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14th November 2016

Finalists announced in beer writing competition

Breandán Kearney, Beer Writer of the Year 2015 and chair of judges for the 2016 competition

The British Guild of Beer Writers has shortlisted 27 journalists, writers, bloggers and broadcasters in its Annual Awards. The winners and runners up in nine categories will be unveiled at the Guild’s annual Awards presentation and dinner on 1st December.

The shortlist was selected by five judges: Dave Myers – one half of the ‘Hairy Bikers’ TV chefs duo;  Rebecca Smithers, consumer affairs correspondent at The Guardian; Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers; Roger Ryman, head brewer at St Austell Brewery and last year’s Beer Writer of the Year, Breandán Kearney, who chaired the panel.

Judges read, viewed and listened to more than 150 entries which included books, newspaper and magazine articles, both printed and online, as well as radio, video and television programmes and podcasts.

Myers said, “It was a revelation to discover just how much seriously good writing about beer and pubs is out there. Everyone on the shortlist has earned their place by demonstrating a sure grasp of their subject matter coupled with a talent for storytelling that engages you as a reader and makes you want to try the beer they’ve drunk, visit the pub they’ve been to or meet the brewer they’ve interviewed.

“A passion for beer and pubs shone through all our finalists’ works, but at the same time, they managed to make their work accessible to a broader audience beyond the ‘beer geek’. Many of them are producing material that deserves a slot in mainstream print or broadcast channels and I hope that the added profile of being an Awards finalist helps to secure this.”

Kearney commented, “Whittling down the large initial field to a shortlist was a challenging task, but one that proved to be enjoyable thanks to the high standard of the entries overall. I’m grateful to our judges, who showed tremendous enthusiasm and commitment to the process, some even going so far as to ‘road test’ several recipes from the beer and food category.

“It was especially pleasing to see high quality work submitted from both established names and from less well known entrants, and to see how creatively people are communicating about beer and pubs across a range of platforms, whether that’s in print, broadcast or online.

“Reaching the last stage of this competition, which receives more entries every year, is a tremendous achievement and our finalists should feel very proud.”

The Awards dinner, held at the Park Lane Hotel on Piccadilly, is open to non-Guild members.  For more information, visit:



There’s A Beer For That Award for Best Beer Broadcaster

  • Lucy Stevenson & Louise Mulroy: We Made A Beer podcasts
  • BBC Radio Four The Food Programme
  • Matt Curtis: Good Beer Hunting podcasts

Badger Ales Award for Best Young Beer Writer

  • Jacopo Mazzeo: posts on Beer without Frontiers blog
  • Jordan Lee Smith: posts on Frontier Hoptometrist blog, and other websites
  • Joshua Farrington: posts on Beer And Present Danger blog

St Austell Brewery Award for Best Beer and Travel Writer

  • John Holl: work in All About Beer magazine
  • Pete Brown: The Pub book
  • Mark Dredge: The Best Beer in the World book

Guild Award for Best Beer Writer – Corporate Communications

  • Beer Hawk: Hoptical magazine
  • Beer Merchants: magazine
  • Carlsberg UK: Tapsters Cask Ale Guide/Crafted from Carlsberg

Shepherd Neame Classic Collection Award for Best Beer and Food Writer

  • Mark Dredge: Cooking with Beer book
  • Susan & Judith Boyle: articles in Leinster Leader
  • Adrian Tierney-Jones: articles in Daily Telegraph

Caledonian Brewery Award for Best Beer Communicator – Online

  • Boak and Bailey: boakandbailey
  • Pete Brown: petebrownblogspot
  • Matt Curtis: total ales/good beer hunting
  • Will Hawkes: Craft Beer London
  • Jonny Garrett: Craft Beer Channel

Fuller’s 1845 Award for Best Beer Writer –  Trade Media

  • Roger Protz: articles in Morning Advertiser
  • Jonny Garrett: articles in Brewers Journal
  • Pete Brown: articles in Morning Advertiser
  • Adrian Tierney-Jones: various press articles
  • Nigel Huddleston: articles in Off Licence News and The Wine Merchant

Adnams Award for Best Beer Writer –  Regional Media

  • Alastair Gilmour: Cheers magazine
  • Simon Jenkins: The Great Leeds Pub Crawl book
  • Mark Briggs: articles in Lancashire Telegraph
  • Susan & Judith Boyle: articles in Leinster Leader
  • Gavin Aitchison: articles in The Press, York

Molson Coors Award for Best Beer Writer – National Media

  • Adrian Tierney-Jones: London’s Local Pubs book
  • Sophie Atherton: various press articles
  • Jane Peyton: various press/radio work
  • Mark Dredge: Best Beer in the World and Cooking with Beer books
  • Pete Brown: The Pub: book

Caption to attached image: Breandán Kearney, Beer Writer of the Year 2015 and chair of judges for the 2016 competition

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


Established in 1872, Adnams combines innovation with tradition. Behind the walls of its Victorian-looking building, it has some of the most advanced and energy-efficient brewing equipment in Europe and constantly experiments with new, innovative techniques.  Adnams brews a range of beers which reflect its heritage but also challenge conventions. They use locally-grown East Anglian grains of malted barley, rye, wheat and oats wherever popular and deploy a number of different hop varieties from Britain as well as across the world – all of which contribute to their beers’ individual characters.

Badger Ales

Badger Ales have been brewed in the heart of the Dorset countryside since 1777 by independent brewers Hall & Woodhouse. As one of the leading independent brewers in the UK, Hall & Woodhouse is well known for its range of award-winning ales brewed under the Badger brand and its network of public houses throughout the South of England. The brewery is still owned and managed by the seventh generation of the Woodhouse family.

Caledonian Brewery

Since its founding in 1869, Caledonian Brewery – also known as ‘The Caley’ –  has been renowned for creating some of Scotland’s finest beers and its pioneering spirit has ensured that this is a brewery never content to rest on its laurels. Innovation is at the heart of the Caley’s ethos.  One of the original Victorian breweries of Britain, it’s the only one to still use direct open fired coppers.  At Caley they brew beer by hand, and that’s not just a nice phrase – it’s true, full leaf hop flowers and specialty malts are weighed and added by hand to the carefully crafted recipes.

Caledonian’s range of traditional craft ales comprising Deuchars IPA, Edinburgh Castle and Flying Scotsman is joined by its more contemporary craft styles, Three Hop and Coast to Coast and now Rare Red.

Fuller’s 1845

Fuller’s has been brewing at the Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, London, since 1828. They are the only UK brewery to have three different beers named Champion Beer of Britain by CAMRA; collectively London Pride, Chiswick Bitter and ESB have received this accolade five times.  Other beers in its extensive and wide-ranging portfolio include Honey Dew, Bengal Lancer, Wild River and Frontier.

Fuller’s 1845 is a strong, rich and fruity ale, specially commissioned to celebrate 150 years of the Fuller, Smith and Turner partnership. It’s a live, bottle-conditioned beer, skilfully brewed to mature over time.


For more than 350 years, Molson-Coors has been brewing, innovating and delighting the world’s beer drinkers. With a long history of creating local and international brands, Molson-Coors’ global beer portfolio has more than 100 beers. Always looking for ways to bring something new and exciting, their innovations are inspired by insights from customers and consumers.

Shepherd Neame

Shepherd Neame is an independent family brewery and pub operator based in the medieval market town of Faversham, Kent. Dating back at least 400 years, it is Britain’s oldest brewer and still creates its range of Kentish ales and award-winning lagers using traditional methods with 100% natural ingredients; chalk-filtered mineral water from the artesian well below its site, the finest malting barley and Kentish hops.

Its beer portfolio includes Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale and the new Spitfire Gold, Bishops Finger Kentish Strong Ale and Master Brew. More recent introductions include Spitfire Lager, the contemporary Whitstable Bay Collection and a new collection of limited edition No.18 Yard Brewhouse beers, named after its historic cask store. It also brews a number of high quality international lagers under licence including Asahi and Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

St Austell Brewery

Founded in 1851 by Cornishman Walter Hicks, today St Austell Brewery remains a 100% independent and family owned brewer and pub operator. Its brewery in St Austell produces many of the region’s most popular beers for sale in pubs, bars and supermarkets in Cornwall, Devon, across the UK and also overseas.  St Austell brews beer with individuality, character and spirit which is true to its vision of what good beer ought to be.

St Austell’s sponsorship of Best Beer & Travel Writer Award is apt as Cornwall is the UK’s favourite domestic holiday location and its leading brand Tribute is now served on British Airways flights and in BA lounges all over the world.


There’s A Beer For That

There’s A Beer For That is a campaign to reignite Britain’s love of beer by focusing on the quality, diversity and versatility of beer. Backed by Britain’s Beer Alliance, the campaign is seeking to change consumers’ attitudes and behaviours around beer through a number of events, digital activity and media partnerships. It recently launched partnerships with Picturehouse Cinemas and the Telegraph Media Group to further change the image of beer, and place it where consumers can learn, trust and experience great beer and food pairings.

Notes to editors:

The British Guild of Beer Writers was formed in 1988 to help spread the word about beers, brewing and pubs. With around 300 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 media experts – be they journalists, authors, producers, photographers, illustrators or PR people. Supporters of the Guild include: brewers, pub companies, and many suppliers associated with the brewing trade.


Issued on behalf of:    British Guild of Beer Writers

Further information:    Ros Shiel, 07841 694137 /