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14th June 2016

Search for best beer writing begins – Guild of Beer Writers launches annual competition

Guild logo 2

Entries are now open for the British Guild of Beer Writers’ Awards 2016, with a total prize fund of £12,000 to be presented later this year to the winning journalists, broadcasters, bloggers and other communicators whose writing about our national drink is judged the best.

Entries and nominations are invited between now and 9 September to any of the competition’s nine categories and will be judged on how well they further the Guild’s mission “to extend public knowledge and appreciation of beer and pubs”.

Judges this year include Dave Myers – one half of the ‘Hairy Bikers’ TV chefs duo; Rebecca Smithers, consumer affairs correspondent at The Guardian; Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers and Roger Ryman, head brewer at St Austell Brewery. Last year’s Beer Writer of the Year, Breandán Kearney, chairs the panel.

Guild chairman Tim Hampson said, “It has been a delight to watch the surge in beer writing and broadcasting over recent years, which has mirrored the growth in brewery numbers and beer styles. As more media outlets devote more column inches and airtime to beer and pubs, the Guild’s role in promoting informed and engaging communication about our national drink has never been more important.

“We are excited to be embarking on our annual awards which not only reward those who excel in their field, but help to raise the profile of beer and pubs among mainstream media and the wider public.

“We are, as always, grateful to our sponsors. Their generosity makes possible the competition and the awards dinner which we are confident will once again be one of the most popular events on the drinks industry’s calendar.”

Entries and nominations – from fellow writers, publishers or friends – are invited for nine categories. Each carries a prize of £1,000 for the winner and £500 for the runner-up, with the exception of the Corporate Communications category, where entries are submitted by companies rather than individuals and the winner receives a trophy.

  • Molson Coors Award for Best Beer Writer – National Media
  • Adnams Award for Best Beer Writer – Regional Media
  • Fuller’s 1845 Award for Best Beer Writer – Trade Media
  • Caledonian Brewery Award for Best Beer Communicator – Online
  • Shepherd Neame Classic Collection Award for Best Beer and Food Writer
  • Badger Ales Award for Best Young Beer Writer
  • There’s A Beer For That Award for Best Beer Broadcaster
  • St Austell Brewery Award for Best Beer and Travel Writer
  • Guild Award for Best Beer Writer – Corporate Communications

The category winners and runners-up will be unveiled at the British Guild of Beer Writers annual awards dinner in December, as well as the overall Beer Writer of the Year, who receives the Michael Jackson Gold Tankard Award. The Guild also bestows the Brewer of the Year title on one brewer at the same event.

Full details of all nine categories in the Awards, entry forms and guidance notes, can be found on the British Guild of Beer Writers website, click here.

Entries must be received by the closing date of Friday 9 September, and must have been published between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016.

The Guild is grateful to the following sponsors, whose support makes possible our annual awards and dinner:




Established in 1872, Adnams combines innovation with tradition. Behind the walls of its Victorian-looking building, it has some of the most advanced and energy-efficient brewing equipment in Europe and constantly experiments with new, innovative techniques. Adnams brews a range of beers which reflect its heritage but also challenge conventions. They use locally-grown East Anglian grains of malted barley, rye, wheat and oats wherever popular and deploy a number of different hop varieties from Britain as well as across the world – all of which contribute to their beers’ individual characters.

Badger Ales

Badger Ales have been brewed in the heart of the Dorset countryside since 1777 by independent brewers Hall & Woodhouse. As one of the leading independent brewers in the UK, Hall & Woodhouse is well known for its range of award-winning ales brewed under the Badger brand and its network of public houses throughout the South of England. The brewery is still owned and managed by the seventh generation of the Woodhouse family.

Caledonian Brewery

Since its founding in 1869, Caledonian Brewery – also known as ‘The Caley’ – has been renowned for creating some of Scotland’s finest beers and its pioneering spirit has ensured that this is a brewery never content to rest on its laurels. Innovation is at the heart of the Caley’s ethos. One of the original Victorian breweries of Britain, it’s the only one to still use direct open fired coppers.  At Caley they brew beer by hand, and that’s not just a nice phrase – it’s true, full leaf hop flowers and specialty malts are weighed and added by hand to the carefully crafted recipes.

Caledonian’s range of traditional craft ales comprising Deuchars IPA, Edinburgh Castle and Flying Scotsman is joined by its more contemporary craft styles, Three Hop and Coast to Coast and now Rare Red.

Fuller’s 1845

Fuller’s has been brewing at the Griffin Brewery in Chiswick, London, since 1828. They are the only UK brewery to have three different beers named Champion Beer of Britain by CAMRA; collectively London Pride, Chiswick Bitter and ESB have received this accolade five times. Other beers in its extensive and wide-ranging portfolio include Honey Dew, Bengal Lancer, Wild River and Frontier.

Fuller’s 1845 is a strong, rich and fruity ale, specially commissioned to celebrate 150 years of the Fuller, Smith and Turner partnership. It’s a live, bottle-conditioned beer, skilfully brewed to mature over time.


For more than 350 years, Molson-Coors has been brewing, innovating and delighting the world’s beer drinkers. With a long history of creating local and international brands, Molson-Coors’ global beer portfolio has more than 100 beers. Always looking for ways to bring something new and exciting, their innovations are inspired by insights from customers and consumers.

Shepherd Neame

Shepherd Neame is an independent family brewery and pub operator based in the medieval market town of Faversham, Kent. Dating back at least 400 years, it is Britain’s oldest brewer and still creates its range of Kentish ales and award-winning lagers using traditional methods with 100% natural ingredients; chalk-filtered mineral water from the artesian well below its site, the finest malting barley and Kentish hops.

Its beer portfolio includes Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale and the new Spitfire Gold, Bishops Finger Kentish Strong Ale and Master Brew. More recent introductions include Spitfire Lager, the contemporary Whitstable Bay Collection and a new collection of limited edition No.18 Yard Brewhouse beers, named after its historic cask store. It also brews a number of high quality international lagers under licence including Asahi and Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

St Austell Brewery

Founded in 1851 by Cornishman Walter Hicks, today St Austell Brewery remains a 100% independent and family owned brewer and pub operator. Its brewery in St Austell produces many of the region’s most popular beers for sale in pubs, bars and supermarkets in Cornwall, Devon, across the UK and also overseas. St Austell brews beer with individuality, character and spirit which is true to its vision of what good beer ought to be.

St Austell’s sponsorship of Best Beer & Travel Writer Award is apt as Cornwall is the UK’s favourite domestic holiday location and its leading brand Tribute is now served on British Airways flights and in BA lounges all over the world.


There’s A Beer For That

There’s A Beer For That is a campaign to reignite Britain’s love of beer by focusing on the quality, diversity and versatility of beer. Backed by Britain’s Beer Alliance, the campaign is seeking to change consumers’ attitudes and behaviours around beer through a number of events, digital activity and media partnerships. It recently launched partnerships with Picturehouse Cinemas and the Telegraph Media Group to further change the image of beer, and place it where consumers can learn, trust and experience great beer and food pairings.


Notes to editors:

The British Guild of Beer Writers was formed in 1988 to help spread the word about beers, brewing and pubs. With over 400 members, its mission is “to improve the standards of beer writing and improve the public knowledge of beer and pubs.” Its members include the cream of the country’s beer media experts – be they journalists, authors, producers, photographers, illustrators or PR people. Supporters of the Guild include: brewers, pub companies, and many suppliers associated with the brewing trade.


Issued on behalf of: British Guild of Beer Writers

By: ShielPorter Communications

Further information: Ros Shiel, 07841 694137 /

John Porter, 07734 054389 /