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21st March 2022

Cask lager and New England IPAs voted the best beers in the UK by expert judges

Harviestoun’s Schiehallion Cask Lager and Red Willow’s Perceptionless New England IPA have taken home Overall Champion Gold in the Cask and Keg Awards at the SIBA Independent Beer Awards 2022, with Lakes Brew Co being named the best bottled or canned beer with their NE Session IPA – making their three beers officially the best in the UK.

Judged by brewers and industry experts and organised by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) at their flagship BeerX UK event in Liverpool, the awards run across a huge range of beer style categories in cask, craft keg, bottle and can.

The Overall Champion Cask beer is Harviestoun’s Schiehallion, a cask lager that impressed judges with a clean flavour and superb aromatics. In the keg beer competition Red Willow’s Perceptionless, a hazy ‘New England’ style American IPA, which took home the Overall Gold. Tom Lewis, Red Willow Brewer and Cellar Manager was on hand to accept the award.

“We’re genuinely humbled to win against what are always an amazing group of breweries and a really tough competition. We think this is one of our most consistent beers, with great flavour, mouthfeel and balance which makes it super drinkable – we’re really proud of it and glad judges agreed!”

In the bottle and can competition it was Lakes Brew Co’s NE Session IPA that was judged to be the best in the UK, described by judges as being ‘hazy, hoppy and tropical!’, it won the Overall Champion Gold Award in the Bottle and Can Awards. Matt Clarke, Lakes Brew Co Founder and Head Brewer, accepted the award;

“We have only been brewing 8 months so to win this award is just amazing, it’s such a new beer for us – in fact we’ve only brewed it 3 times! It feels great to be recognised in this way and I’m glad the judges enjoyed the beer. It’s got a soft mouthfeel and some great tropical aromas, but we keep the bitterness balanced which just keeps you drinking it.”

The SIBA Independent Beer Awards at BeerX UK are the trade association’s National finals and in order to earn a place at the competition brewers must first win at their regional competition – making these overall Champions very much the ‘best of the best’ when it comes to British independent craft beer.

SIBA Competitions Chair Neil Walker, congratulated the winners on their huge achievement:

“The 2022 awards were possibly our most important ever, being the first National beer competition back in BeerX for two years. A huge, huge well done to all of the winners as to earn a place on this list is to be named the very best of the best in the UK. Particular praise of course needs to go to Harviestoun, Red Willow and Lakes Brew Co – who were named our overall Gold Champions – three truly outstanding beers which you should be incredibly proud of.”

The awards named winners across a diverse range of categories, from cask bitters and pale ales, to keg sours, IPAs and Lagers, with the full list of winners revealed below.



Press release from SIBA

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