The search is on for the best writing about beer and pubs, as the Guild of Beer Writers opens its annual awards, offering a total prize fund of £11,000 to the winning journalists, broadcasters, bloggers and other communicators later this year.
Entries are invited between now and 8 September to any of the competition’s nine categories and will be judged on how well they further the Guild’s mission “to extend public knowledge and appreciation of beer and pubs”.
Judges this year include Keith Miller, food and drink commissioning editor at The Daily Telegraph; Fiona Beckett, food and drink writer whose work is published in The Guardian among others; Bruce Smith, brewer at Maltsmiths Brewing and David Cunningham, programme director at There’s A Beer for That, the campaign to reignite Britain’s love of beer. Last year’s Beer Writer of the Year, Pete Brown, chairs the panel.
Guild of Beer Writers chairman Tim Hampson said, “We are excited about embarking once again on our annual awards, which not only reward those who excel in their field, but also help to raise the public profile of beer and pubs. With more print, broadcast and online media devoting space and airtime to beer, the Guild’s role in promoting informed and engaging communication about our national drink has never been more important.
“As the beer market develops, so too do our awards and we are delighted to be introducing a new ‘citizen communicator’ award, which recognises the wealth of interesting writing that is done for the love of beer and pubs rather than commercial gain, and gives these writers a separate platform.”
Entries and nominations – from fellow writers, publishers or friends – are invited for nine categories. Each carries a prize of £1,000 for the winner and £500 for the runner-up, with the exception of the Corporate Communications category, where entries are submitted by companies rather than individuals and the winner receives a trophy, and the new Citizen Communicator Award, which carries one £500 prize only in its first year.
- Shepherd Neame Classic Collection Award for Best Beer Writer – National Media
- Adnams Award for Best Beer Writer – Regional Media
- Fuller’s London Pride Award for Best Beer Writer – Trade Media
- Maltsmiths Brewery Award for Best Beer Communicator – Online
- Badger Ales Award for Best Young Beer Writer
- There’s A Beer For That Award for Best Beer Broadcaster
- St Austell Brewery Award for Best Beer and Travel Writer
- Guild Award for Best Beer Writer – Corporate Communications
- NEW FOR 2017: Guild Award for Best Beer Citizen Communicator
The Guild publishes a shortlist for all nine categories in November, while the winner and runner up for each will be unveiled at the Guild of Beer Writers annual awards dinner on 28 November. One overall Beer Writer of the Year will receive the Michael Jackson Gold Tankard Award and the Guild also bestows the Brewer of the Year title on one brewer at the same event.
Full details of all nine categories in the Awards, and advice on how to submit entries, can be found HERE. Entries must be received by the closing date of Friday 8 September, and must have been published between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017.
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 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.
Fuller’s London Pride
The Fuller, Smith & Turner partnership was formed in 1845, but brewing has taken place at the site of the current Griffin Brewery since around 1654. It is 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. London Pride is Fuller’s flagship beer. With its well-rounded flavour and rich history, everything about this authentic, characterful beer binds it to our capital city and the people who love it.
Our brewers, Sarah and Bruce, or Maltsmiths as they like to be known, brew tasty, refreshing beers that people love. They tweak, taste, then tweak some more, to perfect their recipes, and they’re always experimenting with new ingredients and tastes. The American style IPA and the Bavarian style Pilsner are our Maltsmiths’ first two beers, brewed at the award winning Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh, and now they’re available across the UK on draught, in bottles and in cans.
Keep up to date with our Maltsmiths as they brew more new recipes from scratch – Twitter: @maltsmiths and Instagram: @MaltsmithsBrewing
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 the south west, across the UK and overseas. St Austell brews beer with individuality, character and spirit which is true to its vision of what good beer ought to be. Fellow regional brewer and pub company Bath Ales joined the St Austell Brewery family in summer 2016.
St Austell Brewery’s sponsorship of Best Beer & Travel Writer Award is apt as Cornwall is the UK’s favourite domestic holiday location. As well as being served on British Airways flights and in BA lounges all over the world, its flagship beer brand Tribute Cornish pale ale is also served on board Flybe flights and on GWR trains.
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 seeks to change consumers’ attitudes and behaviours around beer through a number of events, digital activity and media partnerships. It recently launched partnerships with Foodies Festivals and The Guardian to further change the image of beer and place it where consumers can learn, trust and experience great beer and food pairings. There’s A Beer For That offers a range of free of charge programmes and educational materials for trade and run a beer match tool online to search for a perfect beer and food pairing.