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27th September 2022

Oakham Ales lead brewer Ed Sharman is celebrating the first gold award given to a beer of his own design.

Black Magic took pole position at the SIBA East Independent Beer Awards last week. The 5.0% cask-aged chocolate porter was judged by a panel of brewers and industry leaders in the cask speciality amber to dark category. As a gold award winner, it will now be entered into SIBA’s national competition, judged at Beer X in 2023.

Ed is a great lover of dark beers, Hawse Buckler being a personal favourite, so winning this category was particularly special. “Oakham Ales is legendary for its pale ales,” Ed said. “I wanted to show that we can make fantastic beers in a range of styles, and I’m glad that my journey to the dark side hit the spot for the SIBA judges.”

Originally slated to be the seasonal offering for October 2020, Black Magic was adapted for unfiltered cans and bottles during lockdown. Due to its popularity, brewer Ed brought it back this year as a cask beer with a revised recipe to emphasise the chocolate notes. He removed the lactose, changed the type of chocolate used and tweaked the malt and hop lineup to bring the recipe into balance.

Black Magic is aged for at least 3 months to allow the flavours to develop and to give a smooth mouthfeel. It is dark and decadent, balanced with a clean bitterness. It is available at pubs around the country.

This wasn’t the only gong that the Oakham Ales team were awarded by SIBA East. Their 6.0% IPA Green Devil also took gold in the strong IPA category – its 47th award in a major competition. The iconic Citra, a 4.2% session IPA which was the first single hopped Citra beer in the UK, took silver in the session pale ale category.


Editor’s Notes
Members of the on-trade wishing to place orders can contact the brewery on 01733 370500 or email

Multi award-winning Oakham Ales are the established pioneers of UK brewing. Founded in 1993, they were one of the first UK breweries to bring back hops from the USA and the New World. Oakham were the first British brewery to create a beer using 100% Citra hops in 2010 and they were named the Good Pub Guide’s Brewery of the Year in 2019.Oakham Ales, 2 Maxwell Rd, Peterborough, PE2 7JB

Press release from Thirst Media.
For further information, please contact Laura Hadland on 07465 221264 or email