The Guild of Beer Writers Awards are the only competition to recognise and reward writing and broader communication about beer and pubs in the UK. We are proud of our award scheme and take it seriously, with a rigorous judging process, a generous prize fund thanks to our sponsors and an awards presentation and dinner in December that has become one of the industry’s top ‘must attend’ events.
View all of our 2019 Award Winners here.
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. But to win, you have to enter, through our dedicated Awards entry site. Our 2020 Awards will open for entries in July.
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.
- Entry to the Awards open to writers and other communicators outside the Guild – but if you’re a non-member wanting to enter, why not join us? NB: non-members may enter the Best Beer Citizen Communicator, in recognition that this category is for those who are not paid for their writing.
- 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 2019, and have started writing about beer no more than three 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.
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.
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 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: If you write a great deal, you’re encouraged to think about your very best work – one great piece stands a better chance than six averagely good ones. If you’re not prolific, don’t worry – in past years writers submitting one lone article have won an award.
Why not read these tips for entering the Awards by Beer Writer of the Year 2018, Emma Inch.
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 Tuesday 3rd December at One Great George Street, Westminster. We welcome all entrants and other 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 in September.
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), books and radio/TV broadcasts can all be submitted here. If broadcast is your bag, you may also want to enter our Best Beer Broadcaster Award.
Adnams Award for Best Beer Writer, Regional Media
- Regional newspapers, magazines and radio stations frequently feature beer columns or pub reviews. CAMRA newsletters could also be submitted here, and/or in our Beer Citizen Communicator category.
Fuller Smith & Turner 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?
Heineken Award for Best Beer Communicator, Online
- For online writing 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 up to SIX posts you are proud of.
St Austell Family Group Award for Best Young Beer Writer
- Introduced four years ago, this award has shone a spotlight on some of the most talented young beer writers as they emerge on the scene. You must be aged 35 or under on 31 August 2019 to enter.
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.
NEW FOR 2019: Carlsberg UK Award for Best Writing on Sustainability in Beer and Pubs
- To secure a sustainable future for our industry, brewers and pubs must strive to have a positive impact on people and the planet. By sharing across the industry and learning from one another, we can progress faster. This award honours the writers, podcasters, filmmakers, journalists, and all those documenting the pursuit of better across the industry. It recognises their important role in sharing knowledge and ideas to build a more sustainable future.
Long Live the Local Award for Best Writer about Pubs.
- This award recognises the best writing or other communication about the British pub as a treasured national asset.
NEW FOR 2019: Guild 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 can be radio, TV or online broadcasts or podcasts.
Guild Award for Best Beer Writer, Corporate Communications
- This category is open to companies and other organisations in the beer and pubs world. Entries can be aimed at internal, trade or consumer audiences. NB: the winner of this award receives a trophy but no prize money.
Guild 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. 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 most people blog for the love of it alone, but if you are paid to write for a publication, or provide marketing copy for a brewer, please enter a different award. CAMRA newsletter writers and other hobbyist writers – this category is for you!
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 wherever possible – and we’ve made it easier than ever to enter your work this way, via our dedicated awards website here (link). Simply click through to the category/ies you want to enter, upload your work and submit. PDFs, MP3s and Word documents can be uploaded.
If you’re entering work from an online source, we’d really like the articles turned into a PDF – that way, judges aren’t having to click on thousands of links! If you have to submit as links, please list them on a word document and upload it. Please DO NOT list more than six pieces or links per category entered (we will only judge the first six submitted). You can submit a mix of links and digital files, so long as the total does not exceed six per category.
If you want to enter work not available digitally – such as books or magazines – please post to: Guild of Beer Writers Awards, 44 Hurst Road, Horsham, RH12 2EP – just THREE copies are sufficient initially.
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. Otherwise, we won’t know you plan to enter. If you have entered online, and posted your entry to us, we will only contact you, ahead of deadline, if your entry DOESN’T arrive – we receive too many entries to acknowledge each individually.
Number of entries
You can enter SIX 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 2018 and 31 August 2019 to be eligible for an Award.
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 Friday 6 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
- Laurence Creamer, Social & Digital Lead on industry campaign Long Live The Local
- Tim Hayward, food & drink author, restaurant reviewer and regular on Radio 4’s Kitchen Cabinet
- Charlie McVeigh, founder of Draft House
- Tony Naylor, food & drink writer contributing to The Guardian and BBC Good Food
- Ross O’Hara, head brewer at Greene King
- Kate Oppenheim, experienced journalist, publisher and communications expert specialising in the hospitality sector. A regular contributor to various publications, Kate is also the publisher and editor of BII News. In the past, she has held editorships at The Publican, Retail Week and Off Licence News, as well as being head of communications at Sky Business
- Tony Sophoclides, Strategic Affairs Director at UKHospitality.
- Emma Inch, the current Beer Writer of the Year, writer and broadcaster, chairs the panel