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Are These The Best Craft Beers Of 2012?

By Anthony Todd in Food on Jan 3, 2013 8:20PM

Photo by Michael Kiser of Good Beer Hunting, who made the list as Best Beer Site.

Last year, Paul Schneider (blogger at Chitown on Tap and contributor to Chicagoist) gave out the first Chicago Craft Beer Awards, chronicling the best brews of 2011. Paul is now brewing at Solemn Oath, so he passed the torch to Karl Klockars at Guys Drinking Beer, a consummate beer drinker and former Chicagoist contributor himself. (All roads lead back to these pages, dear reader.)

On Wednesday,they released their version of the Chicago Craft Beer Awards 2012. Let's see who won.

Guys Drinking Beer (and Chitown on Tap before them) have taken a page from the Reader's playbook by creating quirky categories meant to fit something that they want to write about—an honorable and humorous way to make an awards list, and far more interesting than a simple ranking. Plus, Guys Drinking Beer made the smart move of avoiding the "Best Local Brewery" category, as it is inevitably going to create bad feelings.

The Local (or soon to be local) brewery making the biggest moves: Lagunitas Brewing Company, which is soon to open an enormous brewery in Chicago. The Runners up? Goose Island (of course) and Revolution.

Favorite craft beer bar? A tie between the Local Option and the Green Lady.

Food industry professional doing the most for craft beer? For the second year in a row, Cleetus Friedman of City Provisions with his many wonderful collaboration beers. We were happy to see Kevin Hickey get a runner-up nod for his collaboration with Goose Island for Allium.

You'll have to take a look at their original post to see the rest of the categories which include best beer website, best homebrew shop, best out-of-town arrival to the Chicago market and more. One other quick note of pride: Our own Lorna Juett got an honorable mention as a beer person worth noting, both for her general awesomness and for her wonderful rant about Chick Beer that led to the founding of the Chicago Chapter of Barley's Angels. Go Lorna!