North East brewers left feeling flat at Beer of Britain awards

Beermakers from the region show good humour after not even making the shortlists for Camra's top beer prize

L-R: Matt Boyle of Wylam Brewery, Claire Lee of Allendale Brewery, Robert Millichamp of Mordue Brewery, Dawn Miles of Anarchy Brewery and Julia Austin of Tyne Bank Brewery
L-R: Matt Boyle of Wylam Brewery, Claire Lee of Allendale Brewery, Robert Millichamp of Mordue Brewery, Dawn Miles of Anarchy Brewery and Julia Austin of Tyne Bank Brewery

North East brewers have joked they “gave the rest of the country a chance” after returning home empty handed from the Great British Beer Festival.

Earlier in the year ales from across Northumberland and Tyne and Wear brought home a string of awards from the Society of Independent Brewers - leading some beer-works bosses to declare the region’s pints the “best in Britain.”

But after West Yorkshire brewery Timothy Taylor’s took Camra’s Champion Beer of Britain prize with its Boltmaker it has been revealed the North East’s brews were not even on the final’s individual category shortlists.

“We gave the rest of Britain a chance, because if the North East had been down there in the competition we’d have won everything,” joked North Shields-based Mordue Brewery’s Garry Fawson, who last year saw his Workie Ticket beer named Camra’s top “best bitter.”

Prizes were handed out at London’s Olympia for what Camra believe are the best milds, bitters, best bitters, golden ales, strong bitters, “speciality beers” and real ale in a bottle.

Timothy Taylors Boltmaker won the bitters category, and was named overall Champion Beer, with golden ales winner Oakham Citra in second, and best bitters winner Salopian Darwin’s Original taking bronze.

L-R: Matt Boyle of Wylam Brewery, Claire Lee of Allendale Brewery, Julia Austin of Tyne Bank Brewery, Dawn Miles of Anarchy Brewery and Robert Millichamp of Mordue Brewery
L-R: Matt Boyle of Wylam Brewery, Claire Lee of Allendale Brewery, Julia Austin of Tyne Bank Brewery, Dawn Miles of Anarchy Brewery and Robert Millichamp of Mordue Brewery
 

“We work very hard to produce great beers and we really believe this is the best beer we can brew,” said Timothy Taylors’ head brewer Peter Eells, whose beer may have been brewed using barley from the very north of this region. “So to have it acknowledged in such an important competition is absolutely fantastic.”

“It is fantastic to announce Timothy Taylor’s Boltmaker as the Champion Beer of Britain 2014,” Nik Antona, champion beer of britain director, said.

“This full flavoured bitter is a modern classic that is as impressive today as the day it was first brewed. ”

While not in competition a number of North East beers were available to festival visitors, with Morpeth-based Anarchy Brew Co, Durham Brewery, Byker’s Tyne Bank, Northumberland’s Allendale, and Mordue, all seeing their beers served.

“We were delighted to see our beer Sublime Chaos so well received at the Great British Beer Festival,” said Anarchy Brew Co’s Andrew Mitchell.

“We were honored to be representing the North East at this fantastic celebration along with Mordue, Tyne Bank, Allendale and others.”

Garry said despite not winning yet another award, drinkers appetite for North East beer shows no sign of slowing.

“We’re really busy even though it’s the summer, which is usually quieter,” he said.

The full Camra Great British Beer Festival Champion Beer Of Britain winners list:

Overall winners

Gold – Timothy Taylors, Boltmaker

Silver – Oakham, Citra

Bronze – Salopian, Darwin’s Origin

Mild category

Gold – Bank Top, Dark Mild

Silver – Branscombe Vale, Mild

Bronze – Castle Rock, Black Gold

Bitters category

Gold – Timothy Taylor, Boltmaker

Silver – Mighty Oak, Captain Bob

Joint Bronze – Flowerpots, Flowerpots Bitter & Sambrook’s Wandle Ale

Best Bitters

Gold – Salopian, Darwin’s Origin

Silver – Red Willow, Directionless

Joint Bronze – Purity, Mad Goose & Langton, Inclined plain bitter

Golden Ales

Gold – Oakham, Citra

Silver – Hawkshead, Cumbrian Five Hop

Bronze – Salopian, Hop Twister

Strong Bitters

Gold – Church End, Fallen Angel

Silver – Blue Monkey, Ape Ale

Bronze –Loch Ness, HoppyNESS

Speciality Beers

Gold – Saltaire, Triple Chocoholic

Silver – Offbeat, Way Out Wheat

Bronze – Peak Ales, Chatsworth Gold

Champion Winter Beer of Britain (from category winners announced in January 2014)

Cairngorm, Black Gold (Stouts Category)

Dunham Massey, Dunham Porter (Porter Category)

Exe Valley, Winter Glow (Old Ales & Strong Milds)

Kinver, Over the Edge (Barley Wines & Strong Old Ales)

Champion Bottled Beer of Britain winners (Sponsored by Beer Hawk)

Gold – Marble, Chocolate Marble

Silver – St Austell, Proper Job

Bronze – Spire, Prince Igor Imperial Russian Stout

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