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Guild of Beer Writers opens annual awards

Our 2018 Award winners. Would you like to take the glory and the cash prizes this year?

Beer Broadcasting category reintroduced, SIBA to sponsor Brewer of the Year

The search is on for the best writing about beer and pubs, as the British 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 whose work will be rewarded in December this year.

Entries are invited between now and 6 September 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 are: Laurence Creamer, Social & Digital Lead on industry campaign Long Live The Local; Tim Hayward, food & drink author, restaurant reviewer and regular on Radio 4’s Kitchen Cabinet;: Charlie McVeigh, founder of Draft House; Tony Naylor, food & drink writer contributing to The Guardian and BBC Good Food; Ross O’Hara, head brewer at Greene King; Kate Oppenheim, hospitality sector journalist and communications expert, currently publisher and editor of BII News; Tony Sophoclides, Strategic Affairs Director at UKHospitality. The current Beer Writer of the Year, writer and broadcaster Emma Inch, chairs the panel.

Work can be entered into any of the competition’s 10 categories, which this year include the Best Beer Broadcaster Award, reinstated after popular demand from Guild members. Other recently-introduced awards, including the Long Live the Local Award for Best Writing about Pubs, and the Beer Citizen Communicator Award, continue alongside longer-standing categories for writing in national, regional, trade and online media, as well as awards for the Best Young Beer Writer and Beer & Travel Writer. For details of all categories, visit the Awards page on the Guild website.

This year, the Guild’s Brewer of the Year Award is sponsored, for the first time, by SIBA, who will also be running a new, independent craft brewers bar at the Awards dinner. The Brewer of the Year Award is based on votes cast by Guild members.

Guild chair Pete Brown said, “Our Awards are the highlight of the Guild’s year, an opportunity not only to recognise and reward the individuals who excel in their field, but also to shine a spotlight on the high quality of writing and communication about beer and pubs from Guild members across all media sectors.

“We’re especially pleased to be reintroducing our Best Beer Broadcaster category and looking forward to receiving entries from not just mainstream radio and TV broadcasters, but also video bloggers, podcasters and everyone else making beer communication beyond the written word so vibrant just now.

“We have more judges than in any previous year, reflecting both the growth in entries over recent years and the seriousness we attach to the competition: all entries, whether from ‘big name’ authors or hobbyist bloggers, will receive the scrutiny they deserve as we draw up our shortlist and choose the winners of our 2019 Awards.”

The categories:

  • Greene King Award for Best Beer Writer, National Media
  • Adnams Award for Best Beer Writer, Regional Media
  • Fuller Smith & Turner Award for Best Beer Writer – Trade Media
  • Heineken Award for Best Beer Communicator – Online
  • St Austell Family Group Award for Best Young Beer Writer
  • Long Live The Local Award for Best Writer about Pubs
  • Guild Award for Best Beer Broadcaster
  • Guild Award for Best Beer and Travel Writer
  • Guild Award for Best Beer Writer – Corporate Communications
  • Guild Award for Best Beer Citizen Communicator
  • 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 the Guild of Beer Writers annual awards dinner on 3rd December at One Great George Street, Westminster. One category winner will go on to win the overall Beer Writer of the Year Award and the Guild also bestows the SIBA Brewer of the Year title on one brewer at the same event.

Full details of all 10 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 Friday 6 September and works submitted must have been published between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019.

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

Adnams

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 quality beers which reflect its heritage but also challenge conventions. The brewer uses locally-grown East Anglian grains of malted barley, rye, wheat and oats wherever possible 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. Adnams retains the values of an independent, family run business with a strong commitment to and leadership in sustainable business practice.

Fuller, Smith and Turner

Fuller, Smith and Turner P.L.C. is a premium pub and hotel business with just under 200 Tenanted and just over 200 Managed Pubs and Hotels. Fuller’s focuses on providing delicious fresh, home-cooked food, outstanding cask and craft ale, great wine and exceptional service and there are 817 boutique bedrooms across the Managed estate. The Fuller’s pub estate stretches from Brighton to Birmingham and from Bristol to the Greenwich Peninsula, including 173 locations within the M25. Fuller’s also owns Bel & The Dragon, six stunning country inns across the Home Counties, and The Stable, a craft cider and gourmet pizza restaurant business, with 17 restaurants in England and Wales. In April 2019, Fuller’s sold its beer business to Asahi Europe Ltd.

Greene King

Brewing in Bury St Edmunds, the home of Greene King, dates back 1000 years to day of the Doomsday book and in 2019 our two historic breweries, Westgate in Bury St Edmunds and Belhaven in Dunbar will be celebrating a combined brewing heritage of 520 years. With a diverse range in our beer portfolio, from pale ales to craft beers and from bitters to stout one thing is for sure, our passion for brewing top quality, delicious beer is as strong today as all those years ago.

We are proud to sponsor the Guild of Beer Writers Awards, a wonderful celebration of our national passion for great quality British beer, the writers who challenge the brewers and the brewing industry who continue to drive innovation in beer.

Heineken

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.

Long Live The Local

This campaign, backed by Britain’s Beer Alliance, celebrates the vital role local pubs play in our community, culture and economy whilst highlighting the jeopardy they face from a range of taxes including beer duty, business rates and VAT. Last year more than 116,000 people signed the petition and almost 50,000 people wrote to their MP asking for a cut in beer duty. In addition, more than 19,000 pubs supported the campaign. The Chancellor heard the voices of pub goers, publicans and politicians and froze beer duty protecting jobs and future investment – but there is more to do

This year there is a further beer duty rise planned in the Autumn Budget, so we are encouraging everyone to sign a petition and email their MP to ask for a cut in beer duty at www.longlivethelocal.pub.

SIBA

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.

St Austell Family Group

In 2016, St Austell Brewery joined forces with fellow West Country brewer, Bath Ales, forming the St Austell Family Group.

Independent, family-owned brewer, St Austell Brewery has been brewing beer in Cornwall since 1851. Most famous for its flagship beer, Tribute Cornish Pale Ale, St Austell Brewery’s range of award-winning beers – also including Proper Job IPA and Korev Lager – are available in pubs and supermarkets nationwide.

Bath Ales opened the doors to its new four-vessel brew house, Hare Brewery, in 2018. Fronted by flagship beer, Gem, Hare Brewery has the capacity to produce over 50,000 brewers’ barrels of beer – doubling Bath Ales’ previous brewing capacity. An exciting schedule of new beers launched alongside the brewery opening, including a West Coast IPA – Lansdown – and premium English lager, Sulis.

The St Austell Family Group employs more than 1,500 people and runs over 175 pubs, inns and hotels across the South West.

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Notes to editors:

The British Guild of Beer Writers was formed in 1988 to help spread the word about beers, brewing and pubs. With more than 300 individual members and 60+ corporate 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 communicators – be they journalists, authors, producers, photographers, broadcasters, illustrators or PR consultants. Corporate members of the Guild include: brewers, pub companies, and many suppliers associated with the brewing trade.

 

 

 

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