Beer Travelist Named “Best Beer Blog” at 2018 North American Guild of Beer Writers Awards

2018 NAGBW Awards

Pardon the brief delay in sharing this marvelous bit of news first announced on September 21 in Denver, Colorado, at the 2018 North American Guild of Beer Writers Awards.

Last year at the 2017 NAGBW Awards, we were absolutely chuffed to score first place in the “Best Beer and Travel Writing” category for our story on Shenzhen’s Bionic Brew just a few months after our official launch in mid-May. This time around we’re thrilled to report that we bagged not one, but two top-three awards for our work, including first place (!) in the “Best Beer Blog” category. Beer Travelist earned third place in the “Best Short-Form Beer Writing” category, as well, a competition in which any beer-related article of 600 words or less was eligible. Our Shanghai postcard from The Beer Lady scored the distinction.

The full list of winners is here. We can’t overstate how humbled and honored we feel to be mentioned alongside some of the world’s best and brightest beer journalists and websites, so many of which have inspired our own work here at Beer Travelist. To that end, though we’re proud of these considerable accomplishments, we’ve really only scratched the surface. It’s a big, fast-changing beer world here in the Asia-Pacific region, our home base and focus, and we have so much ground still to cover.

Good beer is for everyone, all the time, and by that we mean that you don’t have to be a “beer geek” (a loathsome descriptor), beer enthusiast, or “know” anything about beer to identify and appreciate the good stuff when you taste it. Not everybody has to (or wants to) study and pontificate upon the nuanced appearance, aroma, mouthfeel, and flavor of beer–though it’s fine, of course, if you do enjoy in-depth analysis because we do, too, sometimes.

The point here is that we strive to make good beer and the stories, people, and places behind it accessible and approachable to all walks of beer life. Further, we feel that the good beer trail is an ideal gateway into the best bits of so many cities–its food, its people, its culture–from Singapore and Saigon, to Bangkok and Beijing. We’re kicking around some ambitious expansion ideas that we hope will help us continue steering you, dear readers, in the right direction on your travels. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, we thought this was an appropriate time to revisit five stories from the past year, below, that we think contributed to our unbelievable “Best Beer Blog” honors at the 2018 NAGBW Awards. This is also a good time to thank everyone who has supported us over this crazy first year and a half, from the sponsors of and discount providers in our Guide to Singapore (new edition coming soon) to the NAGBW judges and, most importantly, to our readers and fans. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Brian Spencer
Founder and Editor-in-chief

Jackie's Beer Nest
Jackie’s Beer Nest

In Shanghai, Jackie’s Beer Nest is One in a Billion: We meet with Jackie Zhou, one of China’s first and today most prolific importers of good beer, at his cozy taproom in Shanghai’s vanishing Old Town. With more than 30 beers on taps, many of which Zhou brews (or contract brews) himself, Jackie’s Beer Nest is certainly one of the city’s most unique watering holes.

Never Mind What’s Been Selling, It’s What You’re Buying—A Look Inside Yardley Brothers Beer in Hong Kong: One of our favorite brewery visits this past year was to Yardley Brothers Beer, where the two-man team Luke Yardley and Joseph Gauthier pump out some of the very best small-batch beers in Hong Kong. Here we find out how plain white toilet seats helped make it possible.

In Wellington, You Can Bet Your Bottom Dollar Garage Project Ain’t Going with the Rest: We’re always happy to crack a can or bottle from Garage Project, quite possibly the best and most widely known craft brewery in all of New Zealand. We chew the fat with co-founder Jos Ruffell in Singapore.

The Kernel Brewery London
The Kernel Brewery

Five of the Best Places to Drink Craft Beer in Margaret River, Imagined as Ween Songs: For no other reason than we’re longtime fans of the great Ween (and of Clutch, Fugazi, and Bad Religion, which you might guess if you’re paying attention to these article titles), for this wrap-up of five of our favorite beer spots in Margaret River we imagined each venue as a Ween song. Hopefully you find this useful even if you don’t care for Ween.. but geez, how could you not?

Quality or Quantity, A Choice You Have to Make—Dropping By the Kernel Brewery in London, England: While our primary focus is on the Asia-Pacific region, our “Global Dispatches” series features stories from other parts of our fair planet (and we plan to expand the series in the coming year if we have our druthers). London is one place near and dear to our hearts, and in London The Kernel Brewery is one brewery we hold in similarly high regard. Chatting with founder Evin O’Riordain was another highlight of the past year.

Brian Spencer
written by: Brian Spencer
Brian Spencer is a Singapore-based freelance journalist and the founder of Beer Travelist. Say hello at brian [a]