Quantock Brewery and Cheddar ales have taken home the two Overall Champion awards in the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) South West Independent Beer Awards, which took place last night at the MaltingsFest beer festival in Newton Abbot.
‘We’re gonna need a bigger boat’, a modern 6.3% New England style hazy IPA took home the top award in the keg beer competition for Quantock – the first time keg has ever been judged at the event as part of a huge shakeup of the awards in 2022. The Overall Champion of the Cask beer competition went to ‘Piney Sleight’ by Cheddar Ales, a Session IPA of 4% with huge aromas of pine and citrus.
“The South West competition is the oldest of all SIBA competitions Nationally so it seems apt that this is where we launch our new and improved SIBA Independent Beer Awards 2022 – featuring a brand new set of keg categories, an international-standard scoring system and hugely experienced ‘lead judges’ on each table. I would like to say a huge congratulations to all of this year’s winners and in particular Quantock and Cheddar Ales, who really were the best of the best, not only being named best-in-class in their category but then going on to become Overall Champions. Very well done and good luck in the National Finals in Liverpool next year!” Buster Grant, SIBA Competitions Chairman.
The awards, which were presented at MaltingsFest at the old Tucker’s Maltings site, are judged by beer sommeliers, master brewers and other expert beer judges from across the industry. Collecting the award for Quantock was brewer James Higgins, “Fantastic. Speechless! The name for this beer ‘We’re gonna need a bigger boat’ comes from the fact we really needed a bigger brewery to keep up with demand, and it’s beers like this that are the reason for that! We can’t make them quick enough right now and to win the biggest Regional Beer Award going and have the chance to go through to the Nationals is just amazing.”
Commenting on why the beer proved a hit with judges James added “It’s majorly hop-forward and everything you want from a New England IPA, big tropical fruit and citrus but also silky smooth – we’re absolutely over the moon to have won.”
The Overall Cask Champion award was collected by Cheddar Ales brewing apprentice Joel Hancock, “It’s just amazing to win against so many fantastic breweries and the quality of the beers and judging at this event was the best I have ever seen, so I know how hard it is to walk away with the overall Gold. It’s a beer that just resonates so well with our customers too, loads of hop flavour and aromatic, but also really drinkable and a good session strength. Very proud and happy to accept the award on behalf of our whole team.”
Members of the public will get a chance to taste the best beers in the South West at the MaltingFest Beer Festival which continues today and this weekend.
Full winners list: Click here
Press release from SIBA
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