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30th November 2017

Best of beer writing recognised in annual awards

Winners of the Guild's 2017 Awards

Honours taken by established writers and new talent

 Adrian Tierney-Jones has been named Beer Writer of the Year 2017 at the British Guild of Beer Writers’ annual awards ceremony, staged on 29 November.

Beer Writer of the Year is the top award in the Guild’s annual competition for writing about beer and pubs, which this year received more than 130 entries across nine categories. Tierney-Jones won the National Media award and took the runner-up spot in the Trade category on his way to the overall prize.

Tierney-Jones has written about beer and pubs for around 20 years and his words appear in national newspapers, drinks trade titles and in a string of books including The Seven Moods of Craft Beer, published earlier this year, which was part of his winning submission.

Pete Brown, last year’s Beer Writer of the Year and chairman of judges for the 2017 competition, said, “Everyone who’s stepped up to the podium tonight should be extremely proud; they have been recognised as one of the best writers, broadcasters or bloggers about beer and pubs. This year’s field was particularly strong and the judges had to make some tough decisions at shortlisting stage and then in selecting the Gold and Silver award winners.

“We’re pleased that the prizes have gone to new names on the beer writing scene, as well as established writers – one of our Gold Awards was won by a first-time entrant. We were also delighted with the quality of entries to our new Citizen Communicator category, which has given amateur writers their own platform and revealed some exciting talent which we expect to see again.”

He added: “Our new Beer Writer of the Year, Adrian Tierney-Jones lives and breathes his subject. And talks about it without ever seeming to draw breath. As well as constantly seeking to learn more about beer, after decades as a journalist he’s also still constantly seeking out new ways in which to communicate his passion and knowledge to the reader. Adrian is no stranger to these awards, but this year was his strongest yet and he was the judges’ unanimous choice for the top award.”

Brown was joined on the judging panel by Keith Miller, food and drink commissioning editor at The Daily Telegraph; Bruce Smith, brewer at Maltsmiths Brewing; David Cunningham, programme director at There’s A Beer for That, the campaign to reignite Britain’s love of beer.

The Awards ceremony also saw the Guild’s Brewer of the Year title go to Justin Hawke, head brewer and founder at Moor Beer. Presenting the Award, Guild chairman Tim Hampson said, “Justin delivers flavourful, high quality beers time after time, combining innovation in beer packaging – which has seen their ‘canbulance’ take their canned beers on the road – with classic flavours that show just what can be done with the four core ingredients of beer. Moor Beer is always modern, but with an eye to the history of beer and brewing.”

The winners and runners up in each category were announced at the Guild’s annual dinner held at the Park Lane Hotel on Piccadilly. Guests enjoyed a four-course dinner, with each dish accompanied by a specially selected beer: Brew by Numbers’ 01/31 Saison; Wild Beer Co’s Modus Operandi; Wimbledon Brewery’s Quartermaine; Old Dairy’s Dark Side of the Moo and Shapeshifter from Four Pure. Other beers from the Award’s sponsoring brewers – Adnams, Fuller’s, Maltsmith, St Austell Brewery and Shepherd Neame – were sampled before and after dinner.



Brewer of the Year: Justin Hawke, Moor Beer


NEW AWARD: Guild Award for Best Citizen Beer Communicator

Winner: Oli Haydon

Highly Commended: Matthew Hickman


There’s A Beer For That Award for Best Beer Broadcaster

Winner: Lucy Stevenson and Louise Mulroy

Silver Award: Jane Peyton


Guild Award for Best Young Beer Writer of the Year

Winner: James Beeson

Silver Award: Joe Tindall


St Austell Brewery Award for Best Beer & Travel Writer

Winner: Stephen Beaumont & Tim Webb

Silver Award: Chris Elston


Guild Award for Best Beer Writer – Corporate Communications

Winner: Carlsberg UK


Maltsmiths Brewery Award for Best Beer Communicator – Online

Winner: Emma Inch

Silver Award: Jonny Garrett


Fuller’s London Pride Award for Best Beer Writer – Trade Media

Winner: Susanna Forbes

Silver Award: Adrian Tierney-Jones


Adnams Award for Best Beer Writer – Regional Media

Winner: Simon Jenkins

Silver Award: Alastair Gilmour


Shepherd Neame Award for Best Beer Writer – National Media

Winner: Adrian Tierney-Jones

Silver Award: Will Hawkes


The Michael Jackson Gold Tankard for Beer Writer of the Year 2017: Adrian Tierney-Jones



The Guild is grateful to the following sponsors, whose support makes possible our annual 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 beers which reflect its heritage but also challenge conventions. They use locally-grown East Anglian grains of malted barley, rye, wheat and oats wherever popular and deploy a number of different hop varieties from Britain as well as across the world – all of which contribute to their beers’ individual characters.


Fuller’s London Pride

The Fuller, Smith & Turner partnership was formed in 1845, but brewing has taken place at the site of the current Griffin Brewery since around 1654. It is the only UK brewery to have three different beers named Champion Beer of Britain by CAMRA; collectively London Pride, Chiswick Bitter and ESB have received this accolade five times.  Other beers in its extensive and wide-ranging portfolio include Honey Dew, Bengal Lancer, Wild River and Frontier. London Pride is Fuller’s flagship beer.  With its well-rounded flavour and rich history, everything about this authentic, characterful beer binds it to our capital city and the people who love it.

Maltsmiths Brewing

Our brewers, Sarah and Bruce, or Maltsmiths as they like to be known, brew tasty, refreshing beers that people love. They tweak, taste, then tweak some more, to perfect their recipes, and they’re always experimenting with new ingredients and tastes. The American style IPA and the Bavarian style Pilsner are our Maltsmiths’ first two beers, brewed at the award winning Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh, and now they’re available across the UK on draught, in bottles and in cans.

Keep up to date with our Maltsmiths as they brew more new recipes from scratch  – Twitter: @maltsmiths  and Instagram: @MaltsmithsBrewing

Shepherd Neame

Shepherd Neame is an independent family brewery and pub operator based in the medieval market town of Faversham, Kent. Dating back at least 400 years, it is Britain’s oldest brewer and still creates its range of Kentish ales and award-winning lagers using traditional methods with 100% natural ingredients; chalk-filtered mineral water from the artesian well below its site, the finest malting barley and Kentish hops.

Its beer portfolio includes Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale and the new Spitfire Gold, Bishops Finger Kentish Strong Ale and Master Brew. More recent introductions include Spitfire Lager, the contemporary Whitstable Bay Collection and a new collection of limited edition No.18 Yard Brewhouse beers, named after its historic cask store. It also brews a number of high quality international lagers under licence including Asahi and Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

St Austell Brewery

Founded in 1851 by Cornishman Walter Hicks, today St Austell Brewery remains a 100% independent and family owned brewer and pub operator. Its brewery in St Austell produces many of the region’s most popular beers for sale in pubs, bars and supermarkets in the south west, across the UK and overseas. St Austell brews beer with individuality, character and spirit which is true to its vision of what good beer ought to be. Fellow regional brewer and pub company Bath Ales joined the St Austell Brewery family in summer 2016.

St Austell Brewery’s sponsorship of Best Beer & Travel Writer Award is apt as Cornwall is the UK’s favourite domestic holiday location. As well as being served on British Airways flights and in BA lounges all over the world, its flagship beer brand Tribute Cornish pale ale is also served on board Flybe flights and on GWR trains.


There’s A Beer For That

There’s A Beer For That is a campaign to reignite Britain’s love of beer by focusing on the quality, diversity and versatility of beer. Backed by Britain’s Beer Alliance, the campaign seeks to change consumers’ attitudes and behaviours around beer through a number of events, digital activity and media partnerships. It recently launched partnerships with Foodies Festivals and The Guardian to further change the image of beer and place it where consumers can learn, trust and experience great beer and food pairings.  There’s A Beer For That offers a range of free of charge programmes and educational materials for trade and run a beer match tool online to search for a perfect beer and food pairing.


Notes to editors:

The British Guild of Beer Writers was formed in 1988 to help spread the word about beers, brewing and pubs. With more than 300 members, its mission is “to improve the standards of beer writing and improve the public knowledge of beer and pubs.” Its members include the cream of the country’s beer communicators  – be they journalists, authors, producers, photographers, illustrators or PR consultants. Supporters of the Guild include: brewers, pub companies, and many suppliers associated with the brewing trade.


Issued on behalf of:       British Guild of Beer Writers

By:                                 Ros Shiel

Contact:    / 07841 694137