The Guild Awards 2020 are now closed. We will publish a shortlist in November and announce the winners of each category, and the overall Beer Writer of the Year, at an online event in December.
Below are some of the details, including the categories for the 2020 Awards, which are likely to remain broadly the same for 2021, though we will publish updated information here next year.
WHO CAN ENTER
- Despite the title, the 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).
- 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 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.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
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 Best Citizen Communicator category, which is free, as we recognise you have not been paid for your beer writing. As joining the Guild costs only £55 per year, 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 judging panel 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. We’re not saying you should rant and rave, but 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: this year, we’re reducing the number of entries that can be submitted to FOUR per category.
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 in December, via Zoom or another virtual platform.
- Asahi Award for Best Beer and Travel Writer
For this category, we’re looking for writing or other communication about beers and or/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.
- Budweiser Brewing Group for Best Writing about No and Low Alcohol Beers
No and low alcohol beers are one of the most dynamic sectors in our industry. This award will reward the best writing or other communication in the field. Entries can include printed, online or broadcast work.
- Carlsberg UK Award for Best Writing on 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.
- Greene King Award for Best Beer Writer, Print Publications
This is the category for you if your work – written or visual – is published in print: books, newspapers or magazines. Submissions can include work published in printed national, regional or trade media. Note that if your work was published online ONLY, you should enter the Online award (below) – this is for works that have been printed (though they may also have been published online as well).
- Harvey’s Tom Paine Award for Best Beer Citizen Communicator
This category gives amateur writers a platform away from those who are paid to write about beer or pubs, and is sponsored by the first time by Sussex brewer Harvey’s. It has been 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!
- Heineken 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.
- NEW: Shepherd Neame Award for Best Beer and Pub Communications during Lockdown
A new award, made in recognition of the fantastic output of communications about beer and pubs during lockdown. If you hosted a beer tasting on Zoom, blogged about your favourite pubs or helped in any way to keep the beer and pubs community vibrant during lockdown, we’d love to hear from you.
- VISITFLANDERS 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 just now.
- Award for Best Beer Writer, Corporate Communications
This category is open to companies and other organisations – not individuals. Entries can be aimed at internal, trade or consumer audiences. Entrants must demonstrate how their work has achieved the organisation’s communications goal.
The Guild will award Beer Writer of the Year 2020 to one of the category winners. We will also present the SIBA Award for Brewer of the Year to a brewer voted for by Guild members.
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.
How many pieces of work?
You can 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 September 2019 and 30 September 2020. We have extended this in recognition of delays to publication caused by the pandemic and will be reverting to the usual 12 month qualifying period in 2021. Members can therefore choose to work published in September 2020 into this year’s competition, or next year’s – but not both!
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 Wednesday 30 September at 5.00 pm.
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
Asahi Europe Ltd
Asahi Europe’s beer portfolio includes beers brewed in unique ways and with unique histories, from medieval Belgium and Netherlands to modern day Japan, Italy and Great Britain. Crafted from a long tradition and rich heritage, our world-class brands continuously reinvent themselves as contemporary premium beers that travel the world and please discerning consumers in nearly 80 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art breweries, quality ingredients and a culture that fosters innovation, encourages collaboration and rewards high performance, we aim to bring the best quality of beer to life. Our variety of beers delight millions of people around the world with their top quality and uncompromising integrity.
As part of the Carlsberg Group, Carlsberg UK has long been brewing and selling some of Britain’s favourite beers. Today, they include Carlsberg Danish Pilsner, Carlsberg Export, Poretti, Grimbergen and Tuborg. We also hold the UK brand licences for San Miguel, Mahou, and the Brooklyn Brewery range, putting them at the heart of our growing premium portfolio.
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.
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 will be celebrating 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 sponsor 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.
With over 2,000 passionate people, some of the nation’s most loved beers and ciders, 2,700 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®, Lagunitas, Birra Moretti, Maltsmiths, Kronenbourg1664, John Smith’s, Amstel and Red Stripe, backed by a full range of niche and speciality brands. We are also proud to work in partnership with Beavertown Brewery and Brixton 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 protect 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!
As the Guild’s sole tourism-based corporate member, we very much empathise with the need to support fellow industry members in the hospitality sector; great beer is best enjoyed in good company, be this with friends in a local pub, or with like-minded individuals seeking new styles, flavours and experiences in a different country, and Flanders has felt somewhat empty without its international friends. We hope that by VISITFLANDERS sponsoring the Best Broadcaster category, it will inspire broadcasters to continue to explore, speak and share their inspirational thoughts and experiences about our region’s fine beer heritage and the bright future of Belgian beer. At a time when freedom to travel is restricted there still exists a thirst for knowledge of rich personal opinion and knowledge, and never has there been a time when the medium of broadcast, can serve that demand more.
Judges this year are: Tim Anderson, chef-owner of Japanese restaurant Nanban and beer expert; Gabe Cook, award winning cider expert, (aka The Ciderologist); Jez Galaun, co-founder of Brixton Brewery; Kate Oppenheim, hospitality sector journalist and communications expert, currently publisher and editor of BII News and Tom Stainer, CAMRA chief executive. The current Beer Writer of the Year, Jonny Garrett, chairs the panel.