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.
- Best Blog
A blog series dedicated to beer/ the brewing industry.
This Is Why I’m Drunk, by Bryan Roth.
Literature and Libation, by Oliver Gray.
The Beer Bible Blog, by Jeff Alworth,
All About Beer Magazine.
- Best Podcast
A serial podcast or broadcast that focuses on beer/ the brewing industry.
Strange Brews, hosts Andrew Gill and Alison Cuddy.
Tales From the Cask, hosts Chip Mims, Tony Walldroff and Jennifer Balik.
Beer O’Clock!, host Lisa Morrison.
- Best Food Writing
Beer writing, including print or online media, that places beer in the context of food, including but not limited to recipes and pairings, and cookbooks.
Feeding Frenzy: Avoiding Gimmicks in Culinary-themed Beers,
by Jeff Cioletti: All About Beer Magazine.
The When, Where and How of Proper Food Pairing,
by Marty Nachel: Jollity Magazine. Part 1. Part 2.
The Potent Flavors of Barrel-aged Beer,
by Ken Weaver: FSR Magazine.
- Best Travel Writing
Beer writing, including print or online media, that transports the reader to a place and provides guidance or insight on the location’s unique features and beer landscape, including travel books.
Dusseldorf vs. Cologne: My two rounds of a friendly German beer bout, by Will Hawkes: The Washington Post.
Smoke and Shadow: Exploring lager’s roots around Bamberg, by Joe Stange: All About Beer Magazine.
Oregon Breweries, by Brian Yaeger: Stackpole Books.
- Best Short Form Writing
Beer writing, including print or online media, that contains fewer than 600 words.
A Theology Ph.D. is Putting His Faith in Brewing,
by Sarah Bennett: The L.A. Weekly.
Wheatwine, A beer style to warm up your winter,
by Zak Stambor: Chicago Tribune.
The Belgian Highlands,
by Drew Beechum: BeerAdvocate Magazine.
- Best Humor/Editorial Writing
Beer writing, including print or online media, that provides the author’s position or opinion on a topic related to the beer industry with or without comedic emphasis.
Pittsburghers, relax: The mayor is fixed, by Chris Togneri: Pittsburgh Tribune Review.
Hop Farm Harmony,
by Josh Noel: Chicago Tribune.
IPA Spinoffs: The Rise of the India Silly Ale, by Brian Yeager: All About Beer Magazine online.
- Best History/Technical Writing
Beer writing, including print or online media, that chronicles beer historically and/ or technically, offering industry guidance, including introductory beer books.
by Jessica Boak and Ray Bailey: Aurum Press.
by Drew Beechum and Denny Conn: Voyageur Press.
Practical Parti-Gyle Brewing,
by Joe Stange: Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine.
- Best Local/Regional Writing
Beer writing, including print or online media, intended for a local, statewide or regional audience, including alt weeklies, brewspapers, and local newspapers.
Alaska Beer: Liquid Gold in the Land of the Midnight Sun,
by William Howell: Arcadia Publishing.
Creativity is the name of the game,
by Patrick Evans: Grand Rapids Business Journal.
Casey Brewing and Blending finds the sweet life with sour beers,
by Eric Gorski: The Denver Post.
- Best National/International Writing
Beer writing, including print or online media, intended for a national or international audience, including magazines, online magazines, and newspapers with national/ international circulation or readership.
- Readability 25%
- Voice and style 25%
- Knowledge of subject/accuracy/factual content 20%
- Creativity/originality 15%
- Interest/newsworthiness 15%
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.
- Join and/or follow the North American Guild of Beer Writers.
I could find no online links to pieces published at Beer Advocate Magazine.Thanks to Dave Beechum, who supplied the links. (See Comments below.)
- The YFGF award for Best Travel Writing for 2015 not submitted to the NAGBW awards:
Drinking in the Culture: Tuppers' Guide to Exploring Great Beers in Europe, by Bob and Ellie Tupper: CulturAle Press (June 1, 2015).
- The YFGF award for best Best Humor/Editorial Writing would have been for:
Please Wish Modern American Brewing a Happy 50th, by Tom Acitelli: All About Beer Magazine. Or would that be for Best History/Technical Writing, a category that probably should be cleaved in two?
- YFGF's pick for early front runner for 2016 Best Local/Regional Writing:
Dick Cantwell’s Beer Is Immortal, by Allecia Vermillion: Seattle Met.
- For more from YFGF: