‘North South’ clash in The IPA Challenge at Imbibe Live
Yorkshire takes on London and the south-west in the finals of The IPA Challenge, run in partnership with the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), M&B, There’s A Beer For That, and Fuller’s.
Five finalists emerged from a tough first round held at Fuller’s Centre of Excellence, with Roosters and North Brewing Co representing the north, Butcombe the south-west, and Wimbledon Brewing and Crate Brewery from opposite sides of London.
As well as the finalists’ beer being shown at Imbibe Live, SIBA will host all member entrants on its bar in The Pub at Imbibe Live.
“As well as partnering with Imbibe Live again this year for the beer competition, we will for the first time also be hosting our own SIBA beer bar within ‘The Pub’ area of the event, where we will be serving all of the competition entrants from SIBA members. The quality was amazingly high this year and we think it will be a great opportunity for people to taste this exciting range of IPAs.” said Neil Walker, SIBA PR & Marketing Manager
“The IPA sector is continuing to grow at a phenomenal rate,” said chair of judges, Mark Dorber of The Anchor at Walberswick. “As drinkers react against what is bland, this is a family of beers capturing a lot of interest with their potential to combine incredible drinkability alongside the relentless hopping that we love.”
“The Session IPAs really shone,” said Walker. “There were plenty with huge drinkability, something always important to beer drinkers.” This was reflected in the finalists’ line-up, with the Below 5% category scooping two out of five places.
While there was ambition and vision among the Above 5% New World-style entrants, the balance and depth of the Above 5% English-style IPAs ultimately proved more successful, securing them two spots in the final, compared with one for their New World brethren.
So, who will win? Will it be the zingy, resin-infused punch of Crate’s Session IPA, the citrus-pine character of Rooster’s 24/7, the balance and drinkability of Butcombe’s Goram, the zippy, stone-fruit flavours of Wimbledon’s Quatermaine IPA, or the orange, pith and pine of North Brewing Co’s Transmission? The audience will decide in the Beer & Cider Hub on 3 July having heard the finalists’ pitch and tasted their creations. The Craft Beer Channel’s Jonny Garrett will act as MC, with the winner securing a seasonal listing at a selection of M&B’s leading pubs.
“This competition illustrates how this sector is full of energy and imagination,” said Dorber. “IPAs have a great past and a great future.”
1. Imbibe Live, the leading trade show for drinks professionals in pubs and bars, restaurants and hotels, takes place at London Olympia on 3-4 July and covers the entire spectrum of drinks categories. Visitor registration is open at www.imbibe.com/live.
2. With over 850 members, SIBA represents the independent UK brewing sector. Its most recent report, Brewers in the Community, highlights the vital role brewing plays throughout society. SIBA can be contacted via PR & Marketing Manager Neil Walker on email@example.com
3. The IPA Challenge has been run by Imbibe in partnership with SIBA, There’s A Beer For That, Mitchells & Butlers, and Fuller’s, with thanks going to all for their support and input.
4. The Pub, where all entrants’ beers can be tasted, sits alongside the Beer & Cider Hub, with its roster of tasting masterclasses, and the popular Hop & Apple Bar, where boutique producers showcase their beers and ciders.
5. The winner of The IPA Challenge will secure a seasonal listing with a selection of M&B’s leading pubs in Spring 2018, plus a digital listing with There’s A Beer For That in its Explorer and Beer Match directories.
6. Further information and images available from Amy Seabrook, Marketing Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 8910 7857