Abbeydale Brewery are celebrating twice over this week, after two of their permanently available beers scooped medals at the prestigious Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) Regional Bottle & Can Awards (North East Region).
Heresy Lager (a 4.5%, gluten free continental style lager) received a Bronze medal, and Black IPA Black Mass received a top class Gold award in the Speciality IPA category, meaning it scored over 90/100 and will go forward to the National Finals, due to be held in March next year. Just three of the highest level Gold awards were given out across the whole region.
This is the second year running that Black Mass, a 6.6% ABV, gluten free and vegan friendly Black IPA, has come out as the top Speciality IPA in the region. Following the award in 2022, the beer subsequently went on to win National Gold in category before being declared Overall Champion beer in can in the whole of the UK – so the team at Abbeydale Brewery will be eagerly waiting to find out if it can defend the title.
Black Mass has been one of Abbeydale Brewery’s permanently available beers since the business was founded in 1996, and the team believe it to be one of the world’s first and longest standing beers of this style in existence. Lead Brewer Jim Rangeley says of the award, “Black Mass has always been one of my favourite beers to both make and drink, and it’s great to see that the judges agree! I’m looking forward to celebrating with a can of it.”
The SIBA Bottle & Can Independent Beer Awards 2023 see beers marked against internationally recognised style guides for the different beer award categories – looking at appearance, aroma, flavour, aftertaste and saleability. The awards are judged by beer sommeliers, experienced beer judges and fellow brewers. Neil Walker, SIBA Head of Comms, praised this year’s winners: “This year’s SIBA Independent Beer Awards Bottle & Can competition was our biggest ever, including seven regions of the UK and hundreds of individual beers. The expert judging panel only give awards where deserved, so the winners listed really are the very best beers in the region.”