For the fourth year in a row the Grain Brewery from South Norfolk has been hailed as the brewers of the Champion beer of Norfolk. Grain IPA, a 6.5% strong bitter, found favour with the trained tasters of the Norwich and Norfolk Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Taste Panel. Described in the Good Beer Guide as “Powerful, complex, and rich with malt and hops vying with tropical fruit and bitterness for dominance”, the brew scored highest of the 50 brews tasted by the panel. It also claimed the Strong Bitter award.
Taste panel chair Alan Edwards explained “We are charged with tasting, recording, and commenting on as many beers as possible. Norfolk beers are our main priority but, with more than 30 Norfolk breweries, it is an awesome task. Over individual 500 taste cards were completed by the panel last year. More than 300 of them were for Norfolk brews with 50 beers, from 16 breweries, being covered. To emerge as the winner shows the true quality of the beer.” Grain Brewery was launched in 2006 by Geoff Wright and Phil Halls at premises in Alburgh near Harleston. Selling cask and bottle conditioned beers, in 2010 it opened its first pub, The Plough in St Benedict’s Street, Norwich.
Six local breweries are award winners in 2014. The Norwich based Fat Cat Brewery claimed the Bitter award with its Bitter Ale. Norfolk’s largest brewery, Woodforde’s, claimed the Best Bitter and Old Ale categories with Nelsons’ Revenge and Norfolk Nog respectively. Attleborough based Wolf Brewery’s Golden Jackal won the Golden Ale category. The Speciality category was topped by Honey Ale from the Reepham based Panther Brewery. Another Norwich brewery, Winter’s, takes the stout award for the third time in six years with its aptly named Geniuss. The awards will be presented at the trade session of the 2014 Norwich Beer Festival in October.
Brewery Beer Contact Details
Champion Grain, Alburgh IPA 01986 788884
Bitter Fat Cat, Norwich Bitter 01603 788508
Best Bitter Woodforde’s, Woodbastwick Nelsons Revenge 01603 720353
Strong Bitter Grain, Alburgh IPA
Golden Ale Wolf, Besthorpe Golden Jackal 01953 457775
Speciality Beer Panther, Reepham Honey Ale 07766 558215
Old Ale Woodforde’s, Woodbastwick Norfolk Nog
Stout Winter’s, Norwich Geniuss 01603 787820
Alan Edwards, Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA Tasting Panel Chair – Eve Tel: 01603 661440, Mob: 07810 300535, Email: [email protected]
Emma Pinder, Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA Press Officer – Tel: 07906 434866, email: [email protected]
Please note that ‘Campaign for Real Ale’ should be referred to as CAMRA, in capitals.