Quantock triumphs at biggest-ever SIBA South West Competition
Somerset-based Quantock Brewery added to its trophy cabinet by taking the Overall Champion prize at the Society of Independent Brewers’ south west regional beer competition last week. The accolade, for its Wills Neck 4.2% ABV golden ale, follows victories for the beer at SIBA’s national beer competition earlier this year and in 2013.
A total of 270 draught beers and 150 bottled brews entered the competition, which was judged at Tuckers Maltings in Newton Abbot in Devon. The south west was the first SIBA region to stage a beer competition and festival in 1983, and it became a model for the contests that now run in all eight regions.
Julian Grocock, SIBA chief executive, said, “Anyone needing evidence that the local brewing industry is in good health would have found it in spades at Newton Abbot. We had more beers than ever enter the competition, from established regional brewers as well as start up breweries, and the job of our 60 or so judges has never been harder.
“Quantock are to be congratulated for once again taking the top award in a competitive field of quality beers.”
Rob Rainey, Quantock Brewery founder and head brewer, describes Wills Neck – named after the highest point in the Quantock Hills – as a “modern beer, hoppy but not overpoweringly so. We wanted to create a beer that people have one pint of – and then want another pint or two. And with Wills Neck, that’s what we’ve produced – a moreish golden ale that drinkers enjoy and pubs want on their bar.”
Quantock co-founder and brewster Cheryl Ford added, “We are thrilled to win this award, which gives Wills Neck a place at the SIBA national beer competition next year. Winning in the south west, on top of the national awards last month and last year, shows that we are achieving that Holy Grail of brewing – consistent quality. And a SIBA award is something drinkers understand, as the beer festival ran out of Wills Neck within hours.”
The Overall Silver prize at Newton Abbot went to Tavy Ales, based in Tavistock, for its Porter, and the Bronze to Dawkins Ales, of Timsbury in Somerset, for Bristol Blonde. Both St Austell and Bristol Beer Factory walked away with four awards apiece.
For a full list of winners, visit http://www.siba.co.uk/events/regional-competitions/south-west/2014-2