Canterbury microbrewer The Canterbury Ales took the Overall Champion’s prize at the Society of Independent Brewers’ (SIBA) south east beer competition for The Merchant’s Ale, a 4% ABV mild. The brewery’s triumph was all the more impressive for being their first ever SIBA award.
A total of 168 draught beers and 98 bottled brews entered the competition, held at Juddians Rugby Club in Tonbridge. The 14 Gold medal winners, along with those from seven other regional beer contests, will compete for a national award at SIBA’s BeerX next March.
SIBA chairman Guy Sheppard said, “The south east competition, like all SIBA’s regional beer contests, presents ample evidence of a thriving British brewing industry. The number of entries, and the quality of the beers, grows every year, so to secure a place at this regional heat is an achievement in itself and the job of our 70 judges, in choosing the best from a very strong field, was far from easy.
“The accolades at Tonbridge went to established brewers in the south east as well as to many of the new brewers in the region. The Canterbury Ales are to be congratulated for taking the top prize as their first ever SIBA award, and I’m sure it won’t be their last.”
Martin Guy, who founded The Canterbury Ales in 2010, said, “I never imagined we would take the top award today and am immensely delighted and proud.
“The Merchant’s Ale is our first mild and it took me three years to create. It has all the characteristics of a mild, but with more hoppiness than is usual for the style, which is what I wanted – to add a Kentish twist to a traditional mild. The result is a perfectly balanced, very drinkable beer and I’m confident that with this endorsement from SIBA behind it, The Merchant’s Ale will become a popular addition to The Canterbury Ales portfolio.”
The Overall Champions award is sponsored by maltsters Muntons. The Overall Silver prize went to Sussex-based 360o Brewing Company for its Pale #39, and the Overall Bronze to Binghams Brewery, based in Berkshire, for its Doodle Stout. Hastings Brewery and Arundel Brewery both collected three medals, while Wandsworth brewer By the Horns, West Berkshire Brewery, Canterbury-based Wantsum Brewery, Romsey brewer Flack Manor, Isle of Wight-based Goddards, Whitstable Brewery and Binghams all went away with two medals apiece.
For a full list of winners, visit http://www.siba.co.uk/events/regional-competitions/south-east/2014-2
Caption to attached image (l-r): Chris Bingham of Binghams Brewery; SIBA chairman Guy Sheppard; Martin Guy of The Canterbury Ales and John Shepherd of 360o Brewing Company
Issued on behalf of: Society of Independent Brewers
By: ShielPorter Communications
For information: Ros Shiel
07841 694137 / 01403 267971