Champion Beer of Britain

Elland’s 1872 Porter crowned the Champion Beer of Britain

Elland Brewery’s 1872 Porter (6.5% ABV) has struck gold and has been crowned the best in Britain after winning the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) prestigious Champion Beer of Britain competition.  

The 1872 Porter was crowned the official winner at this year’s Great British Beer Festival (GBBF), following a rigorous and hard-fought competition. The beer has been awarded Champion Winter Beer of Britain four times previously, the most recent being this year.  

Champion Beer of Britain co-ordinator Christine Cryne said it was a deserving champion, despite incredibly strong competition. She described the beer as a ruby black porter, with chocolate and caramelised fruit flavours with a hint of black toffee on the nose. The judges enjoyed its smooth mouthfeel with a finish that is roasty and dry. A satisfying and remarkably easy drinking porter.  

The award – one of the most coveted real ale competitions in the world – puts the winner firmly in both the national and international spotlight. It was exclusively revealed at today’s GBBF trade session today (1 August).  

Festival visitors will be able to enjoy sampling this year’s newly crowned champion, along with the well-deserved silver and bronze winners’ beer, which will be on sale at the festival, marked by rosettes and special pump clips.  

Runners up were Silver prize winner Abbot (5%) from Greene King Brewery, described as a classic premium bitter with typical fruit hops and malty throughout; and Bronze winner Darwin’s Origin (4.3%) from Salopian Brewery, which impressed judges with citrus, earthy hops and a flavour that starts fruity and fades into a pleasant bittersweet finish.  

Brewer Rob Thomas said: “It is absolutely unbelievable to win this accolade, we really didn’t expect it. For a team of three people to win the supreme award is fantastic. There is a real passion for more traditional styles – and for a very good reason, they taste fantastic!  

“The beer is steeped in history with the recipe dating back more than 150 years. We thrive on these sorts of styles and this is testament to what people enjoy drinking: steeped in history, tradition while embracing innovation. 

He added: “Since lockdown, we have faced many challenges and difficult times and this is testament to our small team and our unwavering loyalty to succeed. We passionately believe in our products and people do get excited to try everything we make, we are incredibly proud to take home the crown.” 

Laura Emson, CAMRA’s National Director responsible for the competition, says: “Congratulations to Elland Brewery for winning this year’s Champion Beer of Britain Award. As ever, it was a highly competitive final, with the judges having a difficult decision to make. Congratulations to all the finalists – it really shows the wide range and amazing cask beers which are available for all to enjoy. 

“Huge thanks to all the competitors for taking part and to the judges who had a tough decision to make! It is a real honour to be part of this competition and to see how much hard work, professionalism and dedication goes into producing the best of the best.” 

Judging takes place over almost a year from individual nominations at the outset, to local and regional competitions taking place, ahead of a day of rigorous and intensive judging at GBBF.  

Baltic Trader by Green Jack Brewing is crowned the Champion Bottled Beer of Britain

In a closely fought competition, Baltic Trader (10.5%) has been awarded the CAMRA’s prestigious Champion Bottled Beer of Britain award. The annual competition recognises the best bottle-conditioned real ales in the country.

Judges described the Extra Strong Export Stout as a ruby black strong stout with a stunning oyster head. It had dark roast, black treacle and currants on the nose with alcohol and a very rich smooth mouthfeel. Dry black chocolate, hints of cherry, caramelised fruits and a growing bitter roasty finish that is sweet and lingering. A beer to be savoured.

The well-deserved runners up included Dhustone Stout (4.3%) by Hobsons Brewery who scooped silver and McGregor’s Mild (3.8%) by Five Kingdoms Brewery took home the bronze award.

Announced at the Great British Beer Festival following the grand final with a panel of esteemed judges, previous judging rounds included a series of local member voting rounds and regional judging competitions throughout the year.

Tim Dunford, owner of Green Jack Brewing said, “Thank you to all who voted for Baltic Trader, a lifetime achievement has been met. This is one of the highlights in 30 years of brewing. The team and I are beyond pleased. Another great accolade for Green Jack!”

Laura Emson of CAMRA’s National Executive, who made the announcement, said: “Huge congratulations to this year’s worthy winner of the Champion Bottled Beer of Britain award. Celebrating bottled conditioned cask beer is important; by giving consumers more choice, while offering brewers across the country more opportunities to get a wider range of drinks to the public. As ever the dedication, professionalism and hard work put into bottled beer by brewery teams across the country was evident from the high-quality beers judged this year.

“Bottled and canned beer offers such a wide range of choice and options, giving vitally important choice to real ale lovers across the UK. Congratulations to our very deserved runners up this year; the quality this year has been amazing. I look forward to seeing these bottled beers in pubs, clubs and tap rooms across the country.”

CAMRA has its bottle and canned accreditation scheme, dubbed ‘One to Try’ to support more breweries producing ‘live beer’ and making it easier for brewers to sign up.

The brewer of tomorrow announced at the Great British Beer Festival

In the second year of its Homebrew Competition, Patrick Davies has been named as the “brewer of tomorrow” at this year’s Great British Beer Festival (GBBF). The judges crowned Magnificent Frigate Strong Mild (6.2%) as its worthy winner following a rigorous competition.

Davies took home first prize, which invites him to Brewhouse & Kitchen in Worthing to brew his winning beer in a 500L kit under the supervision and support of the head brewer, which will be sold and distributed across local CAMRA festivals. The brewer describes his beer as an ‘end of a night beer’, which is rich and warming and smooth.

Davies, who began brewing in 2016, said: “This award is very exciting and unexpected, I used to work in very ale-y pubs and learnt a lot about beer, and felt the best way to learn more was to begin making it myself. I’m incredibly excited to see how the beer tastes when brewed in a professional kit.”

The Silver award was presented to Golden Dragon, brewed by Richard Roseblade, who will take home a case of eight craft beers every month for a year, courtesy of Beer52. Bronze was awarded to Old Claire, brewed by Mark Robotham, who has won four VIP tickets for the next Great British Beer Festival in 2024.

This year’s competition was sponsored by Brewhouse & KitchenBeer52The Malt Miller and Brew At Home.

Catherine Tonry, GBBF Festival organiser said: “I am delighted to give this award to Patrick, it’s testament to the passion and love our brewers of tomorrow have for live beer. To announce the results at trade day at GBBF gives all the finalists in attendance the opportunity to talk with the wider industry and build their networks as they continue their brewing venture.

“Some of the best beers in the UK started from small beginnings and it is vital we work with brewers who may be starting out on their journey, while recognising their commitment and hard work.

“Now in its second year, the award is well-established as a national homebrew competition, I look forward to seeing some of the best beers of tomorrow being produced by both current and future competitors.”

The competition spanned across a host different beer styles, from milds and IPAs to barley wines and porters.

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