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16th April 2015

Imbibe Live launches ‘Beer for Summer’ competition

A beer for summer-logoWhat sort of beer would Imbibe Live visitors like to be drinking and serve to their customers this summer? Something happy and hoppy? Lively or laidback? For its 2015 Beer Competition, Imbibe Live is issuing the brewers of Britain with a challenge: create us a Beer for Summer for your chance to win a seasonal listing with The Draft House for your winning beer.

Initial judging by an expert panel chaired by Imbibe Live’s Beer & Cider ambassador, Mark Dorber, will take place at Fuller’s Centre of Excellence, one week before Imbibe Live. The creators of the five top beers will be invited to present their beers at the Brewers’ Den on Centre Stage at Imbibe Live on 29 June, where the audience will decide the final winner.

In addition to a seasonal listing The Draft House, the winner will be presented to Imbibe Live visitors over the two days of the show, from its own barrel located in the show’s ‘Hop and Apple’ Garden area. Teaming up with There’s A Beer For That, the finalists will also reach further, featuring in the campaign’s Beer Club on 1 July. This will take Summer Beers as its theme, and be chaired by Dorber.

Dorber will be joined on the judging panel by Fuller’s head brewer, John Keeling, The Draft House founder, Charlie McVeigh, the Society of Independent Brewers’ director of communications and membership, Tony Jerome, TABFT’s campaign director, David Cunningham, and Imbibe magazine’s beer correspondent Susanna Forbes.

Beers can arrive in bottle or can or mini-keg/mini-cask. To understand the whole concept behind the beer, entrants are being asked also to send in their bottle label or pumpclip, along with 300 words explaining their ideas for promoting the beer once it reaches its on-trade destination. ‘We want to ensure everyone can enter, but also to see how they would ensure their beer sells well once in the on-trade,’ says Forbes.

Designed to capture the vitality of the British brewing scene while illustrating the versatility of modern beer, the competition forms part of a growing number of beer and cider features at Imbibe Live 2015. Imbibe Live will take place at London Olympia on 29 and 30 June 2015.

Summer beers are ‘a notable success story for the UK brewing scene,’ says Dorber, of the 30-year history of this style, encompassing such pioneers as Exmoor Ales with Exmoor Gold, John Gilbert at Hop Back with the ‘more explosively hopped’ Summer Lightning, and Sean Franklin at Roosters, with his ‘restrained use of exotic US hops’ creating ‘beers of tantalising subtlety’.

While these pioneers set the trend, can entrants in this year’s inaugural Imbibe Live Beer Competition challenge these creative successes or indeed brew in different styles and conjure a new beer for summer that enhances the reputation of beer as “the world’s best long drink”?’ asks Dorber.

For me the essence of a Summer Ale is paleness, quaffable-ness, but most of all, a quite astonishing capacity to refresh,’ says McVeigh. Nowadays the standard setters on cask might be Sambrook’s Session, Dark Star Hophead or Brodie’s Citra, with Beavertown Neck Oil or Camden Wit on the keg side, he says. But he wouldn’t be looking for a particular style or hop variety necessarily. ‘The winner needs quite simply to be ghostly pale, refreshing, and to give the illusion of not touching the sides.’

To enter, visit the Competition Entry page –

For further information and Competition rules, visit


– ENDS –

– Notes to Editors –

For further information on the Imbibe Live Beer Competition, contact competition manager James Forbes,, 07811 332160

For images or further information on Imbibe Live 2015, exhibitors and features, contact Mieke-Kyra Smith,, 020 7840 5241 or visit Imbibe Live

Imbibe Live is the dynamic trade show for anyone who sources, buys or serves drinks in the on-trade. Covering the full spectrum of drinks categories, it specialises in interactive events, tasting masterclasses and business-focussed seminars as well as an unparalleled opportunity to sample good drinks.

Mark Dorber is owner of Boudica Inns, with The Anchor at Walberswick and The Swan at Stratford St Mary in its portfolio. Previously he spent many years in charge of The White Horse on Parson’s Green.

Web Links

Competition Entry:
Competition Details:

Social Media Details

Imbibe @ImbibeUK, #ImbibeLive #SummerBeer
The Draft House  @DraftHouseUK
Fuller’s @FullersBrewery
There’s A Beer For That @beerforthat