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9th May 2018

Rising Stars of UK Craft Beer Announced After Nationwide Search

L-R judges Dan Sylvester, brewer Ben Freeman, brewer Jenn Merrick and Greg Wells were impressed by the quality of the brews

Following a UK-wide hunt to find the rising stars of the UK craft beer scene, organisers of London Craft Beer Festival, have today announced the four winning breweries: Burnt Mill, Boxcar, Unity Brew Co. & West X Three.

The top four – all of which have been in commercial production for less than two years – had their beers independently tasted by an expert panel and selected from over 40 entries from across the UK.

The upcoming brewers will now showcase their beers to an audience of 17,000 festival goers alongside the likes of BrewDog and Beavertown at the UK’s biggest series of craft beer festivals – London Craft Beer Festival, Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival and Bristol Craft Beer Festival.

The expert beer panel included: industry brewers Jenn Merrick, former Beavertown Head Brewer and Founder of a new community-based brewery, Earth Station, Ben Freeman, Co-founder and Brewer at Pressure Drop, Jonny Garrett from Craft Beer Channel and Co-founders of We Are Beer, Greg Wells and Dan Sylvester.

With entries being judged on flavour, quality and ambition, the panel made the following comments about the winning line up:

  1. Boxcar – Lovely New England India Pale Ale beers. For such a young brewery and so small at present, they’re really hitting the modern trend at a very high level. One to watch for sure!
  2. Burnt Mill – Exuding class and not even a year old. Really well balanced hoppy beers, and maybe one of the most innovative beers in Steel Cut Gluten Free.
  3. Unity Brew Co.- Their saisons are very good and arguably the beer of the competition. Wonderfully well-crafted beers, fusing Belgian influences with modern tastes.
  4. West X Three – Hugely ambitious flavour combinations on sour beers – they really excited and surprised us.

Commenting on the Raise the Bar competition, Greg Wells, Co-founder of We Are Beer who are organisers of Bristol, Edinburgh and London Craft Beer Festivals, said:

“When we began our craft beer journey many of the now established breweries – such as BrewDog and Beavertown – were also starting theirs.

With the right support and exposure, it goes to show how up-and-coming brewers can go on to become the next wave of UK craft beer.

Our festivals in London, Edinburgh and Bristol bring together the best craft breweries in the world and we’re excited to have created a platform via ‘Raise the Bar’ that enables these rising stars to share space with the rock stars of the craft beer world.”

In a new addition to the London Craft Beer Festival, this year’s Raise the Bar sessions will take place at the Friday trade session from 11.30am to 4.30pm. Talks from industry leaders and experts will take place on everything from branding to recipe development and production.  These talks are aimed at helping new and upcoming brewers to enter the market and presented in association with Wired magazine and Original Gravity.

London, Edinburgh and Bristol are set to host the biggest series of Craft Beer Festivals in the UK – taking their unique brand of world class music, incredible food, and headline music acts across the country with Edinburgh kicking things off first over the bank holiday weekend in May.

Attracting over 125 world class brewers from around the UK, Europe and US, festival goers will have the chance to try hundreds of beers including new-to-market brews, cult classics and festival specials.

The Craft Beer Festivals will be returning for the sixth time in London, the third time in Bristol and second time in Edinburgh. Dates and locations for the Festivals are:

  • Edinburgh – 25th to 27th May 2018, Biscuit Factory, Leith
  • London – 3rd to 5th August 2018, Tobacco Dock, Docklands
  • Bristol – 14th – 16th September, The Amphitheatre

Tickets for the London, Edinburgh & Bristol Craft Beer Festivals are on sale at:


Watch the following video for an interview with Greg Wells at
We Are Beer about Raise The Bar competition:




Please find a link to photography:

For further information, interviews or photography, please contact LUX – The Food & Drink agency on 0131 555 6911 or email: /



Based in London, a craft brewer focused on modern, seasonal and small batch brews underpinned by evolving recipes and colourful palettes. changing flavours and experiences,


Burnt Mill is a new brewing project focused on producing fresh, unfiltered beers from their brewhouse on a Suffolk farm.


Based in Southampton, Unity Brew Co’s approach is founded on a creative ethos and a passion for Belgian-influenced beers that combine traditional and modern techniques.


A microbrewery in Wales brewing small batches of craft beers in bottles, keg and cask that cover a broad variety of styles using the finest ingredients and tasty Welsh water.


We Are Beer was founded by two friends, Greg and Daniel, in a pub. A new found love of ‘craft beer’ led them to collaborate on something that was, back in 2013, greatly missing – a modern festival, celebrating modern beer. Wanting to play their part, We Are Beer’s first endeavour was the London Craft Beer Festival in 2013.  It broke the mould as the first tasting-led festival in the UK, combined with headline music acts and the best food producers out there.

That core mission of celebrating the creativity, diversity and dynamism of modern brewing culture, led them to found the Bristol Craft Beer Festival in 2016 and the Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival in 2017.

That mission is still at the heart of everything they do today and everything they’re planning for the future. Their aim is to be a platform that promotes modern beer – bringing breweries, drinkers, musicians, chefs and brands together to help grow this fantastic category be it through festivals, beer collaborations, partnerships or story-telling. To find out more, please visit:

For further information

Katy Stollery Communications Account Director LUX

Edinburgh: (+44) 0131 555 6911

London: (+44) 020 3239 2189

Mobile: (+44) 07985580236