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12th January 2024

Grain Brewery ‘does the double’ as best beer in the East of England in cask and keg

Grain Brewery in South Norfolk have made History in the SIBA Independent Beer Awards, taking home Overall Champion Gold in the East Region keg competition this week, after taking the top spot with the same beer at the end of 2023 in cask.

Their ‘Slate’ smoked Porter wowed judges again this week in the hugely respected industry awards, held at the Legra Taproom & Kitchen in Leigh-on-Sea, showing it’s a beer that works equally well on cask or keg.

The 6% Porter style ale uses specialty smoked malt from Bamberg in Germany to added a distinctive yet balanced smoked flavour to the rich, dark porter – the result is a beer that’s dark, rich, and smooth, with a deliciously complex and lightly smokey flavour.

Phil Halls, Owner-Director of Grain Brewery, was on hand to accept the award and had this to say on their historic win;

“I am absolutely gobsmacked that we’ve won and I’m especially pleased because this exact same beer won the cask competition back in September, so it’s a double win and I think that might be a first anywhere in the UK. It’s a beer we’ve been brewing for about seven or eight years and one which we keep changing and tweaking to keep further improving it, but the secret ingredient really is the smoked malt that we bring over from Bamberg. The rest of it is Norfolk Barley, but that smoked malt just gives it that extra edge that other beers don’t have – plus the the hard, chalky Norfolk water which is great for brewing dark beers.”

The prestigious awards, run by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), and held at the Legra Tap & Kitchen in Leigh-on-Sea, are judged by brewers and beer experts and seen very much as the brewers’ choice awards in the industry. All of the beers involved in the competition will now be available as part of an ‘Independent Beer Awards Tap Takeover’ at the Legra Tap and other select venues across Leigh-on-Sea – giving local beer lovers the chance to taste this years’ winners.

Commenting on the win was Buster Grant from SIBA & Batemans Brewery, who presented the awards,

“Massive congratulations to Grain brewery on taking home the Overall Gold for a second time. It’s a very difficult thing to brew a beer which works so brilliantly when served on cask and keg, two very different ways of drinking beer, and something which I have never seen before in a SIBA competition. The quality of entries across the board was absolutely superb and I would like to congratulate the category winners too – all of which will now go forward to represent the East Region at the National Finals at BeerX in March. Very good luck and well done again.”

More information about BeerX, the UK’s biggest beer and brewing trade event, can be viewed via


To view images of the judging and awards presentation: Click here

To view the full list of winners: Click here

Image caption: “Phil Halls of Grain Brewery accepts the historic award from Buster Grant of SIBA”

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