Just like earlier years I will present my favourites from 2011. This year I will do the same as in 2010 and present all my winners in one post.
This year has also been very nice beerwise, and I have tasted many interesting beers. On my travels I have been drinking beer in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Austria. As always my best of 2011 list is highly subjective, and I have only included beers I have been drinking this year.
Best pale lager
Pilsner Urquell (unfiltered version)
The last two years Kout na Šumave 12° golden lager has been my favourite beer in this category. It is still among the best lager beers, but I feel the unfiltered version of Pilsner Urquell was an even better beer. I have not been tasting the two beers head to head, and I hope that is something I will do some time in 2012. Kudos also to Brooklyn Lager, Kout na Šumave 10° golden lager and the 11° Zlatý Kun svetlý ležák from the Berounský Medved brewery.
Best dark lager
This dark lager from Budvar in the Czech Republic is a fantastic beer, and it is my winner also this year. Runners up in 2011 are Kout na Šumave's dark lager and Krušovice Cerný.
Best wheat beer
Primátor Weizen is back in the lead this year. Runners up are Paulaner Hefeweizen, Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen and Velen from the Czech Cerná Hora brewery.
Kinn Vestkyst IPA
The Norwegian craft brewery Kinn produces the Vestkyst IPA. It has overtaken Ægir IPA as my favourite ale. Among my other favourites from 2011 are Primátor Stout, Nøgne Ø's 100 and Haandbryggeriet's Pale Ale.
Best Norwegian bar
Schouskjelleren Mikrobryggeri (Oslo)
This was a no-brainer. Schouskjelleren Mikrobryggeri brewpub combines a great location with a fine beer hall environment and an excellent atmosphere. The draught beer selection is very good, and among the beers are several brewed on location. Worth mentioning this year are also Grünerløkka Brygghus in Oslo, Henrik and Naboen in Bergen as well as Den gode nabo in Trondheim.
Best beer blog
Shut Up About Barclay Perkins
For the third year in a row Ronald Pattinson's blog is my favorite. I can also recommend these blogs: Pivní Filosof, Fuggled, The Beer Nut and Boak & Bailey. One of my favourite bloggers, Cooking Lager, unfortunately stopped blogging in 2011.
Best Norwegian beer blog
Det står en-og-førti øl
Anders Christensen knows a lot about beers and his blog is a good read - especially when it comes to beer philosophy and Norwegian alcohol politics. Try reading it with Google Translate! Runners up are Kjempetorskens ølblogg and Det gyldne øls kommandørskap.
Best beer experience in 2011
Visiting Austria and drinking craft beers from Salm Bräu outdoors on a very warm Spring day. A few days earlier I had experienced snow in Norway.
Worth mentioning are also my visit to Pegas in Brno and a day in Prague where I drank Ježek svetlý ležák with Czech friends the whole evening. Just a lovely night!