It is the seventh year of the awards, launched to celebrate the very best of British artisanal produce in the food and drink industry.
The judging panel comprises some of the most acclaimed chefs, food critics and influencers in the country, with the Beer and Lager category judged by multi award-winning drinks expert and TV personality Olly Smith, who appears regularly on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen.
Shepherd Neame first brewed Strong Pale Ale (5.5% ABV), part of its Classic Collection, in the early 19th century. Historically the recipe was formulated with 100% pale malt and bittered by the brewery’s signature East Kent Goldings hops, resulting in a golden, brilliantly bright, hoppy ale. It has been rejuvenated in recent years with the modern hop variety Cascade, while staying true to the original spirit of the beer.
Explaining his decision to award the beer as one of two Highly Commended in the category, Olly said: “Turbo-charged with delightful flavours, this is as powerful as it is precise. I love its uncompromising use of delicious hops surging with tangy vibrancy, and it has a wonderful sense of quenching refreshment underpinning its sumptuousness.”
It is the latest in a series of accolades for Shepherd Neame’s beers, with other recent wins including 1698 being named the Best Pale Bitter over 5.5%ABV in the World Beer Awards, and its Bear Island East Coast Pale Ale and Bear Island Triple Hopped Lager taking gold awards in the British Bottlers’ Institute Competition.
Shepherd Neame’s Head Brewer Mike Unsworth said: “We are delighted that our Strong Pale Ale has received national acclaim in the Great British Food Awards. It is one of our oldest Classic Collection beers and we’re very proud to be able to revitalise unique brews from bygone days to share with today’s beer drinkers. We have a fantastic team of brewers at Shepherd Neame and this is well-deserved recognition for their passion, knowledge and skill.”
Shepherd Neame’s award-winning beers are available from its online shop and brewery shop in Faversham. For more information visit: www.shepherdneame.co.uk
About 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, the Bear Island Collection 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 and Truly hard seltzer. 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.
Press release from Shepherd Neame