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The best beer writers of 2018 announced

THE BEST BEER WRITERS OF 2018 ANNOUNCED

Emma Inch announced as Beer Writer of the Year, and other Original Gravity contributors among winners

Brighton-based beer writer and radio broadcaster Emma Inch has been named Beer Writer of the Year 2018 at the Guild of Beer Writers’ annual awards ceremony, staged on 22 November.

Beer Writer of the Year is the top award in the Guild’s annual competition for writing about beer and pubs, which this year received more than 140 entries across nine categories. Inch won two category awards – National Media and Online Communication – on her way to the top prize.

Inch is the creator and presenter of Fermentation Radio, the UK’s only regular beer and brewing show on FM radio. She has written for a number of national and international publications, including Original Gravity, judges regularly at beer competitions and this summer established the first Brighton & Hove Beer Week.

Adrian Tierney-Jones, chair of judges this year after taking the Beer Writer of the Year title in 2017, said, “All the judges found it exceptionally hard to choose the winners and runners up from the very strong field of entries received this year. As someone who has written about beer for 20 years, it is heartening to see the impressive levels of knowledge, energy and passion in beer and pub writing, and also to see the growing media interest in the subject.

“It’s always good to see new voices receiving recognition in our awards and tonight’s roll of honour includes writers who only joined the Guild this year, proving that our robust judging rewards talent, not time served. Everyone who received an award or a commendation should be extremely proud; they really are the cream of British beer writing in 2018 and we wish them all success in their future career communicating about beer and pubs.”

Tierney-Jones was joined on the judging panel by Amy Bryant, food editor at The Telegraph; James Cuthbertson, MD of Dark Star Brewery and founder of the Beer & Cider Marketing Awards; Stu McKinlay, co-founder of Yeastie Boys; Jenn Merrick, founder of Earth Station Brewery; Mark Taylor, Bristol-based food and drink writer, and Zoe Wood, retail correspondent at The Guardian.

The Guild’s Brewer of the Year title, presented at the same time as those for writing, was this year shared for the first time by two candidates who drew level in a poll of Guild members: John Keeling, recently retired from Fuller’s, and Jaega Wise, head brewer at Wild Card Brewery.

Presenting these Awards, Guild chairman Pete Brown said, “Both John and Jaega are worthy recipients. John’s contribution to brewing has been immense, from championing traditional cask ale to creating contemporary crowd pleasers with craft brewers, while also being an advocate for gender equality in the industry, appointing a woman head brewer to succeed him.

“Jaega has not only been producing outstanding beers but has also worked tirelessly to promote beer among the general public and built links with other drinks industries such as wine. Jaega has risen to become one of the most important voices of the industry, and a champion of increasing diversity and promoting equality within it.”

The winners were announced at the Guild’s annual dinner held at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel. Guests enjoyed a four-course dinner, with each dish accompanied by a specially selected beer: Chalky’s Bite from Sharp’s; Fourpure’s Oatmeal Stout; Hopopolata from Marble Brewery; Hogs Back Brewery’s OTT and Dark Island Reserve from Orkney Brewery. Beers from the Award’s sponsoring brewers – Adnams, Fuller’s, Greene King, Heineken and St Austell Brewery – were enjoyed before and after dinner.

AND THE WINNERS ARE…

Brewer of the Year:

John Keeling, recently retired from Fuller’s

Jaega Wise, Wild Card Brewery

 

Guild Award for Best Citizen Beer Communicator

Winner: Martin Oates

Commended: Oli Carter Esdale

 

Guild Award for Best Beer Writer – Corporate Communications

Winner: Roosters Brewery

 

Guild Award for Best Beer & Travel Writer

Winner: Jonny Garrett

Silver Award: Mark Dredge

Long Live the Local Award for Best Writer about Pubs

Winners: Jessica Boak & Ray Bailey

Commended: Bob Jeffrey

 

St Austell Brewery Award for Best Young Beer Writer of the Year

Winner: Eoghan Walsh

Silver Award: Katie Taylor

Commended: James Beeson

 

Heineken Award for Best Beer Communicator – Online

Winner: Emma Inch

Silver Award: Matthew Curtis

 

Fuller’s London Pride Award for Best Beer Writer – Trade Media

Winner: Will Hawkes

Silver Award: James Beeson

Commended: Matthew Curtis

 

Adnams Award for Best Beer Writer – Regional Media

Winner: Alastair Gilmour

Silver Award: Susan & Judith Boyle

 

Greene King Award for Best Beer Writer – National Media

Winner: Emma Inch

Silver Award: Melissa Cole

 

The Michael Jackson Gold Tankard for Beer Writer of the Year 2018

Emma Inch


Thornbridge issues JenPour Update

THORNBRIDGE ISSUES JENPOUR UPDATE

A sad update from Thornbridge about Jenny Walker, the inspiration behind the brewery’s fundraising JenPour beer 

In June this year Sheffield Mum Jenny Walker was diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer. A mum to three young girls, Nia (6), Cora (4) and Beth (1) this news was a shocking blow to her whole family. As a close friend of Thornbridge Brewery (she was also one of the first employees), founders Simon Webster and Jim Harrison felt compelled to offer their support. The aggressive nature of the disease meant that it had failed to respond to treatment, so they had to act fast.

Despite her devastating diagnosis Jenny and her family used their time to fundraise an enormous amount for charity and raise awareness of Bowel Cancer. With this in mind and as a way to leave a legacy for her children Simon and Jim decided that Jen deserved a chance to take the place of their flagship beer for a day. The idea was born and ‘Jaipur’ is to be renamed ‘JenPour’ on Friday 9th November. Not only this, but all proceeds from sales of ‘JenPour’ on the 9th November in Thornbridge pubs will then be donated to local Sheffield Cancer charity Weston Park Hospital.

Sadly, today (November 9), Thornbridge issued this statement.
‘We’re devastated to announce our dear friend Jenny won’t be around to pull the first pint of JenPour after losing her battle with cancer earlier this week.

‘Her husband Michael sent us some words about Jenny, which sum up what an incredible woman she was.

“For those of you who don’t know, Jenny died on Wednesday afternoon. She died at home, surrounded by her family.

There’s no getting round the fact that this is an absolute tragedy. Our three incredible little girls, Nia (7), Cora (4) and Beth (1) have lost their mummy, and there’s no age at which that isn’t earth-shatteringly awful.

I said when Elliott died in 2013 that up until then we had had so much good in our lives, we accepted that we had to take a share of some of the pain in the world. Well now it feels like we have all the pain in the world.

It’s impossible to sum her up, but if you knew her, you would have felt the difference her kindness, generosity and determination could make. She was incredible and I loved her from the moment I met her.

All she ever wanted to be was a mummy. And she is, and she was, and she always will be.”‘

The Thornbridge Brewery JenPour event in her honour will take place today as planned. If you’re in Sheffield, buy a beer, think of Jen and proceeds will go to Weston Park cancer hospital.

After receiving so many messages of support and people wanting to get involved who aren’t based in Sheffield We have decided to make the Jen Pour raffle available online as well as in our pubs. Prizes are still coming in and we have had some incredible prizes donated already.

We are also incredibly touched to announce that Camden Town Brewery are also donating the proceeds from their Cask of Jaipur and Kicking Horse UK, will also donate proceeds from any casks of Jaipur sold today through their distribution channels.’

Simon Webster CEO of Thornbridge Brewery says:
‘At such a devastating time for Jenny’s family we are truly moved by the actions of our peers in the industry as well as our customers. We have received hundreds of messages of support from people across the country as well as kind donations to help us to raise as much money as possible. A big thank you to Camden Town Brewery and Kicking Horse for their action. In 14 years of being a part of the Craft Beer Industry this is genuinely one of the kindest things we’ve seen.’

You can make a donation and be entered into the raffle here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jenpour
You can also text donate
Text POUR59 then your amount to donate to 70070
e.g: POUR59 £10


Craft Beer Cares raises £10,000 for Art Against Knives

CRAFT BEER CARES RAISES £10,000 FOR ART AGAINST KNIVES

The event took place beneath the railway arches at London Fields Brewery in September and saw over 500 attendees enjoy beers from around the world. Photo by  Lily Waite 

Charity beer festival Craft Beer Cares has raised over £10,000 for North London-based charity Art Against Knives. The event took place beneath the railway arches at London Fields Brewery on the 29th and 30th September 2018 and saw over 500 attendees enjoy fantastic beers from around the world over the course of the weekend. Guests were also able to enjoy street food, coffee, nail painting and music from a range of DJs during the event.

“We’re ecstatic with raising over £10k this year,” Craft Beer Cares founder Gautam Bhatnagar says. “This was the culmination of a real team effort, and I really can’t thank enough all the people that volunteered their time, the breweries that donated their beer, and everyone at London Fields who hosted us at such a great venue. It’s always a real pleasure to work with so many dedicated people, who go the extra mile to help others.”

The festival was able to donate 93.97% from its takings of £10,758.00 after it had covered any outlying expenses. This means that Art Against Knives was the recipient of £10,109.35 in total. The charity works to reduce violent crime, supporting young people and their communities to enable positive, lasting change. The donation will be used to sustain and expand their creative youth work, supporting more young people across North London to achieve positive, lasting change.

The event was made possible by a team of 22 volunteers—many who work in within the beer industry full time—and beer that was donated by 37 breweries from the UK, Europe, New Zealand and the United States. The event was also supported by a donation of merchandise from Fifth Column, Billy Franks Jerky, Taylor St Baristas, Union Coffee Roasters, Square and Roxie’s BBQ. A total of 537 tickets were sold, and many hundreds of pints were enjoyed (in moderation) over the weekend.

“I’d also like to thank all the people who attended,” Bhatnagar added. “It was great seeing such a mix of people, whether they be craft beer aficionados looking to get something super special to people attending their first ever beer festival. It all made for a wonderful, inclusive atmosphere and I truly hope the event was enjoyed by all.”

Craft Beer Cares will return in earnest in 2019, but will continue to run smaller charity events in the lead up to next year’s festival.


Building the UK's first mobile coolship

BUILDING THE UK’S FIRST MOBILE COOLSHIP

London Beer Factory is making a mobile coolship that will travel the UK capturing the wild yeast and bacteria 

The London Beer Factory has announced a crowdfunding campaign to build the UK’s first mobile coolship.

They said: “With it we will travel the UK capturing the wild yeast and bacteria that naturally occur all around us. Every beer will be a living record of each area we visit – and the friends we make along the way.”

Sim Cotton, co-founder of The London Beer Factory, said: “We got the idea from trips to lambic breweries in Belgium and from hearing how breweries are starting to use installed coolships in America. Taking it a step further, I thought by travelling around the UK we would be able to recreate what the Belgians have been doing for hundreds of years – with a unique, modern touch.”

“We wanted to crowdfund the coolship because it is an intrinsically community affair. We are literally going out into the public and making beer – taking the operation away from the brewery and into the world. Secondly, the more supporters we engage the more people learn of the process, gain an appreciation for, and can choose to drink this style of beer.’

‘We have got interest from brewers already and are keen to start heading out to do joint coolship brews! It’s really an essential part of the concept as we will need locally sourced wort to ferment – which again adds to the locality of the beer.’

What is a coolship?
Coolships are a traditional, flat, open-topped cooling vessel used by the Belgian brewers of yesteryear. Designed to cool down wort (unfermented beer) while also capturing micro-organisms (including yeast) in the air – coolships allow for the spontaneous fermentation of beer.

The barrel ageing
The wild-yeast wort they capture will then be taken to The Barrel Project (a conditioning space and taproom) where it will be transferred to French oak wine barrels living for two to three years, while undergoing a slow fermentation and souring process before being blended and bottled. This maturation time allows the yeast years to chew through the complex sugars, creating a myriad of flavours and aromas, and a unique, exceptional beer.

For more details visit Crowdfunder here.


Siren to ask for minimum £750,000 for canning line and increased capacity

Siren Craft Brew launches crowdfunding campaign

Siren Craft Brew launches crowdfunding campaign

 

Siren to ask for minimum £750,000 for canning line and increased capacity

Siren Craft Brew, one of Ratebeer’s Top 100 Breweries in the World, has launched their first crowdfunding campaign through Crowdcube.com.

The brewery, which picked up CAMRA’s Supreme Champion Beer of Britain award this year, is raising a minimum of £750,000 which will go towards a new canning line, increased capacity and lab & efficiency improvements. The brewery has also said if it reaches £1.5m in overfunding it will fastrack plans to open two city centre bars.

People will be investing for equity in the business, along with some ‘rewards’ including discounts, exclusive events, brewery tours and more.

Darron Anley, founder, said: “Following on from the momentum of an award-winning year and some hard work behind the scenes, we’re in a great position to start our next phase of expansion. Craft beer in cans is a huge opportunity and to get the best possible equipment, we needed to bring in some external investment.”

He added: “Crowdfunding is something we’ve been asked about a lot over the years. All being well, this round of funding will allow us to keep growing sustainably, while concentrating on what we do best – the beer.”

People can invest in Siren Craft Brew on Crowdcube at: http://www.crowdcube.com/Siren


Fourpure Brewing Co acquired by Lion

FOURPURE ACQUIRED BY LION

 Australian beer company Lion has acquired 100% of Fourpure Brewing Co

VERBATIM PRESS RELEASE BELOW

Lion has a long history of investing in great businesses and empowering them to keep doing what they do best, while giving them the financial and strategic support to get their products to more people.

Fourpure Co-founder and CEO Daniel Lowe said: “Over the past 12 months we’ve been working hard to find the right investment path for the next phase of the Fourpure story.  While in four short years Fourpure has grown to become one of London’s leading independent modern craft brewers, we knew we couldn’t take the next adventure alone.  We met Lion towards the end of our process after a wide range of funding options had been considered, and quickly realised we had a shared vision and values.”

“It was clear from the very first meeting that Matt and the Lion team understand the needs of a craft brewery and share our aspirations for quality and sustainability. Lion’s past investments in craft breweries in Australia and New Zealand, including Little Creatures, have always respected the beer and the people.”

Lion is already active in the UK and Europe, selling a range of Australian and New Zealand craft beers and fine wines from the US and New Zealand. In time, there will be an opportunity to look at how both businesses’ sales and distribution channels can be used to reach more drinkers, not only in the UK but also in Europe and global markets where both businesses are already growing.   Daniel Lowe remains CEO with co-founder and brother, Tom Lowe also staying on with Fourpure.

Lion Global Markets Managing Director Matt Tapper said: “Lion has a long and proud history in craft beer in Australia and New Zealand and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to back Dan, Tom and the team to take Fourpure into its next chapter. The guys have done a superb job in getting the business to where it is now and we love how innovative they’ve been in both beer styles and the way they have positioned the brand. We’re making real progress in making our craft beers like Little Creatures available in the UK and Europe and we see some great opportunities to work together to get these and Fourpure’s brews in the hands of more beer lovers.”

Fourpure is known for its approachable styles and flagship beers like its World Beer Cup medal-winning Pils Lager and popular Session IPA. Founded in 2013 by brothers Daniel and Thomas Lowe, Fourpure’s brewery and hospitality venue is part of the renowned ‘Bermondsey Beer Mile’ craft brewing hub in South East London. The modern UK Craft market is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing globally in volume terms. It currently represents around 5% volume share of craft beer.

The commercial details of the transaction are confidential.


First Brighton & Hove Beer Week announced

FIRST BRIGHTON & HOVE BEER WEEK ANNOUNCED

Brighton & Hove is set to celebrate all things beer and brewing with the city’s first beer week from Friday 24th August to Sunday 2nd September 2018

More than twenty of the city’s beer venues – including The Evening Star, Brighton Beer Dispensary and The Watchmaker’s Arms – are coming together to offer a series of exciting events over the ten-day period. They’re pairing up with breweries both within the city – including Brighton Bier, Hand Brew Co. and Loud Shirt Brewing Co. – and throughout Sussex – such as Burning Sky, Harvey’s and UnBarred – to ensure the city is full to the brim of the freshest, tastiest beer. There will be no festival wristbands or lanyards, and no central beer tent: just a whole city full of great beer to explore and enjoy.

Brighton and Hove Beer Week’s founder and coordinator is award-winning beer writer and broadcaster, Emma Inch. She produces Fermentation – the UK’s only regular beer and brewing show on FM radio – for Brighton’s Radio Reverb, and has made the city her home for the past twenty-five years.

She said: “This event is about world-class beer served where it should be: in the pubs, bars, restaurants and bottle shops that bring it to you all year round. There’ll be tap takeovers, brewery open days, walking tours, a homebrew competition, tastings, exclusive brews, music, food, and some more quirky events that will demonstrate why drinking beer in Brighton & Hove is so different to drinking beer in any other city. We’ll be celebrating what makes us unique in terms of our heritage, our diversity, our ‘green credentials’ and everything else we have to offer as a one-of-a-kind city by the sea. It’s going to be quite a party!”

The venues involved are listed on the Brighton & Hove Beer Week website – www.brightonandhovebeerweek.com.

Events will be announced very soon.


Fourpure launch nationwide Continental Collaboration tour

FOURPURE LAUNCH NATIONWIDE  CONTINENTAL COLLABORATION TOUR

Fourpure has launched its first Continental Collaboration, creating beers in partnership with six breweries each from a different major continent

Fourpure Brewing Co. has announced its most exciting and challenging brewing project to date. Combining its passion for beer and adventure, Fourpure has launched its first Continental Collaboration, creating beers in partnership with six breweries each from a different major continent, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. The partner brewers are Devils Peak in South Africa, Kyoto Brewing in Japan, Two Birds Brewing in Australia, Brasserie de la Senne in Belgium, Bear Republic Brewing Co in California, USA, and Sunset Brewery in Brazil. Each beer will be released in a limited edition 500ml can and 30 litre keg, with a small run of mixed six-packs available as well as individual cans.

The beers have already been brewed and full details of each beer will be announced in June ahead of a roadshow of events taking the series to consumers in 21 cities across the UK throughout the month (see full list below).

Co-founder of Fourpure Daniel Lowe commented: “Over the last few decades, brewing has changed significantly across the globe. It’s an industry that transcends language or geography, that brings people together professionally and socially and increasingly it’s an industry that loves to share, teach and collaborate. The Continental Collaboration series of beers will explore the unique stories born from history, heritage and a sense of adventure that has led to innovation in brewing, spanning every major continent on Earth.”

For more information visit www.fourpure.com or follow the brand on Instagram and Facebook at @Fourpure and on Twitter at @fourpurebrewing.

Continental Collaboration events list:
Sun 17/06/18 | The Craftsman Company, Aberdeen
Mon 18/06/18 | Shilling Brewing Co., Glasgow
Tue 19/06/18 | The Fat Gadgie, Carlisle
Wed 20/06/18 | The Free Trade Inn, Newcastle
Thurs 21/06/18 | Manchester, The Pilcrow
Fri 22/06/18 | The Turks Head, Leeds
Sat 23/06/18 | The Dead Crafty Beer Co., Liverpool
Sun 24/06/18 | Against The Grain, Dublin
Mon 25/06/18 | The Sunflower, Belfast
Tue 26/06/18 | The Wolf, Birmingham
Wed 27/06/18 | Stoneworks, Peterborough
Fri 29/06/18 | Pint Shop, Oxford
Sat 30/06/18 | Small Bar, Cardiff
Sun 01/07/18 | Wild Beer at Wapping Wharf, Bristol
Mon 02/07/18 | The Three Johns, North London
Tue 03/07/18 | Fuggles Hop Café, Tunbridge Wells
Wed 04/07/18 | Brighton Beer Dispensary, Brighton
Thurs 05/07/18 | HAND, Falmouth
Fri 06/07/18 | Kaapse Brouwers, Rotterdam
Sat 07/07/18 | TBC, Antwerp
Sun 08/07/18 | Fourpure Taproom, South London


British hops celebrated in new BritHop Series

 BRITISH HOPS CELEBRATED IN NEW BRITHOP SERIES

Five of the UK’s best breweries will be launching a line-up of exceptional beers using new progressive British hops in new project named BritHop that is due to launch this summer

The BritHop Series, pioneered by Drinks Maven, has been initiated in conjunction with hop merchant Charles Faram and the British Hop Association [BHA] and aims for a supergroup of new and exciting British beers to be brewed by some of the nation’s top brewers. Each beer will also be aligned with a music track from a British band or artist that suits the beer.

Breweries involved in the project include: Burning Sky, The Kernel, Cloudwater, The Wild Beer Co and North Brewing Co.

“Great beer and great music should go hand-in-hand. In Britain, we are lucky enough to have both. The new progressive hop varieties we now have available to us in the UK are at the heart of this series and will be used to create some exciting new beers. This is the start of a journey into the next generation of flavour for British beer – an exciting step towards growing an appreciation for all of the nuances and subtleties of what British hops have to offer whilst also giving a nod to some decent music at the same time,” said Drinks Maven founder Jessica Mason.

Breweries and their selected tracks are as follows:

Burning Sky: The Astronauts – Typically English Day

The Kernel: The Slits – Heard It Through The Grapevine

Cloudwater: Kate Tempest – Europe Is Lost

The Wild Beer Co: David Bowie – Changes

North Brewing Co: Longpigs – Lost Myself

Mark Tranter, Head Brewer and Founder at Burning Sky Brewery, who is crafting a 5.6% abv pale ale for The BritHop Series, said: “To showcase new British hops, we paired the delightfully citrusy experimental CF185 and CF218 hops with some light spices to create a quietly contemplative and refreshing pale ale. Set to the backdrop of The Astonauts, Typically English Day, there is hope, love and friendship – despite the government and their schemes.”

Paul Jones, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Cloudwater Brew Company said: “We’re using Pioneer hops in a small or not so small IPL. Song pairing is Europe Is Lost by Kate Tempest.”

Jasper Tupman, Technical Brewer at Wild Beer Co, who is making a 5% abv beer that can adapt and change with age, said: “We were invited by our good friend Jessica ‘Drinks Maven’ Mason to get involved in the BritHop project, a celebration of the finest progressive UK hops married with classic British music in honour of Beer Day Britain. Our take was to brew a beer with 100% UK yeast, malt and hops and the spirit of the Thin White Duke himself – David Bowie. We have used copious amounts of new experimental Jester and Godiva hops that combine the tang of gooseberry and grapefruit, with the alluring sweetness of white grape, lychees and blackcurrant.100% fermented with the super attenuating yeast Brettanomyces means it will let the juicy hop character shine through whilst drunk fresh, or choose to cellar and let the Brett do its Funky (Dory) thing. This is a beer that allows for exceptional ageing and flavour development. Chchchchanges!”

 

 

Christian Townsley, Co-Founder at North Brewing Co said: “Our song choice is Lost Myself by Longpigs. Often an overlooked song when talking about Brit pop in the same way that British hops get forgotten. We’re brewing a 4.8% abv pale ale with Godiva, Jester and CF 162 hops.”

Evin O’Riordan, Head Brewer and Founder of The Kernel Brewery said: We are using a hop called CF160.  A daughter of Jester. The hops smelled great, so signs are promising.”

The limited line-up of beers from the BritHop Series will be available to taste during Beer Day Britain on the evening of 15th June 2018 at Mother Kelly’s Paradise Row, Bethnal Green, London. A playlist of music from British bands and artists, including the selected music tracks, will be playing throughout the night.

BritHop is an independent project and a way for beer and music fans to also show support for local industry. The BritHop Series will launch aligned with Beer Day Britain and the limited line-up of beers will be available to taste at a party at Mother Kelly’s in Bethnal Green London on the evening of 15th June, 2018.