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10th December 2012

First Female Winner of Brewer of the Year – Sara Barton awarded top brewing prize by the British Guild of Beer Writers

Sara Barton of Brewster’s Brewery in Grantham, Lincolnshire has won the Brewer of the Year award at the influential British Guild of Beer Writers Awards Dinner held in London on 6th December. Brewster’s, which is the old term for female brewer, was set up by Sara in 1998 and this is the first time that a female brewer has won this award. Sara has a Master’s Degree in Brewing and Distilling from Heriot Watt University.

Brewster’s brews a wide range of core beers, as well two themed ranges of cask ales, WhimsicAle and Wicked Women, and has also recently started brewing some keg beers including the internationally-inspired Helles style lager and American Pale Ale. Helles, which was inspired by the malty lagers from Munich, has already won a Silver Prize at the 2012 National competition run by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and the American Pale Ale won a Gold Medal at the International Beer Challenge in 2011.

Sara Barton said “I have been committed to brewing interesting and tasty beers since setting up the brewery 14 years ago and hope that this award puts female brewing at the heart of the brewing industry where it belongs.”

As well as running a brewery and producing some award-winning beers, Sara has been busy working with other women brewers having set up Project Venus in 2011 to collaborate on new brews and showcase the best of female brewing in the UK and Eire. Project Venus has now produced 8 beers from participating breweries around the UK and next one is scheduled for January 2013 at Offbeat Brewery in Crewe.

British Guild of Beer Writers chairman Tim Hampson said: “Sara isn’t just a great brewer, she is also changing the face of the brewing industry through her collaborative brews with other women.

“By sharing her experience and skills generously with these emerging brewsters, she is encouraging more of them to start brewing and returning an industry that has been dominated by men back to its roots, when beers were made, like bread, by the woman of the house.”

Sara Barton will be appearing on TV on December 27th in Jamie and Jimmy’s Food Fight Club on Channel 4. Sara and a select group of brewers accompanied Jamie and Jimmy to Brussels in a Britain versus Belgium Battle of the Beers. The American Pale Ale brewed by Sara will be up against some stiff opposition from Belgium in this competition to determine which country brews the best.

For further information please contact:

Louise Ashworth, Ashworth PR & Marketing 07740 844 733 (please contact for photos of Sara Barton)