Friday, October 02, 2015

(Some of) the best beer writing of 2015: The NAGBW Awards.

North American Guild of Beer Writers

The North American Guild of Beer Writers (NAGBW) announced the winners of it 3rd annual NAGBW Awards for writers, bloggers, broadcasters and authors, at the recent Great American Beer Festival, in Denver, Colorado.
The NAGBW Awards honor the best beer and brewing industry coverage in nine categories, restructured this year to organize material by content rather than format.

The NAGBW has members from USA, Canada, United Kingdom and Costa Rica. Guild membership is open to all writers and content producers who cover beer and brewing, although industry and associate memberships are both non-voting categories.

With the formation of the NAGBW and an annual writing competition, the Guild aims to broaden the conversation about beer and brewing, raise the standards of writing and provide leadership and continuing education for practitioners of our profession, while also encouraging and supporting more participation throughout all media channels.

Here is the list of the 2015 winners, with links to their winning submissions. To be eligible, entries must have been published from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. They were then judged on these criteria:
  • Readability 25%
  • Voice and style 25%
  • Knowledge of subject/accuracy/factual content 20%
  • Creativity/originality 15%
  • Interest/newsworthiness 15%
Here's what beer writer Alan McLeod, on the judging panel, had to say about judging the contest.
This was my third year judging in the NAGBW... Or is it NABWG? I don't know if that counts as big enough a sample size but a few observations from what I've seen.

Entries numbers generally were up as far as I saw as was the average quality. There were about 25% of entries which should not have been passed on to the judges, 50% were work-person-like pieces and 25% showed actual independent creative thinking. Not bad. Not like year one.

Like last year, I got to judge writings I would not be bothered to hunt out myself and half the time I felt rewarded. Not bad. It's good that folk want to write. There's little chance of making money out of beer writing, so it's likely out of honest interest. Which is good. It's quite sad that breweries don't support good beer writing, but that doesn't change how I feel about good writing.

Congratulations to all the winners. I recommend folk read what they wrote. Click on the links; they're free. Buy the books; they're enjoyable and educational, and they further a good cause. Beer.



  1. BeerAdvocate posted pdf's of both the award winners:

    The Belgian Highlands:
    Unlocking the Secrets of Smell:


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