The British Guild of Beer Writers has shortlisted 23 writers, journalists and bloggers in its Annual Awards 2020. The winners in nine categories as well as the overall Beer Writer of the Year and Brewer of the Year will be unveiled on 10 December at a virtual awards presentation event.
Judges read, viewed and listened to some 140 entries which included books, newspaper and magazine articles, both printed and online, as well as blogs, radio broadcasts, films and podcasts. This year’s competition included two new categories: Best Writing about No and Low Alcohol Beers, sponsored by Budweiser Brewing Group and Best Beer & Pub Communications during Lockdown, sponsored by Shepherd Neame.
The shortlist was selected through a robust judging process by a panel, chaired by current Beer Writer of the Year Jonny Garrett, including: 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.
Garrett said: “We won’t remember 2020 for many positive reasons, but we should remember it as a truly great year for writing about pubs and beer. The way so many journalists came out fighting for the industry and supported each other’s businesses was a joy to see, and it really came through in the entries. There was some remarkable writing and broadcasting this year, so anyone who made the shortlist should be extremely proud.”
Guild Chair Pete Brown said: “Earlier this year, we were questioning whether we would be able to run our Awards at all, but we’re delighted that, thanks to our sponsors, we will be offering our winners recognition, trophies and cash prizes next month.
“With precious little good news in our industry, it’s great to be rewarding talent and getting our members together for our awards announcement – even though we’re having to do that over Zoom rather than at a glitzy dinner!”
This year’s category award winners, and the overall Beer Writer of the Year, will be announced on Thursday, 10 December, via a Zoom event to which all shortlisted entrants, judges, sponsors and other Guild members are invited. The SIBA Brewer of the Year, chosen by member vote, will also be announced on the night.
GUILD OF BEER WRITERS AWARDS 2020: THE SHORTLIST
SIBA Brewer of the Year
James Clarke, Hook Norton Brewery
Oliver Fozard, Roosters Brewery
Matt Hayes, Budweiser Brewing UK
Janine Shorrock, Ashover Brewery
Jeremy Swainson, Utopian Brewing
Guild Award for Best Beer Writer – Corporate Communications
CAMRA Learn & Discover
Ei Publican Partnerships
Women on Tap
Harvey’s Tom Paine Award for Best Citizen Beer Communicator
Shepherd Neame Award for Best Beer & Pub Communications during Lockdown
VISITFLANDERS Award for Best Beer Broadcaster
Asahi Award for Best Beer and Travel Writer
Budweiser Brewing Group Award for Best Writing about No and Low Alcohol Beers
Carlsberg UK Award for Best Writing about Sustainability in Beer and Pubs
Heineken Award for Best Beer Communicator, Online
Greene King Award for Best Beer Writer, Print Publications
Caption to attached image: the 2019 Awards winners
Issued on behalf of: British Guild of Beer Writers
Further information: firstname.lastname@example.org / 07841 694137
The Guild is grateful to the following sponsors, whose support makes possible our annual awards and dinner:
Asahi Europe Ltd
Asahi Europe’s beer portfolio includes beers brewed in unique ways and with unique histories, from medieval Belgium and Netherlands to modern day Japan, Italy and Great Britain. Crafted from a long tradition and rich heritage, our world-class brands continuously reinvent themselves as contemporary premium beers that travel the world and please discerning consumers in nearly 80 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art breweries, quality ingredients and a culture that fosters innovation, encourages collaboration and rewards high performance, we aim to bring the best quality of beer to life. Our variety of beers delight millions of people around the world with their top quality and uncompromising integrity.
Budweiser Brewing Group
Budweiser Brewing Group launched a new category this year to reward the best writing or other communication on the growing low and no alcohol sector. This is part of their commitment to championing responsible drinking and educating people about the great choices in the no and low category.
As part of the Carlsberg Group, Carlsberg UK has long been brewing and selling some of Britain’s favourite beers. Today, they include Carlsberg Danish Pilsner, Carlsberg Export, Poretti, Grimbergen and Tuborg. We also hold the UK brand licences for San Miguel, Mahou, and the Brooklyn Brewery range, putting them at the heart of our growing premium portfolio.
Our founders were driven by an ambition to brew for a better today and tomorrow. Over 170 years later, we continue to pursue the same purpose. We want to contribute to a better society wherever our beers are brewed and sold, and that includes taking a lead on sustainability. It is central to our purpose, and we also believe it’s the right thing to do – bringing clear benefits to our business and to society as a whole.
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 celebrated 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.
Sussex brewer Harvey’s has become the first sponsor of the Best Citizen Beer Communicator. This category gives amateur writers a platform away from those who are paid to write about beer or pubs. It has been renamed as the Harvey’s Tom Paine Award for Best Beer Citizen Communicator in honour of Tom Paine, a citizen communicator and author of The Rights of Man, who was an excise officer in Harvey’s home town of Lewes in the 18th century.
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.
Britain’s oldest brewer Shepherd Neame has been based in the market town of Faversham, Kent for over 300 years. Perhaps best known for great British classic ales such as Spitfire, which carries the Royal Warrant, its diverse portfolio includes Five Grain Lager, Bear Island East Coast Pale Ale and Bear Island Triple Hopped Lager, and the Whitstable Bay Collection. It also brews international lagers under licence including Samuel Adams Boston Lager, and is the sole UK distributor for premium Thai lager Singha. The independent family business boasts an award-winning visitor centre and more than 300 pubs and hotels throughout London and the South East, from the historic heart of the City to the Kent coastline.
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 protecting the businesses of thousands of breweries across the UK through Government lobbying and campaigning in Parliament.
VISITFLANDERS represents the Dutch-speaking, northern region of Belgium, a country that has been synonymous with amazing beer for decades. Famous for our extensive range of beer styles, the region boasts a brewing heritage dating back to the 12th Century. Attracting beer lovers from all over the world, Flanders is also home to an enviable array of great beer venues, from cosy bars and traditional ‘brown’ cafés, to brewery taps and festivals held in stunning heritage locations; no wonder that our rich brewing and beer traditions make Belgium the only country where beer culture is officially recognised as part of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage listing.