Skip to main content
11th December 2020

Best of beer writing recognised in annual awards

Winners of the Guild Awards 2020, announced on Zoom
Winners of the Guild Awards 2020, announced on Zoom

London-based beer writer, photographer and visual artist Lily Waite has been named Beer Writer of the Year 2020 at the Guild of Beer Writers’ Annual Awards. The winners were announced on a Zoom event on 10th December.

Beer Writer of the Year is the top accolade in the Guild’s annual competition for communication about beer and pubs, which this year received close to 150 entries across nine categories. Waite won the Gold Award in the Online category, and a Silver award in both the Beer and Travel and new ‘Communication in Lockdown’ categories.

Waite’s winning writing included articles in Good Beer Hunting, Pellicle and Ferment, as well as her zine Until Further Notice in the lockdown category. She is also the founder of the Queer Brewing Project, an LGBTQ-focused non-profit collaborative beer initiative.

Jonny Garrett, chair of judges for this year’s Awards after taking the Beer Writer of the Year title in 2019, said, “In a year of exceptional writing it was going to take something really special to stand out. What impressed the entire judging panel with Lily’s work was how she found a fresh approach to every topic. Her writing this year was as much about our drinking culture as it was beer itself, which made for rich and rewarding reading.

“There were many worthy winners within the shortlists and it’s a reassuring sign that, even in these tough times, British beer writing is more exciting, diverse and vital than it has ever been.”

Guild Chair Pete Brown said: “Earlier this year, we were questioning whether we would be able to run our Awards at all, but we’re delighted that, thanks to our sponsors, we’ve been able to offer our winners trophies, cash prizes and recognition from their peers, albeit we had to celebrate on Zoom rather than at our usual glitzy dinner!”

This year’s competition included two new categories, for the Best Communication about Beer and Pubs during Lockdown, sponsored by Shepherd Neame, and the Best Writing about No and Low Alcohol Beers, sponsored by Budweiser Brewing Group. The Best Citizen Beer Communicator award was sponsored for the first time, by Harvey’s Brewer.

Garrett was joined on the judging panel by 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 Brewer of the Year title, sponsored by SIBA, was presented to Oliver Fozard, head brewer at Rooster’s Brewing Co, after he won the highest number of votes in a poll of Guild members.

Presenting the Award, Pete Brown said: “Oliver is a hugely popular figure in the brewing industry and his win this year in our vote was decisive. He’s taken on the mantle at Rooster’s and overseen the move to a new brewhouse, while continuing to produce a stunning core range of beers at the same time as creating new ones under the Outlaw Project. But on top of that, he’s been an excellent ambassador and role model for positive mental health in the industry with the launch of collaboration beer Mind Games. and through speaking out and writing publicly about his own experiences.”

The winners were announced during a Zoom event attended by most of the finalists, judges, sponsors and other Guild members.


SIBA Award for Brewer of the Year

Winner: Oliver Fozard, Rooster’s Brewing Co

Guild Award for Best Beer Writer, Corporate Communications

Winner: Brixton Brewery for the Characters of Coldharbour campaign

Harvey’s Tom Paine Award for Best Citizen Beer Communicator

Winner:  John Stooke for Last Orders: A History of Pubs in Swindon

Silver Award: Gabriele Bertucci for the What’s in the Glass podcasts

Shepherd Neame Award for Best Communication about Beer and Pubs during Lockdown

Winner:  Emma Inch for the Fermentation in Isolation podcasts

Silver Award: Lily Waite for various press articles and ‘Until Further Notice‘ zine

Highly Commended: Richard Molloy for columns in Herald Express, Torbay


VISITFLANDERS Award for Best Beer Broadcaster

Winner: Jaega Wise for episodes on BBC Radio’s The Food Programme

Silver Award: Natalya Watson for the Beer With Nat podcast

Budweiser Brewing Group Award for Best Writing about No and Low Alcohol Beers

Winner: Natalya Watson for the Beer With Nat podcast

Silver Award: Malin Norman for article in On Tap magazine

Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company Award for Best Writing about Sustainability in Beer and Pubs

Winner: Emma Inch for a series of programmes on Fermentation Radio

Silver Award: Anthony Gladman, for articles in Ferment

Highly Commended: Will Hawkes for a report on Pubs and Sport for PubAid

Asahi UK Award for Best Beer & Travel Writer

Winner: Claire Bullen for writing in Good Beer Hunting and Imbibe

Silver Award: Lily Waite for articles in titles including Ferment and Pellicle

Heineken Award for Best Beer Communicator, Online

Winner: Lily Waite for articles in Good Beer Hunting and Pellicle

Silver Award: Claire Bullen for writing in titles including Imbibe and Independent Brewer

Greene King Award for Best Beer Writer, Print Publications

Winner: Roger Protz for The Family Brewers of Britain

Silver Award: Mark Dredge for A Brief History of Lager

The Michael Jackson Gold Award for Beer Writer of the Year 2020: Lily Waite

Caption to attached image: winners of the Guild of Beer Writers Awards including Beer Writer of the Year Lily Waite (bottom row, far left)


Issued on behalf of:   British Guild of Beer Writers

Further information:  / 07841 694137


The Guild is grateful to the following sponsors, whose support makes possible our annual awards:

Asahi UK

Asahi UK is a subsidiary of Asahi Europe International and is responsible for sales, marketing and customer operations across the UK and Ireland. Asahi UK aims to enrich consumer experiences through innovation, high-quality service and an exceptional portfolio of premium beer, ale and cider brands including, Asahi Super Dry, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Grolsch Pilsner, Meantime, Fuller’s London Pride and Cornish Orchards. The Woking based business is focused on developing quality, super premium brands and delivering commercial value in the marketplace, through a strong belief in collaboration, customer excellence and people development. For further information, visit

Budweiser Brewing Group

Budweiser Brewing Group launched a new category this year to reward the best writing or other communication on the growing low and no alcohol sector.  This is part of their commitment to championing responsible drinking and educating people about the great choices in the no and low category.

Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company

Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) is a joint venture between Carlsberg UK and Marston’s PLC, combine 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, Mahou, 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.

Greene King

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 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.


Sussex brewer Harvey’s has become the first sponsor of the Best Citizen Beer Communicator. This category gives amateur writers a platform away from those who are paid to write about beer or pubs. It has been renamed as the 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.


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.

Shepherd Neame

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.

The British Guild of Beer Writers was formed in 1988 to help spread the word about beers, brewing and pubs. With more than 300 individual members and 60+ corporate 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, broadcasters, illustrators or PR consultants. Corporate members of the Guild include brewers, brand owners, distributors, pub companies, and many suppliers associated with the brewing trade.