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18th March 2018

IPA Challenge winner tours the land thanks to M&B’s Castle estate

Transmission, North Brewing Co’s elegant winning beer from Imbibe Live’s 2017 IPA Challenge, is set to hit the taps across Mitchells & Butlers’ Castle estate in the run-up to Easter.

The Imbibe competition, with IPA as its 2017 theme, was designed to share with the entire Imbibe Live audience what goes into crafting the best British beers. The prize, a coveted seasonal slot with M&Bs flagship roster of top beer pubs, will enable drinkers in over 100 establishments to enjoy what the Imbibe Live audience voted the best British IPA of 2017 as 350 kegs traverse the land.

North Brewing Co beat off strong challenges from the likes of Roosters and Wimbledon Brewery to claim the coveted prize, with the brewery’s Christian Townsley being “absolutely over the moon” about the outcome.

“The M&B seasonal listing is a fantastic benefit to the award,” said Townsley. “We’re delighted we’ll be reaching such an audience.”

Beer and Cider Procurement Manager, Ben Lockwood, commented; “We’re thrilled to be bringing the stunning Transmission IPA to our craft beer loving guests this month.

“Since winning the competition the brewery has deservedly gone from strength to strength, so we know this will be a firm favourite heading into the Easter Weekend as part of our next Seasonal Craft Rotation.”

Head brewer at North Brewing Co, Seb Brink, known for his creativity, said: “Transmission was one of North Brewing Co’s earlier creations. It has evolved a bit since its first appearance, but the core balance and flavour has stayed the same.

“We are trying to find the sweet spot between danky and pine-y ‘C’ hops and the newer fruitier varieties.”

As the 2017 winners reach the bar the 2018 Imbibe Live competition, in association with SIBA and with lager as its theme, kicks off this month with Mitchells & Butlers again providing the seasonal listing as the incentive.

“We’re delighted to be continuing our partnership with Imbibe Live for a third consecutive year,” M&B’s Ben Lockwood added. “Craft Lager is a growing category which we’re certain will create a hotbed of quality entries for the judges to navigate through and put forward some deserving finalists. It’s another great way of keeping our pubs and our guests in touch with the best the UK has to offer.”

Round 1 of the 2018 Lager Challenge took place 13th March as a prelude to SIBA’s Beer X at Liverpool Exhibition Centre. Over 70 lagers illustrating all styles were put to the test, with The Anchor at Walberswick’s Mark Dorber as chair, and an expert panel including Brink drawing up the shortlist. The five finalists will slug it out on 2nd July at London’s Olympia where an overall winner will be chosen.


Notes to Editors

1        The Castle group, known for its individuality and beer quality, runs a succession of craft beer initiatives throughout the year. To find your nearest Castle Pub, visit here.

2        Imbibe Live 2018 takes place on 2 and 3 July at Olympia, playing host to 100s of forward-thinking drinks producers and thousands of on-trade buyers across the spectrum. Borough Wines & Beers’ Mitch Adams returns in 2018 as Beer Ambassador, with Tom Oliver of Oliver’s Cidery & Perry heading up the cider side.

3        Follow the action at and subscribe to keep up with the news as this year’s show develops.