So much has happened in 2016 it’s difficult to know where to begin when trying to review the year. But all we’re really bothered about is the important stuff – beer and music. So, with just two weeks left until 2017 we’re all picking our top 5 records and beers from the last 12 months. And then, next week, we’ll have our complete guide to the best albums of 2016. In our opinion of course.**



Charles Bradley – Changes

David Bowie – Blackstar

Animal Collective – Painting With

NOFX – First Ditch Effort

The Monkees – Good Times


Northern Monk – Dark Arches

Stone Brewing – Stone IPA

Beavertown – Lupoloid

North Riding – Waterpistol

Ska Brewing – Modus Hoperandi



Suede – Night Thoughts

Band of Skulls – By Default

School of Seven Bells – Sviib

Bloc Party – Hymns

Jack White – Acoustic Recordings


Flying Dog – Carolina Reaper

Yeastie Boys – Gunnamatta

Magic Rock – Salty Kiss

Wild Beer – Millionaire Milk Stout

Mad Hatter – Tzatziki Sour



David Bowie – Black Star “A wonderfully planned, emotional album”

Divine Comedy – Forever Land “A reminder of growing up’

Violent Femmes – We Can Do Anything

The Dandy Warhols – Distortland

Charles Bradley – Changes “Just great”


Durham Brewery – Framboise “A refreshing summer drink, which reminded me of ‘monkey blood’ on ice cream sundaes”

Sonnet 43 – Create These Moments ” Christmas in a glass”

Northern Monk – Eternal “A great refreshing drink”

North Riding – Rum and Raisin Porter “Does exactly what is says on the label’

Wild Beer – Millionaire “A sweet, lovely pint. Just fantastic”



Divine Comedy – Forever Land “Having not listened to them for years, it was wonderful to hear that Neil Hannon can still make witty and exciting music”

David Bowie – Black Star “Extraordinary”

Temperance Movement – White Bear “Straight up rock album. Love it!”

Seasick Steve – Keepin’ The Horse Between me and the Ground ” There’s something raw, haunting about this. It’s what I imagine him playing by himself before he became famous”

Biffy Clyro – Ellipsis “The stand out album of 2016. No band is more exciting and experimental. Seeing them live this year was a special moment”


Wild Weather – Strawberries and Dream “My favourite dessert turned into a beer, so it was always going be a winner”

Northern Monk – Eternal “Go to beer. What ever the mood, a half of Eternal will sort you out”

Vocation – Life and Death “Wonderful beer. Full of flavour, and at 6.5% it’ll put hairs on your eyeballs”

Sonnet 43 – Bourbon Milk Stout “Simply one of the finest dark beers I’ve ever had”

Bull Finch – Alpha West Coast IPA “It’s got a kick like a mule”