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2nd October 2014


Barnsley Bitter from the award winning Acorn Brewery has been hailed the top standard strength ale in Yorkshire and the North East.


Acorn is toasting the success after scooping gold in its class at the fiercely fought SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) annual regional contest in York, which judged 176 cask ales from 66 breweries. The acclaimed traditional ale has kept the town in the forefront of the UK’s brewing revival since Acorn was launched in 2003. It will now be judged on the national stage by SIBA at Beer X in Sheffield next March.


Barnsley Bitter (3.8%abv) was Acorn’s first beer and recreated the style of bitter once widely popular among the industrial communities of South Yorkshire. Acorn uses the same yeast strain as the original Barnsley Brewery of the 19th century, along with the traditional Maris Otter malt and English hops to produce the chestnut coloured ale.


Top beer author and broadcaster Pete Brown, a famous son of Barnsley, has described the brew as ‘the drinkability of session beer with a dark richness, a hint of chocolate and red berry fruit – beer that Yorkshire does better than anywhere else.”


Acorn founder, head brewer and managing director Dave Hughes said: “This SIBA award is wonderful news for all the team and another exciting boost for our continuing growth. And, as the first ale brewed when we took our early faltering steps in 2003, it is particularly gratifying to have this tremendous tribute from our brewing peers in the North. It’s real recognition that it remains an outstanding brew.”


Barnsley Bitter also triumphed with silver in class at the Champion Beer of Britain Awards at the Camra (Campaign for Real Ale) Great British Beer Festival 2006. In recent years Acorn has enjoyed spiralling sales at some 30 per cent a year and expanded to a production capacity to some 150 brewer’s barrels a week (43,200 pints) to become one of Yorkshire’s fastest growing breweries.


Acorn also enjoyed further success at the SIBA contest with Gorlovka Imperial Stout (6%abv) also claiming silver in the bottled stouts and porters category.






The SIBA success made it a double victory for Barnsley brewers at the prestigious event. Stairfoot’s three year old Geeves Brewery also took gold in the best bitter class for its Clear Cut (4.4%) brew.


Dave Hughes added: “Maybe it is something in the Barnsley water that is helping us to make the town famous for excellent beers. Whatever it is, it seems to be working.”


Acorn now directly delivers to more than 400 free trade outlets across Yorkshire, Midlands and the North West and regularly to prestigious London outlets. National wholesalers and pub chains are also supplied. Acorn’s growth reflects the burgeoning market for cask conditioned ale as reported in recent years in the brewing industry’s annual Cask Report. (**see footnote).

Ends/ref Acorn SIBA win for Barnsley Bitter  

Note to editors:

SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) represents a membership of some 800 breweries throughout the UK divided into regions. The North East and Yorkshire Region covers brewers from South Yorkshire to the Scottish border.


Acorn has won more than fifty consumer and trade brewing accolades while SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) has twice praised the brewer in its annual business awards.

Production of Barnsley Bitter began on 4th July 2003 using the same yeast strain as the original Barnsley Brewery of the 1850’s. This yeast is now integral to the distinctive Yorkshire character of all Acorn brands which now also includes Barnsley Gold, Old Moor Porter, Sovereign, Gorlovka Imperial Stout and Acorn Blonde.  In 2007, with rising sales and an expanding brands portfolio, a major investment moved the brewery into a bespoke 20-barrel-plant on Aldham Industrial Estate, doubling production capacity.

An eighth annual range of IPA specials was launched for 2014. The monthly brews have boosted sales every year since first launched in 2007. Bottled beers have also gained listings with several major retailers.

** In recent years the annual industry backed  annual Cask Report ( has pointed to the growing following for cask among young people, females and the more affluent – discrediting the ‘cloth cap’ image – as people become more discerning, rejecting bland global brands to choose craft beers with real provenance. The 2014 Cask Report will be released on Thursday (September 25) at the start of the national Cask Ale Week.

For further media information contact: Steve Hobman, Rhino Public Relations: 07751 578605. Email: