The first Friday in December is often one of my worst hangovers of the year, because the first Thursday evening in December is the night of the British Guild of Beer Writers Annual Awards.
Last night, I was delighted to pick up gold in the category 'Best Beer Communicator Online' for this blog.
And also genuinely surprised. As you may have noticed, I haven't blogged much at all this year. In fact, I've posted fewer pieces than in any year since I first started blogging properly in 2007. I've written an awful lot this year, but most of it won't see the light of day until late 2016 - it's been a hell of a year for books.
You're allowed to submit up to six entries in each category, and I could only find four this year that I wanted to submit to the competition. In case you missed them, here they are:
This win comes on top of winning Best Online Drinks Writer at the Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards back in May, so it really does look like the less I write, the more people like my blog. I'll bear than in mind.
I really do want to blog more though, and will do so once I'm over the hump with the three books I'm writing just now. I've finished a book about the British pub, am halfway through writing my book about apples and orchards, and when I submit that in January I'm spending early 2016 writing up my Unbound book, What Are You Drinking. The research for all three of these books has taken up most of the year and left very little time for anything else, but it's thrown up some amazing stories that I'm looking forward to sharing.
The silver award in this category was won by Matt Curtis, whose work rate this year at his blog Total Ales has been astounding, and whose energy and enthusiasm make me feel very old. The overall winner of Beer Writer of the Year was another first time award winner, Breandan Kearney, who smashed it in two categories - Best Young Beer Writer and Best Food and Beer Writing - before taking the overall title. He writes a lot of his stuff in Belgian Beer and Food magazine (which I just did my first piece for.) If you haven't seen it yet, get yourself a copy.
Massive congratulations to Matt, Breandan and all the other winners.