Blackedge Brewing Co and Redwillow Brewery have been named the best independent craft breweries in the North West, taking home the two top spots at the coveted SIBA North West Independent Beer Awards 2018.
The prestigious awards, run by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and held at the Macron stadium in Bolton, are judged in a blind tasting by brewers and beer experts and seen very much as the brewers’ choice awards in the industry.
Local favourites Blackedge Brewing Co brew their beer just 3 miles from the Bolton Wanderers ground where the competition took place, and took home the overall Gold in the cask beer category with their ‘West Coast’ Pale Ale – an aromatic brew featuring punchy American hops . Speaking on behalf of his team was Wayne Roper, Director and Head Brewer,
“We’re absolutely delighted, it’s been a tough year in a market that is so saturated and competitive and this is brilliant recognition from ours peers. We’re all about quality, no compromise on ingredients, and we brew full flavoured beers that people want to drink – it’s great to see that shining through to judges in the competition.”
Redwillow Brewery in Macclesfield took home the top award in the Bottle & Can competition, winning overall Gold with their ‘Weightless’ Session IPA, a lower strength style IPA with pithy grapefruit and mango flavours. Brewer Mel Mason accepted the award on behalf of the Redwillow team,
“It’s very exciting to win in a blind tasting against such strong competition. We brew this beer to be balanced, sessionable and flavourful and it’s amazing to know we’re getting it right. The beer started life as a Mosaic pale ale as part of our single hop range but was so popular, it flew out, we had to make it part of our core range! It’s just really juicy and not too bitter, with a great aroma and flavor.”
SIBA’s Chief Executive Mike Benner was on hand to present the awards and had this to say on the quality of entries this year,
“I was blown away by the standard of brewing on display at the SIBA North West Independent Beer Awards and all of the winners should be hugely proud of their achievement – judges had a really tough job separating out the best of the best. I’d especially like to congratulate Blackedge and Redwillow, who alongside a number of wins in various categories across the competition, also claimed the overall champion Golds – the top awards on offer.”
The competition took place prior to the opening of the Bolton Beer Festival 2018, at the Macron Stadium in Bolton, which continues through until saturday 20th October. For more details visit http://www.beer-festival.co.uk