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8th August 2012

Champion Beer of Britain announced! Cumbrian beer judged Best in Britain! – Lucky No.9 for Coniston brewery

After a year of local tasting panels and regional heats leading up to the finals, CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, is today proud to announce that Coniston brewery’s ‘No.9 Barley Wine’ has been crowned the ‘Best Beer’ in Britain at the Great British Beer Festival, Olympia, London.

No.9 Barley Wine, which has an ABV of 8.5% was described by the judges as ‘having fantastic finesse, reminiscent of a fine cognac.’

The Coniston brewed real ale was judged the Supreme Champion over a host of other finalists in 7 different beer categories (Bitters, Best Bitters, Strong Bitters, Golden Ales, Milds, Winter Beers, and the Speciality class), including beers from both small microbrewers and large regional brewers.

Roger Protz, of the Final judging panel, spoke in praise of today’s winner. He said:

‘The judges in the final tasting were overjoyed by the tremendous quality of the beers this year. There wasn’t a poor beer in the competition, and they were all of the highest quality. It was a tough choice, and the final results were very close.’

David Smith of Coniston brewery, said:

‘We were delighted to win the competition in 1998 with Bluebird, and we are delighted to win again! We’ve always been at the top and we’re glad to regain the recognition we deserve. It’s an all-British beer using solely British ingredients, very fitting for this Diamond Jubilee year.’

With Coniston securing the Gold award for 2012, this year’s Silver went to Green Jack brewery’s Trawlerboys Best Bitter, whilst the Bronze award went to Dark Star, American Pale Ale.

Coniston’s No.9 Barley Wine is available at the Great British Beer Festival this week, and is best supped in third or half pint measures. Barley wines go perfectly with aged or blue cheeses.

Mike Benner, CAMRA Chief Executive said:

‘It’s great to see a rare beer style being championed. Obviously it’s a fairly strong beer, therefore it is a great opportunity for pubs to try third pint glassware so consumers can enjoy this wonderful ale in moderation.’
Overall winners-
Gold- Coniston, No.9 Barley Wine (from Coniston, Cumbria)
Silver- Green Jack, Trawlerboys Best Bitter (from Lowestoft, Suffolk)
Bronze- Dark Star, American Pale Ale (from Horsham, West Sussex)

Mild category-
Gold- Rudgate, Ruby Mild (from York, North Yorkshire)
Silver- Hobsons, Hobsons Mild (from Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire)
Bronze- Son of Sid, Muckcart Mild (from Little Gransden, Bedfordshire)

Gold- Purple Moose, Snowdonia Ale (from Porthmadog, Gwynedd)
Silver- Tintagel, Castle Gold (from Tintagel, Cornwall)
Joint Bronze- Flowerpots, Bitter (from Cheriton, Hampshire)
Joint Bronze- Fuller’s, Gale’s Seafarers Ale (from London, W4)
Joint Bronze- Salopian, Shropshire Gold (from Shrewsbury, Shropshire)

Best Bitters-
Gold- Green Jack, Trawlerboys Best Bitter (from Lowestoft, Suffolk)
Silver, Salopian, Hop Twister (from Shrewsbury, Shropshire)
Joint Bronze- Oakwell, Senior Bitter (from Barnsley, South Yorkshire)
Joint Bronze- Milton, Pegasus (from Milton, Cambridgeshire)

Golden Ales-
Gold- Dark Star, American Pale Ale (from Horsham, West Sussex)
Silver- Cumbrian Legendary Ales, Langdale (from Hawkshead, Cumbria)
Bronze- Hobsons, Town Crier (from Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire)

Strong Bitters-
Gold- Dark Star, Festival (from Horsham, West Sussex)
Silver- O’Hanlon’s, Stormstay (from Whimple, Devon)
Bronze- Highland, Orkney IPA (from Swannay, Orkney)

Speciality Beers-
Gold- Dunham Massey, Chocolate Cherry Mild (from Dunham Massey, Gtr Manchester)
Silver- Little Valley, Hebden’s Wheat (from Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire)
Bronze- Nethergate, Umbel Magna (from Pentlow, Essex)

Champion Winter Beer of Britain (from category winners announced in January 2012)-
Coniston, No.9 Barley Wine (from Coniston, Cumbria)
Hammerpot, Bottle Wreck Porter (from Poling, West Sussex)
Cairngorm, Black Gold (from Aviemore, Highlands)
Driftwood, Alfie’s Revenge (from St Agnes, Cornwall)

Champion Bottled Beer of Britain winners-
Gold- Stewart, Embra (from Loanhead, Midlothian)
Silver- Great Gable, Yewbarrow (from Egremont, Cumbria)
Bronze- Molson Coors, Worthington’s White Shield (from Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire)