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winners of the Guild of Beer Writers Awards 2021 including overall Beer Writer of the Year Pete Brown (centre)

Awards

The Guild of Beer Writers Awards 2022 are now open for entries, with a closing date of Friday, 2 September. Winners will be announced at our much-loved Awards Dinner, held on 23 November at One Great George Street, Westminster.

Winning an award is confirmation that your writing has been judged the best in its field this year. Competition for this accolade is tough and your work will be put through a robust judging process. So, if you want to take your place on the podium and take home a trophy and a cheque, now’s the time to enter the work you are proudest of from the last 12 months. Read about our categories and criteria below and then enter via our dedicated entry website 

Good luck!

THIS YEAR’S CATEGORIES

Best Commissioned Beer Writing, sponsored by Greene King

Gold: £1,000

Silver: £500

This award is for written (not audio/video/photography) work that has been commissioned by a publication such as a newspaper, magazine, or other publication in print or online, rather than self-published.

Best Beer Communicator, Regional Media, sponsored by Adnams                                       

Gold: £1,000

Silver: £500

This award is open to work that has been published in a regional publication. If you’ve created written, audio, video or photography work that has been commissioned by a regional newspaper, website or magazine, had airtime on a local radio station, or work that is very clearly aimed at a regional audience, this is your category. CAMRA newsletters could also be submitted here, and/or in our Best Citizen Beer Communicator category.

Best Book about Beer or Pubs, sponsored by HEINEKEN

Gold: £1,000

Silver: £500

This category recognises the vibrant beer and pub books sector and gives them their own platform. Submissions are welcome from authors, photographers and illustrators, and publishers can nominate one of their books. Self-published books should be entered into the Best Self-Published Beer Writing category.

Best Audio Beer Communication, sponsored by Asahi UK

Gold: £1,000

Silver: £500

This award seeks to recognise and reward the individual making the best use of audio media to communicate about beer and pubs. Open to podcasts, audio documentaries, radio programmes and other audio.

Best Communication about No and Low Alcohol Beer, sponsored by Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I

Gold: £1,000

Silver: £500

This award rewards the best written, audio, video, or photography work about low and no alcohol beer, including press articles in trade or consumer-facing publications, blogs, radio or TV broadcasts, podcasts or any other communication that reports on this topic.

Best Communication about Sustainability in Beer and Pubs, sponsored by Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company

Gold: £1,000

Silver: £500

This award rewards the best written, audio, video, or photography work about sustainability in the beer and pubs sector. Submissions can be press articles in trade or consumer-facing publications, blogs, radio or TV broadcasts, podcasts or any other communication that reports on this topic.

Best Communication about Beer and Travel, sponsored by VISITFLANDERS

Gold: £1,000

Silver: £500

We’re looking for written, audio, video, or photography work about beers and or/pubs and bars you’ve experienced while travelling, either abroad or in the UK. The best entries will have a strong sense of place and create a thirst for the beers enjoyed there.

Best Communication about Pubs, sponsored by Shepherd Neame

Gold: £1,000

Silver: £500

This award recognises the best written, audio, video, or photography work about the great British pub. Print or online articles, radio or TV broadcasts and podcasts can all be submitted.

Best Newcomer to Beer Communication, sponsored by Fuller, Smith & Turner

Gold: £1,000

Silver: £500

This award is open to anyone who has been communicating (writing, audio, video, photography, PR, training, marketing, other) about beer (in a paid or unpaid capacity) for less than 2 years. Entries for this category can be written, audio or video.

Best Citizen Beer Communicator, sponsored by Krombacher

Gold: £1,000

Silver: £500

This award is open to anyone who has never communicated (writing, audio, video, photography, PR, social media, training, marketing, other) about beer in a professional capacity. Entries for this category can be written, audio or video. No fee is required to enter this category.

NEW: Guild Award for Best Communication About Diversity in Beer

Gold: £500

This new award is open to written, audio, video, or photography work dealing with issues of diversity in the world of beer and pubs (e.g. age, gender, gender identity, sexuality, race, religion, ability and other aspects of diversity). No fee is required to enter this category.

NEW: Best Communication About Cider

Gold: £500

With the Guild of Beer Writers recently adding cider to its remit, this new award is open to written, audio, video or photography work about cider and cider making. Print or online articles, radio or TV broadcasts and podcasts can all be submitted. 

Best Self-Published Beer Writing

Gold: £500

This award is for written (not audio/video/photography) work that has been self-published rather than commissioned, including books, blogs, social media posts, website pieces, etc. Blogs and websites will be judged on both the quality of the writing and the design – as both are important in enthusing readers. Please DON’T simply send us the url to your blogsite – if you want to win, you should select the FOUR posts you’re most proud of.

Best Beer Business Communication

Gold: £500

To win this award, we’re looking for written, audio, video or photography work about the business of pubs or beer. Maybe it appears in trade titles aimed at licensees, restaurateurs, BWS buyers for supermarkets or bottle shop owners – or maybe it takes a look from outside.

Best Video Beer Communication

Gold: £500

This award seeks to recognise and reward the individual making the best use of video media to communicate about beer and pubs. Open to YouTube videos, TV programmes, films, and other video.

Best Corporate Beer Communication

Trophy to the winner

This category is open to companies and other organisations as well as individuals, who have created written, audio, video or photography work that has been produced for the specific purpose of promoting a business or product. Entries can be aimed at internal, trade or consumer audiences, and entrants should demonstrate how their work has achieved the organisation’s communications objectives. NB: the winner of this award receives a trophy but no prize money.

Who can enter?

  • Our awards are open not just to writers, but to anyone who communicates about beer. This includes journalists, authors, bloggers, poets, illustrators, filmmakers, broadcasters and photographers.
  • The Awards are open to all writers and other communicators, but if you’re not a member of the Guild, you will have to pay £50 (unless you’re only entering the Best Citizen Beer Communicator, which is free). Or why not join the Guild (at a cost of £57.50)
  • Most people enter their own work but if you’re an editor, publisher or other third party you can also enter someone else’s work on their behalf. You can also just tell us about the work of someone whose work you admire and let us prompt them to enter, by emailing ros@shielporter.com
  • The awards are not limited to work published in the UK, but entries must be in English (or translated into English by the entrant).
  • The only people who cannot enter are the judges.

What does it cost to enter?

Entering the Awards is FREE to all Guild members.  If you don’t belong to the Guild, entry costs £50 (for as many categories as you wish to enter), unless you are entering the Citizen Communicator or Diversity category, in which case entry is free, even if you’re not a Guild member. Note though that if you are entering any other categories in addition to these, you will need to pay the £50 fee.

As joining the Guild costs only £55, we hope that you will consider becoming a member, giving you free entry to the Awards, in addition to the other benefits of membership, including a heavily discounted ticket to the Awards dinner.  You can join the Guild here 

If you want to enter as a non-member, we will need to take your payment of £50, and we will then ask you to send your work direct rather than through the awards website (as this is only accessible to Guild members).  Please email ros@shielporter.com if you want to do this.

Qualifying period

All work entered must have been published between 1 September 2021 and 31 August 2022

What do you have to do to win?

It’s entirely up to the judges what wins, and no one can predict what will do well. But the winning entries tend to have certain shared qualities:

  • Passion: If you’re not that interested in your subject, it’s doubtful you’ll persuade anyone else to be. In the best writing, the love of beer and pubs is obvious – and infectious.
  • Originality: This is relative of course – the big themes in beer and pubs are written about year after year. But the awards reward fresh perspectives. Knowledge and authority about the subject might seem essential, but can be beaten by an inspiring cry from the heart from a new arrival to the world of beer.
  • Clarity and readability: In order to communicate well, you need to communicate clearly. It helps enormously if you are clear, engaging and accessible.
  • Quality, not quantity: If you write a great deal, you’re encouraged to think about your very best work – one great piece stands a better chance than four averagely good ones. If you’re not prolific, don’t worry – in past years writers submitting one lone article have won an award.

How much does it cost to enter?

Entering the Awards is FREE to all Guild members.  If you don’t belong to the Guild, entry costs £50 (for as many categories as you wish to enter), unless you are entering only the Citizen Communicator A

Helpful information for your entry:

  • When you choose files to upload, it will not start uploading until you press the orange ‘next award’ button at the bottom of the page. Make sure you’ve uploaded all your documents for that category before you press to continue.
  • As with previous years, once you’ve entered a category and pressed ‘submit’ on the final page, it is NOT possible to amend your entry to that category – but you can go back onto this website and enter other categories. So please be sure to submit all your pieces of work before submitting.
  • If you are submitting any broadcast (audio or video) work, please edit these rather than submitting entire programmes. You can submit up to four pieces of work per category, but please limit the overall length of these pieces together to around 20 minutes.
  • The maximum size document you can upload is 128MB. If you have a file to upload that is bigger than this, please use a file transfer service and send to ros@shielporter.com with a note of the category you are entering.
  • You may upload a maximum of four digital files for each category that you wish to enter.
  • You can enter any piece of work into a maximum of TWO categories only.
  • You can upload files with the following extensions:
    • Portable formats: .pdf
    • Word formats: .doc / .docx
    • Simple text formats: .rtf / .otf
    • Audio formats: .mp4 / .m4a
    • Video formats: .mov / .wmv / .mp3

If you are submitting books, magazines or other work that can’t be uploaded to the entries website, please send TWO copies PER CATEGORY initially to: Guild of Beer Writers Awards, c/o Ros Shiel, 44 Hurst Road, Horsham, RH12 2EP. Note that we will require further copies if your work progresses to shortlist.

When do we announce the winners?

We publish a shortlist of those entrants whose work is being considered for a prize, in November. The winners and runners-up for each award, and the overall Beer Writer of the Year will be announced at the British Guild of Beer Writers annual awards dinner, to be held on 23 November at One Great George Street, Westminster.

We welcome all Guild members and industry friends to attend this dinner, which has become one of the most popular fixtures in the drinks industry calendar. Tickets for this year’s dinner will go on sale later this year.

At the Awards dinner, we also announce our Brewer of the Year, sponsored by SIBA. This is decided by member vote and polling will open later this year.