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26th August 2020

Guild of Beer Writers awards open for entries

Jonny Garrett, Beer Writer of the Year
Jonny Garrett, Beer Writer of the Year

The search is on for the best writing, blogging and broadcasting about beer and pubs, as the Guild of Beer Writers opens its annual awards. Entries are open from now until the closing date of 30 September, with announcement of the winners set to take place in December.

This year’s competition includes a new ‘Best Beer and Pub Communications during Lockdown’ category to reward the writing, blogging, virtual beer tasting and other communications that flourished during lockdown. Other categories include Print Publications, Online Communications, Broadcast Media, Beer & Travel, Citizen Communicator and Corporate Communications.

All entries 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 are: Tim Anderson, chef-owner of Japanese restaurant Nanban and beer expert; Gabe Cook, award winning cider expert, (aka The Ciderologist); Jez Galaun, co-founder of Brixton Brewery; Kate Oppenheim, hospitality sector journalist and communications expert, currently publisher and editor of BII News and Tom Stainer, CAMRA chief executive. The current Beer Writer of the Year, Jonny Garrett, chairs the panel.

Guild Chair Pete Brown said, “During these extraordinary times, we believe it’s more important than ever to recognise the work of our talented members, as part of our mission to improve standards of beer writing and extend the public knowledge of beer.

“This year’s awards are going to look different: social distancing means we can’t stage our popular awards dinner, so we’ll be announcing the winners via Zoom, and sadly we cannot guarantee cash prizes for winners, though we will be sending them a personalised trophy, and of course giving them as much love as we can on social and traditional media.

“We’re confident that our members will still want to have their work judged by our panel of experts. Reaching the shortlist, winning a category award or, for one entrant, being named as Beer Writer of the Year, marks those writers out as excelling in their field, and helps them in their career within beer and pub communications.”

The categories

  • Guild Award for Best Beer Writer, Print Publications
  • Heineken Award for Best Beer Communicator, Online
  • Guild Award for Best Beer Broadcaster
  • Guild Award for Best Beer and Travel Writer
  • Guild Award for Best Beer Citizen Communicator
  • Guild Award for Best Beer Writer, Corporate Communications
  • NEW: Guild Award for Best Beer & Pub Communications during lockdown
  • SIBA Brewer of the Year Award (by member vote)

The Guild will publish a shortlist for all categories in November, while the winner and runner up for each will be unveiled at virtual awards ceremony on Zoom, in December.  One category winner will go on to win the overall Beer Writer of the Year Award and the Guild also will also name its Brewer of the Year, sponsored by SIBA, based on votes cast by Guild members.

Full details of all categories, and advice on how to submit entries, can be found on the Guild’s website. Entries must be received by the closing date of 30 September and works submitted must have been published between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020.

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


With over 2,000 passionate people, some of the nation’s most loved beers and ciders, 2,700 pubs, thousands of acres of orchards and three UK breweries, there’s more to HEINEKEN than the name above the door. Our portfolio of brands includes Heineken®, Lagunitas, Birra Moretti, Maltsmiths, Kronenbourg1664, John Smith’s, Amstel and Red Stripe, backed by a full range of niche and speciality brands.  We are also proud to work in partnership with Beavertown Brewery and Brixton Brewery.

As long term supporters of the British Guild of Beer Writers, we truly believe in the power of storytelling – whether that be through the written word, a podcast, or a photograph.  And we are proud to be sponsoring once again.


SIBA represent around 750 independent craft brewers across the UK and are the voice of British independent brewing. With their ‘Assured Independent British Craft Brewer’ seal, SIBA champion quality, flavoursome beers from independent craft brewers, as well as protect the businesses of thousands of breweries across the UK through Government lobbying and campaigning in Parliament.