Thornbridge Brewery

The Great British Home Brew Challenge – the winning beer now available In Waitrose

Rob Lovatt and Graham Nelson(2) In August we announced the winning beer from this year’s Great British Home Brew Challenge, organised by Thornbridge Brewery, Waitrose and Brew UK. The competition, which had over 200 entries, was launched in June to find the best home brew. The prize, to see the winning beer turned into a commercial product for Waitrose, has been championed by Derbyshire-based Thornbridge Brewery, who already have a successful range of craft beers at the supermarket. Drinks writers Victoria Moore, Jamie Goode and Daniel Tapper joined Waitrose experts Anne Jones  and Kate Prall and Thornbridge brewers Rob Lovatt and Dominic Driscoll along with Greg Hughes of Brew UK, formed a panel to judge the entries in August, eventually deciding that Graham Nelson’s Vienna IPA was the deserving winner. Since hearing about his beer winning the competition Graham has worked with the Thornbridge Brewing Team, headed by Rob Lovatt, and has visited the brewery to be involved in the brew and the bottling of his Vienna IPA. Graham says “Since learning that I’d won it’s been a fantastic experience to be involved in helping Thornbridge’s brewers scale up my recipe and make the beer. I only make forty bottles when home brewing so to see ten thousand bottles packaged and ready to be sent out was quite humbling! The beer tastes fantastic – a flavoursome, amber-coloured IPA with the big hop aromas very evident. It was clearly the same recipe as my beer but as I expected, Thornbridge’s attention to detail had taken it to the next level! Rob Lovatt reports “I knew Graham’s beer was going to be in the running for the winner the moment I tasted it. It was solid, well balanced, clean and had a modern hop profile which really stood out. I think we really did Graham’s beer justice and the final product produced in our Riverside Brewery is something he can be really proud of.”

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