The Guild of Beer Writers Awards are back for 2021 and – everything crossed! – will culminate in our traditional glitzy dinner in December rather than an online event. Entries are now open on our dedicated website with a closing date of eop on Sunday 19 September.
We are proud of our Awards and take them seriously, with a rigorous judging process, a generous prize fund thanks to our sponsors and our awards dinner and presentation, which this year take place at One Great George Street on 2nd December.
Winning an award is confirmation that your writing has been judged the best in its field this year. Competition for this accolade is tough, but that doesn’t mean a new writer with a fresh voice can’t come in and win big in their first year.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.
- For the Best Young Beer Writer category, entrants must be aged 35 or under on 31 August 2021, and have started writing about beer no more than two years ago.
- For the Best Beer Citizen Communicator, entrants must have received no payment for writing or communicating in any other way about beer or pubs within the last 12 months.
- For the Best Corporate Communications category, the entrant must be a company or organisation, not an individual (note there is no cash prize in this category).
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 only the Citizen Communicator Award – in which case entry is free, as we recognise you have not been paid for your beer writing. 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. You can join the Guild here
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.
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 Thursday 2nd December at One Great George Street, Westminster.
We welcome all Guild members to attend this dinner, which has become one of the most popular fixtures in the brewing industry calendar. Tickets for this year’s dinner will go on sale later this year.
THIS YEAR’S CATEGORIES
Greene King Award for Best Beer Writer, National Media
If you write, broadcast or communicate in other ways to a national audience, this is the category you should enter. Articles in newspapers and magazines (printed or online), radio and TV broadcasts can all be submitted here. If you’ve published a book, we now have a dedicated Best Book about Beer or Pubs award, and if broadcast is your bag, you may also want to enter our Best Beer Broadcaster Award.
Adnams Award for Best Beer Writer, Regional Media
If you’ve written about beer, breweries or pubs for a regional newspaper, website or magazine, or had airtime on a local radio station, this is your category. CAMRA newsletters could also be submitted here, and/or in our Beer Citizen Communicator category.
HEINEKEN UK Award for Best Beer Communicator, Online
For online writing or communication on any topic around beer and pubs. Blogs 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.
Asahi UK Award for Best Beer Broadcaster
This award seeks to recognise and reward the individual making the best use of broadcast media to communicate about beer and pubs. Entries are welcome from mainstream radio and TV broadcasters, video bloggers, podcasters and everyone else making beer communication beyond the written word so vibrant.
Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I Award for Best Writing about No and Low Alcohol Beers
This award rewards the best writing or other communication about the growing no/low alcohol sector of the beer market. Submissions to this category can be press articles in trade or consumer-facing publications, blogs, radio or TV broadcasts or podcasts.
Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company Award for Best Writing about Sustainability in Beer and Pubs
This award rewards the best writing or other communication 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 sustainability.
VISITFLANDERS Award for Best Beer and Travel Writer
For this category, we’re looking for writing or other communication 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.
Shepherd Neame Award for Best Writing about Pubs
This award recognises the best writing or other communication about the great British pub. Print or online articles, radio or TV broadcasts and podcasts can all be submitted.
Fuller, Smith & Turner Award for Best Young Beer Writer
This award shines a spotlight on the most talented young beer writers as they emerge on the scene. You must be aged 35 or under on 31 August 2021, and have been writing about beer or pubs for no more than 2 years, to enter.
Harvey’s Tom Paine Award for Best Citizen Beer Communicator
This category gives amateur writers a platform away from those who are paid to write about beer or pubs, and was last year renamed Harvey’s Tom Paine Award for Best Beer Citizen Communicator in honour of Tom Paine, a citizen communicator and author of The Rights of Man, who was an excise officer in Harvey’s home town of Lewes in the 18th century. Note: if you were paid for ANY of your work in the industry over the qualifying period, you may not enter this category – we know many ‘big name’ beer writers blog for the love of it alone, but if you receive payment for other work that you do, please enter a different award. CAMRA newsletter writers and other volunteers – this category is for you!
Allsopp’s Award for Best Beer Writer, Trade Media
To win this award, we’re looking for writing that informs and inspires a trade audience, be they licensees, restaurateurs, BWS buyers for supermarkets or bottle shop owners. How does your work help them to navigate the crowded beer scene and choose the styles and brands their customers will love?
NEW FOR 2021: Guild Award for Best Book about Beer or Pubs
A new category to recognise the vibrant beer and pub books sector and give them their own platform. Submissions are welcome from authors, photographers and illustrators, and publishers can nominate one of their books.
Guild Award for Best Beer Writer, Corporate Communications
Trophy to the winner
This category is open to companies and other organisations – not individuals. 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.
HOW TO ENTER
Please read the notes below and then enter via our dedicated Awards submission site HERE
Digital or postal entries?
We prefer digital entries, via our dedicated awards website here (link). You’ll need to complete your contact details, then click through to the category/ies you want to enter, upload your work and submit. PDFs, MP3s and Word documents can be uploaded.
For printed work that can’t be turned into a digital file – such as books – please post to: Guild of Beer Writers Awards, 44 Hurst Road, Horsham, RH12 2EP – please send SIX copies.
Whether you are entering work digitally, by post, or a combination of both, you MUST register on our dedicated awards website here, so that we have a record of your entry. This means that if you tell us you’re sending an entry by post, we can contact you if it doesn’t arrive.
Number of entries
You may enter FOUR pieces of work per category. You may enter as many categories as you wish, but you may only enter any one piece of work into a maximum of TWO categories. The judges reserve the right to move work between different categories if appropriate.
Work must have been published or broadcast between 1 October 2020 and 31 August 2021 to be eligible for an Award. (An 11-month eligibility window, as we extended the deadline last year due to lockdown).
Entering other people’s work
If you are entering work on behalf of someone else – eg a publisher entering a book on behalf of the author – please submit the entry digitally or by post, as above. Please advise the nominee that their work is being submitted.
The deadline for entries to the Awards is Sunday 19 September
Return of submitted work
If you would like any book, magazine or other entries to be returned to you, please enclose a stamped addressed envelope.
If you have any questions about the Awards please contact Ros Shiel, on 07841 694137 or email email@example.com
Judging is carried out by a panel chaired by Emma Inch, Guild Chair; Keith Bott, MD of Titanic Brewery; Sarah Bridge, founder of the A Lady of Leisure travel website and former Mail on Sunday correspondent; Joanna Copestick, publisher at Kyle Books; Matt Eley, communications consultant and former editor of Inapub magazine; Paul Hegarty, Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group; Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association; Ned Palmer, cheesemonger and author; Valentine Warner, chef, writer and broadcaster and Georgina Young, brewing director at St Austell Brewery.
Thanks to our sponsors, who make possible our awards and dinner.
Established in 1872, Adnams combines innovation with tradition. Behind the walls of its Victorian-looking building, it has some of the most advanced and energy-efficient brewing equipment in Europe and constantly experiments with new, innovative techniques. Adnams brews a range of quality beers which reflect its heritage but also challenge conventions. The brewer uses locally-grown East Anglian grains of malted barley, rye, wheat and oats wherever possible and deploys a number of different hop varieties from Britain as well as across the world – all of which contribute to their beers’ individual characters. Adnams retains the values of an independent, family run business with a strong commitment to and leadership in sustainable business practice.
Allsopp’s Brewery is a famous name in British brewing history and was originally founded in 1730. After a change of ownership in 1959, the Allsopp’s name all but disappeared. Now, after sixty-two years in the wilderness, Allsopp’s has returned. Jamie Allsopp, seven times great grandson of pioneering brewer Samuel Allsopp, is fulfilling a lifelong dream of restoring the ales that made his family’s name, to their former glory. With the help of Burton-style brewing expert Jim Appelbee, they have skilfully adapted some of the family’s original recipes to work for today’s ingredients, methods, and tastes, launching Allsopp’s Pale Ale and Allsopp’s India Pale Ale.
Asahi UK is home to an exceptional portfolio of premium beer, ale and cider brands, including category leaders in the UK. The range includes international brands Peroni Nastro Azzurro, the No.1 Super Premium lager in the UK with every drop brewed in Italy; Japan’s No.1 beer, Asahi Super Dry, encouraging consumers to discover the taste of Karakuchi; and the recently relaunched firm favourite for the UK, Grolsch. A portfolio to be envied which also includes local heroes: Fuller’s London Pride, Meantime, Dark Star and Cornish Orchards. Asahi UK’s focus is on elevating experiences for our customers and consumers through innovation, unrivalled service and offering brands with undeniable quality and provenance. Asahi UK believes that every business has a responsibility to understand and act upon its environmental impact and we continuously work towards sharing more information with our suppliers, customers and consumers about both the footprint of our beers, and how we are working to reduce it. Our place in the local community is highly valued and we strive to ensure that we are always making a positive contribution to the communities in and around our UK Breweries. For more information on Asahi UK and parent organisation, Asahi Europe International visit www.asahibeer.co.uk.
Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I
Budweiser Brewing Group UKI is part of AB InBev, the global brewing company which began life more than 600 years ago in a small brewery in Leuven, Belgium. Since that time, we’ve been passionate about brewing great beers. We also care deeply about bringing people together for a better world and we’re committed to doing that now and in the future as sustainably as possible. Here in the UK and Ireland, our beer is made with locally-grown ingredients and in local breweries. From the farms where barley for our beer is grown, through to brewing and all the way to the pubs and shops where our drinks are sold, we make and deliver the best beers in the world in a way that protects our planet and the people in it.
We support pubs and beer-lovers in the UK and Ireland. We recognise the inherent social role that responsible beer production and smart drinking can play in society and we reinforce and support that in the way we work, including with our ranges of low and no-alcohol beers.
Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I’s portfolio of beers combines the traditional with the innovative, with a constant focus on excellence. Some of our best-loved beers include global brands Budweiser, Bud Light, Stella Artois and Corona; international heroes like Beck’s, Leffe and Hoegaarden, our local champions Bass and Boddington’s and craft superstar Camden.
We are more than 1,400 committed, driven people in three breweries across the UK and in our London headquarters, all united by our passion for brewing the best beer. We’re building a company and supporting communities to last, which means we grow in a sustainable and responsible way that benefits us and all our communities.
Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company
Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) is a joint venture between Carlsberg UK and Marston’s PLC, combining over 300 years of shared values, history and heritage in UK brewing. CMBC offers customers an enviable portfolio of lagers, ales and craft beer brands from the best of two master brewing teams, plus beers under license from valued partners. These include lagers such as Carlsberg Danish Pilsner, Carlsberg Expørt and Poretti; premium cask and packaged ales, including Hobgoblin, Marston’s Pedigree, Tetley’s, Wainwright and 61 Deep; brands under license including San Miguel, Estrella Damm, Shipyard, Erdinger, Warsteiner and Kirin; a broad selection of alcohol-free beers; plus distribution of the Brooklyn Brewery and London Fields Brewery craft portfolios.
Our founders were driven by an ambition to brew for a better today and tomorrow. Over 170 years later, we continue to pursue the same purpose. We want to contribute to a better society wherever our beers are brewed and sold, and that includes taking a lead on sustainability. It is central to our purpose, and we also believe it’s the right thing to do – bringing clear benefits to our business and to society as a whole.
Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC
Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC is the premium pubs and hotels business that is famous for beautiful and inviting pubs with delicious fresh food, a vibrant and interesting range of drinks, and engaging service from passionate people. Fuller’s has 209 managed businesses, with 1,027 boutique bedrooms, and 175 Tenanted Inns. The estate is predominately located in the South of England (44% of sites are within the M25) and stretches from our City of London heartland to the Jurassic Coast via the New Forest. Our Managed Pubs and Hotels include 15 iconic Ale & Pie pubs, seven stunning hotels in the Cotswolds, and Bel & The Dragon – seven exquisite country inns located in the Home Counties. In summary, Fuller’s is the home of great pubs, outstanding hospitality and passionate people, where everyone is welcome and leaves that little bit happier than they arrived.
Brewing in Bury St Edmunds, the home of Greene King, dates back 1000 years to day of the Doomsday book and in 2019 our two historic breweries, Westgate in Bury St Edmunds and Belhaven in Dunbar celebrated a combined brewing heritage of 520 years. With a diverse range in our beer portfolio, from pale ales to craft beers and from bitters to stout one thing is for sure, our passion for brewing top quality, delicious beer is as strong today as all those years ago. We are proud to be a sponsor of the Guild of Beer Writers Awards, a wonderful celebration of our national passion for great quality British beer, the writers who challenge the brewers and the brewing industry who continue to drive innovation in beer.
Founded in 1790, Harvey’s is a fine example of a traditional local brewery producing a range of cask conditioned, keg and bottled beers. These are distributed within a sixty mile radius of Lewes via their own transport fleet. The company operates 48 tied houses, 8 of which are managed. The brewery, designed by William Bradford in 1881, has been described as one of the most beautiful in the country.
This is Harvey’s second year as sponsors of the Harvey’s Tom Paine Award for Best Citizen Beer Communicator, named in honour of Tom Paine, a citizen communicator and author of The Rights of Man, who was an excise officer in Harvey’s home town of Lewes in the 18th century.
With over 2,000 passionate people, some of the nation’s most loved beers and ciders, 2,500 pubs, thousands of acres of orchards and three UK breweries, there’s more to HEINEKEN than the name above the door. Our portfolio of brands includes Heineken®, Brixton, Lagunitas, Birra Moretti and Red Stripe, backed by a full range of niche and speciality brands. We are also proud to work in partnership with Beavertown Brewery.
As long term supporters of the British Guild of Beer Writers, we truly believe in the power of storytelling – whether that be through the written word, a podcast, or a photograph. And we are proud to be sponsoring once again.
Britain’s oldest brewer Shepherd Neame has been based in the market town of Faversham, Kent for over 300 years. Perhaps best known for great British classic ales such as Spitfire, which carries the Royal Warrant, its diverse portfolio includes Five Grain Lager, Bear Island East Coast Pale Ale and Bear Island Triple Hopped Lager, and the Whitstable Bay Collection. It also brews international lagers under licence including Samuel Adams Boston Lager, and is the sole UK distributor for premium Thai lager Singha. The independent family business boasts an award-winning visitor centre and more than 300 pubs and hotels throughout London and the South East, from the historic heart of the City to the Kent coastline.
SIBA represent around 750 independent craft brewers across the UK and are the voice of British independent brewing. With their ‘Assured Independent British Craft Brewer’ seal, SIBA champion quality, flavoursome beers from independent craft brewers, as well as protecting the businesses of thousands of breweries across the UK through Government lobbying and campaigning in Parliament.
VISITFLANDERS represents the Dutch-speaking, northern region of Belgium, a country that has been synonymous with amazing beer for decades. Famous for our extensive range of beer styles, the region boasts a brewing heritage dating back to the 12th Century. Attracting beer lovers from all over the world, Flanders is also home to an enviable array of great beer venues, from cosy bars and traditional ‘brown’ cafés, to brewery taps and festivals held in stunning heritage locations; no wonder that our rich brewing and beer traditions make Belgium the only country where beer culture is officially recognised as part of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage listing.