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Guild of Beer Writers’ top award won by Pete Brown

Winners of the Guild of Beer Writers Awards 2021, with Beer Writer of the Year Pete Brown (centre)
Winners of the Guild of Beer Writers Awards 2021, with Beer Writer of the Year Pete Brown (centre)

London author named Beer Writer of the Year for fourth time

Author Pete Brown has been named Beer Writer of the Year 2021 at the British Guild of Beer Writers’ annual awards ceremony, staged on 2 December in London. Brown has now won the top award four times, following triumphs in 2016, 2012 and 2009.

Beer Writer of the Year is the top accolade in the Guild’s annual competition for writing about beer and pubs, which this year received more than 150 entries across 13 categories. On his way to the main prize, Brown won the Gold award in three categories: Best Writing about Pubs, Best Online Communicator and Best Book about Beer or Pubs, for Beer By Design.  This year’s highest-ever prize fund of £17,000 was shared between 16 Gold and Silver award winners.

Brown is a London-based author, journalist and broadcaster specialising in food and drink. He has written 12 books which take in social history, cultural commentary and travel writing. He writes for newspapers and magazines around the world, and has contributed to BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme. In addition to his success in the Guild Awards, Brown has won three Fortnum & Mason Food & Drink Awards.

Emma Inch, Chair of the Guild and of this year’s Awards judging, said: “Pete is a worthy Beer Writer of the Year. He has a talent for finding interesting nuggets in whatever he’s writing about, and turning them into stories that don’t just appeal to beer geeks, but pull in a wider audience. His work is always meticulously researched, but also accessible and great fun to read.

“The standard of entries across all categories was, as ever, extremely high and judges had a tough task choosing the winners and runners up.  We were impressed by the levels of knowledge, energy and passion that shone through the works submitted by our finalists, whether they had written a column, published a book or produced a film.

Everyone who received an award or a commendation should be extremely proud; they really are the cream of British beer writing in 2021 and we wish them all success in their future career communicating about beer and pubs.”

Inch was joined on the judging panel by: 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.

The Brewer of the Year title, sponsored by SIBA, was presented to John Hatch of Ram Brewery, who gathered the highest number of votes in a poll of Guild members.

Presenting the Award, Inch said: “John has deservedly won enormous respect across the brewing sector and this was reflected in our poll. According to one of the Guild members who nominated John, he “single handedly managed to keep the continuation of brewing on Wandsworth’s Young’s Brewery site.”

The winners were announced at the Guild’s annual dinner held at One Great George Street in Westminster. Each dish was served with a specially selected beer: Ten Degrees Czechia Session Lager from Utopian Brewing; Wolf Dark Scottish Ale from Windswept Brewing Co; Roots Rock Reggae IPA from Roosters Brewing Co and Waiting for the Rain Imperial Stout from Loch Lomond

The Guild is grateful to the sponsors who make the Annual Awards and Dinner possible: Adnams, Allsopp’s, Asahi UK, Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company, Fuller, Smith & Turner, Greene King, Harvey’s, Heineken UK, Shepherd Neame, SIBA and VisitFlanders.

AND THE WINNERS WERE…

SIBA Award for Brewer of the Year

John Hatch, Ram Brewery

Guild Award for Best Beer Writer, Corporate Communications

Winner: CAMRA’s Learn & Discover programme: Alex Metcalfe

Commended: Fifty Years of CAMRA book: Laura Hadland

Harvey’s Tom Paine Award for Best Citizen Beer Communicator

Winner:  Gabriele Bertucci for Turning the Tide podcasts

Silver Award: Chris Hodgson for CraftBeerChris blogs

Shepherd Neame Award for Best Writing about Pubs

Winner: Pete Brown for press and online articles

Silver Award: Adrian Tierney-Jones, for articles in The Daily Telegraph

VISITFLANDERS Award for Best Beer & Travel Writer

Winner: Will Hawkes, for articles in The Washington Post, and others

Silver Award: Breandán Kearney, for articles in National Geographic, Good Beer Hunting, and others

Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company Award for Best Writing about Sustainability in Beer and Pubs

Winner: Hollie Stephens, for writing about carbon capture

Silver Award: Tim O’Rourke, for work on carbon footprint

Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I Award for Best Writing about No and Low Alcohol Beers

Winner: Will Hawkes, for writing in Good Beer Hunting

Silver Award: Jonny Garrett, for work in Ferment and on YouTube

Asahi Award for Best Beer Broadcaster

Winner: Jonny Garret for Craft Beer Channel and The Bubble

Silver Award: Natalya Watson for Beer With Nat

Fuller Smith & Turner Award for Best Young Beer Writer

Winner: Ashley Joanna for articles in Belgian Smaak

Silver Award: Matthew Rogers for CAMRAngle magazine

Award for Best Book about Beer or Pubs

Winner: Pete Brown, Beer By Design

Highly Commended: James Morton, From Scratch: Brew

Allsopp’s Award for Best Beer Writer, Trade Media

Winner: Hollie Stephens, for articles in Brewer & Distiller International

Silver Award: Adrian Tierney-Jones for articles in Imbibe and Brewing & Beverages Industries Business

Heineken Award for Best Beer Communicator, Online

Winner: Pete Brown for posts on www.petebrown.net

Silver Award: David Jesudason for posts on Pellicle

Highly Commended: Mark Dredge for posts on Good Beer Hunting

Adnams Award for Best Beer Writer, Regional Media

Winner: Breandán Kearney for articles on Belgian Smaak

Silver Award: Rachel Auty for regional broadcasts including Harrogate Community Radio

Greene King Award for Best Beer Writer, National Media

Winner: Will Hawkes, for writing in the Washington Post and Beer

Silver Award: Adrian Tierney-Jones for writing in the Daily Star, and others

Highly Commended: Ruvani de Silva, for writing in Good Beer Hunting, and others

The Michael Jackson Gold Award for Beer Writer of the Year 2021: Pete Brown

Caption to attached image: winners of the Guild of Beer Writers Awards 2021, with Beer Writer of the Year Pete Brown (centre)

-ends-

Issued on behalf of:   British Guild of Beer Writers

Further information: ros@shielporter.com  / 07841 694137

Notes to editors:

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 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

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

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.

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 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.

Harvey’s

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.

HEINEKEN UK

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.

Shepherd Neame

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

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

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.

 

 

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