical order — picking thirty was challenge enough, ranking them would be too much! Click on the links for detailed tasting notes and background information.

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