The British Guild of Beer Writers has shortlisted 35 writers, journalists and bloggers in its Annual Awards 2021. Category winners and runners up as well as the overall Beer Writer of the Year and Brewer of the Year will be unveiled on 2 December at the Guild’s Annual Dinner in London.
Judges read, viewed and listened to some 150 entries including newspaper and magazine articles, blogs, radio broadcasts, films, podcasts and books, which were this year given their own category. Entries were submitted across 13 categories and the winners will share a highest-ever prize fund of £17,000 thanks to the Award sponsors.
The shortlist was selected after a robust judging process by a panel chaired by Emma Inch, Guild Chair, comprising: Keith Bott, MD of Titanic Brewery; Sarah Bridge, founder of the A Lady of Leisure travel website and former Mail on Sunday correspondent; Joanna Copestick, publisher at Kyle Books; Matt Eley, communications consultant and former editor of Inapub magazine; Paul Hegarty, Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group; Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association; Ned Palmer, cheesemonger and author; Valentine Warner, chef, writer and broadcaster and Georgina Young, brewing director at St Austell Brewery.
Emma Inch said, “We’re delighted to have restored our Annual Awards to their pre-pandemic status, with 13 categories, a record prize fund and entries from talented individuals across the world of beer and pub writing.
“Entries across all categories were of a high standard and it was great to see the breadth of topics covered and the diversity of media used. Selecting our finalists was a challenge for the judges and everyone on the shortlist should be very proud of their achievement.”
She added: “We’re thrilled to be holding our Awards Dinner again and welcoming Guild members and industry friends to One Great George Street for an evening of great beer, delicious food and good company.”
The Brewer of the Year Award, sponsored by SIBA, is decided by Guild members, who firstly nominate brewers they think should win the accolade, and then vote in an online poll.
The Awards dinner will be held on Thursday 2nd December at One Great George Street in Westminster. Guests enjoy dinner with beers matched to each course and beers before and after the meal, provided by the Awards sponsors. Guild members, both individual and corporate, and non-Guild members, are welcome to attend, more information and tickets are available on the Guild website.
In a ‘first’ for the Guild dinner, industry charity Only A Pavement Away will have a presence in the pre- and post-dinner bar area. The charity supports people facing homelessness, prison leavers and veterans into careers within hospitality.
GUILD OF BEER WRITERS AWARDS 2021: THE SHORTLIST
SIBA Brewer of the Year
Stacey Ayeh, Rock Leopard Brewing Co
Charlotte Cook, Coalition Brewing
John Hatch, Ram Brewery
Robin Head-Fourman, Beak Brewery
Andy Parker, Elusive Brewing
Jeremy Swainson, Utopian Brewing
Guild Award for Best Beer Writer, Corporate Communications
CAMRA: 50 Years of CAMRA (Laura Hadland)
CAMRA: Learn & Discover (Alex Metcalfe)
James Clay and Sons (Joe Dick)
Craft Beer for the Geeks: Brewdog (Richard Taylor)
Women on Tap (Rachel Auty)
Guild Award for Best Book about Beer or Pubs
Pete Brown: Beer By Design
Matthew Curtis: Modern British Beer
Mark Dredge: Beer & Veg
James Morton: From Scratch: Brew
Harvey’s Tom Paine Award for Best Citizen Beer Communicator
Fuller, Smith & Turner Award for Best Young Beer Writer
Helen Anne Smith
VISITFLANDERS Award for Best Beer & Travel Writer
Asahi Award for Best Beer Broadcaster
Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I Award for Best Writing about No and Low Alcohol Beers
Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company Award for Best Writing about Sustainability in Beer and Pubs
Allsopp’s Award for Best Beer Writer, Trade Media
Shepherd Neame Award for Best Writing about Pubs
Heineken Award for Best Beer Communicator, Online
Ruvani de Silva
Adnams Award for Best Beer Writer, Regional Media
Greene King Award for Best Beer Writer, National Media
Ruvani de Silva
Caption to attached image: the Guild of Beer Writers 2019 Awards winners
Issued on behalf of: British Guild of Beer Writers
Further information: email@example.com / 07841 694137
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 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 deploys 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.
Allsopp’s Brewery is a famous name in British brewing history and was originally founded in 1730. After a change of ownership in 1959, the Allsopp’s name all but disappeared. Now, after sixty-two years in the wilderness, Allsopp’s has returned. Jamie Allsopp, seven times great grandson of pioneering brewer Samuel Allsopp, is fulfilling a lifelong dream of restoring the ales that made his family’s name, to their former glory. With the help of Burton-style brewing expert Jim Appelbee, they have skilfully adapted some of the family’s original recipes to work for today’s ingredients, methods, and tastes, launching Allsopp’s Pale Ale and Allsopp’s India Pale Ale.
Asahi UK is home to an exceptional portfolio of premium beer, ale and cider brands, including category leaders in the UK. The range includes international brands Peroni Nastro Azzurro, the No.1 Super Premium lager in the UK with every drop brewed in Italy; Japan’s No.1 beer, Asahi Super Dry, encouraging consumers to discover the taste of Karakuchi; and the recently relaunched firm favourite for the UK, Grolsch. A portfolio to be envied which also includes local heroes: Fuller’s London Pride, Meantime, Dark Star and Cornish Orchards. Asahi UK’s focus is on elevating experiences for our customers and consumers through innovation, unrivalled service and offering brands with undeniable quality and provenance. Asahi UK believes that every business has a responsibility to understand and act upon its environmental impact and we continuously work towards sharing more information with our suppliers, customers and consumers about both the footprint of our beers, and how we are working to reduce it. Our place in the local community is highly valued and we strive to ensure that we are always making a positive contribution to the communities in and around our UK Breweries. For more information on Asahi UK and parent organisation, Asahi Europe International visit www.asahibeer.co.uk.
Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I
Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I is part of AB InBev, the global brewing company which began life more than 600 years ago in a small brewery in Leuven, Belgium. Since that time, we’ve been passionate about brewing great beers. We also care deeply about bringing people together for a better world and we’re committed to doing that now and in the future as sustainably as possible. Here in the UK and Ireland, our beer is made with locally-grown ingredients and in local breweries. From the farms where barley for our beer is grown, through to brewing and all the way to the pubs and shops where our drinks are sold, we make and deliver the best beers in the world in a way that protects our planet and the people in it.
We support pubs and beer-lovers in the UK and Ireland. We recognise the inherent social role that responsible beer production and smart drinking can play in society and we reinforce and support that in the way we work, including with our ranges of low and no-alcohol beers.
Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I’s portfolio of beers combines the traditional with the innovative, with a constant focus on excellence. Some of our best-loved beers include global brands Budweiser, Bud Light, Stella Artois and Corona; international heroes like Beck’s, Leffe and Hoegaarden, our local champions Bass and Boddington’s and craft superstar Camden.
We are more than 1,400 committed, driven people in three breweries across the UK and in our London headquarters, all united by our passion for brewing the best beer. We’re building a company and supporting communities to last, which means we grow in a sustainable and responsible way that benefits us and all our communities.
Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company
Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) is a joint venture between Carlsberg UK and Marston’s PLC, combining over 300 years of shared values, history and heritage in UK brewing. CMBC offers customers an enviable portfolio of lagers, ales and craft beer brands from the best of two master brewing teams, plus beers under license from valued partners. These include lagers such as Carlsberg Danish Pilsner, Carlsberg Expørt and Poretti; premium cask and packaged ales, including Hobgoblin, Marston’s Pedigree, Tetley’s, Wainwright and 61 Deep; brands under license including San Miguel, Estrella Damm, Shipyard, Erdinger, Warsteiner and Kirin; a broad selection of alcohol-free beers; plus distribution of the Brooklyn Brewery and London Fields Brewery craft portfolios.
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.
Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC
Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC is the premium pubs and hotels business that is famous for beautiful and inviting pubs with delicious fresh food, a vibrant and interesting range of drinks, and engaging service from passionate people. Fuller’s has 209 managed businesses, with 1,027 boutique bedrooms, and 175 Tenanted Inns. The estate is predominately located in the South of England (44% of sites are within the M25) and stretches from our City of London heartland to the Jurassic Coast via the New Forest. Our Managed Pubs and Hotels include 15 iconic Ale & Pie pubs, seven stunning hotels in the Cotswolds, and Bel & The Dragon – seven exquisite country inns located in the Home Counties. In summary, Fuller’s is the home of great pubs, outstanding hospitality and passionate people, where everyone is welcome and leaves that little bit happier than they arrived.
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 be a sponsor of 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.
Founded in 1790, Harvey’s is a fine example of a traditional local brewery producing a range of cask conditioned, keg and bottled beers. These are distributed within a sixty mile radius of Lewes via their own transport fleet. The company operates 48 tied houses, 8 of which are managed. The brewery, designed by William Bradford in 1881, has been described as one of the most beautiful in the country.
This is Harvey’s second year as sponsors of the Harvey’s Tom Paine Award for Best Citizen Beer Communicator, named 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, 2,500 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®, Brixton, Lagunitas, Birra Moretti and Red Stripe, backed by a full range of niche and speciality brands. We are also proud to work in partnership with Beavertown 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.
The British Guild of Beer Writers was formed in 1988 to help spread the word about beers, brewing and pubs. With close to 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, brand owners, distributors, pub companies, and many suppliers associated with the brewing trade. www.beerguild.co.uk