Congratulate an Ink-Stained Wretch Today

The annual awards for the North American Guild of Beer Writers were announced yesterday. In what has become a Groundhog Day experience, I once again took second place for best blog. That’s year three if you’re scoring at home. The name at the top of the list always changes, but I sit here in my comfortable seat riding shotgun.* Congrats to Kyle Kastranec, who beat me this year—and Eoghan Walsh, whose excellent blog I recently quoted, who rounded out our group.

Aside from the inevitable horn-tooting, the province of every true blogger, there’s some real news in these results. If you exclude best book, thirty-nine names rang out as the awards were announced. In past years, writers for All About Beer, Draft, and BeerAdvocate would have picked up a bunch of those awards. But with the collapse of print, Good Beer Hunting became the principal beneficiary by hovering up a lot of talent. Consequently, GBH took home 11 awards—almost a third of the total.

If you want to know which newspaper is doing the best beer coverage, look to the Chicago Tribune, which won another four (reporter Josh Noel nabbing three of those). No other city paper is even close.

One thing that made my heart sing was the number of female names I saw in the list—thirteen, with Claire Bullen picking up three awards, all gold, including best book. It’s no longer a boys club, and that’s fantastic. Good Beer Hunting gets a lot of the credit here, too, for finding and hiring such talented women.

Oh, and just to round out the news, The Widmer Way took an honorable mention, which delighted me. Given that Craft Brew Alliance paid me to write the book, it was a real nod of approval from my peers that I avoided doing a hackish job. Thanks, folks.

And congrats to all the winners.


*By “comfortable” I mean “excruciating.” Second is a great honor, obviously, but losing year after year sucks serious ass. It slapped me even harder this year because I did the best writing and reporting I can do. There ain’t another gear to shift into to get me over the hump.

Jeff Alworth2 Comments