SIBA to showcase its champions at Great British Beer Festival
The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) will again be showcasing eight of its Champion beers at the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) in August, giving visitors the chance to sample the cask ales that triumphed in SIBA’s national beer competition earlier this year.
The beers will be served throughout the festival on the SIBA Champions Bar. A presence on this popular bar is one of the benefits of winning a SIBA Champion title, and gives the brewers a chance to sample their beers among a wider audience than usual. The choice of beers this year is diverse both geographically, with brewers from Orkney, London and Devon, among others, and in the styles represented.
SIBA managing director Mike Benner said, “The beers on our Champions Bar are well-named, as they have been judged the best from an initial field of around 2,000 entries to our annual beer competitions. We are delighted to again be presenting our members’ winning beers to the thousands of festival visitors, with the stamp of approval that comes with a place on the Champions Bar.”
He added, “We’re confident that a SIBA member will again lift the Champion Beer of Britain title. Over the last 14 years, all but one of the top awards has gone to a SIBA brewer, along with the majority of the overall category prizes.”
This year’s SIBA Supreme Champion is OSM (Old Sodbury Mild), a 3.9% ABV mild from Cotswold Spring Brewery. Director Mark Frankcom said, “Winning prestigious Awards, as OSM has for the last three years at SIBA competitions, gives us credibility and standout in a crowded beer market. Being able to communicate this success to GBBF visitors, as part of the SIBA bar, is of tremendous benefit; they see the Champions title and feel confident about the beer’s quality. In previous years, our presence at GBBF has led to increased interest, sales enquiries and listings and a growth in our social media traffic, so being there definitely has huge value for us.”
Anarchy Brew Co, based in Morpeth, will be at the GBBF with its Sublime Chaos, winner of the Strong Premium Beer category. Brand development manager Andrew Mitchell said, “This will be our first time at the Great British Beer Festival, so to be there on the SIBA Champions Bar is a real thrill. We’re a small, young brewery so a presence at the GBBF is fantastic springboard for us and we’re looking forward to putting Sublime Chaos in front of new drinkers, potential stockists, beer writers and indeed the great and good of the brewing world.” Sublime Chaos is a 7% ABV breakfast stout, brewed using coffee from Stafford-based roasters Has Bean.
Rob Rainey, brewer and founder at Quantock Brewery, said, “This will be our second year running on the SIBA Champions Bar, both times with Wills Nick, so we hope visitors will recognise the name and see our repeat appearance as a mark of the beer’s quality. Being at the GBBF is definitely good for business and being one of just eight beers on the SIBA bar gives us differentiation, so we’re looking forward to returning to Olympia in August.” Wills Neck, a 4.3% ABV golden ale, has won a total of seven Gold Awards at SIBA regional and national competitions over the past two years.
The eight beers on the SIBA Champions Bar are:
|Champion Standard Mild Ale||Cotswold Spring Brewery, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire
|Champion Standard Bitter||The Highland Brewery Company, Orkney
|Champion Best Bitter||Quantock Brewery, Wellington, Somerset
|Silver Award: Premium Bitter||Redemption Brewery, Tottenham, London
|Champion Strong Bitter||Hunters Brewery, Ipplepen, Devon
|Champion Premium Strong Beer||Anarchy Brew Co, Morpeth, Northumberland
|Champion Porters, Stouts, Old Ales & Strong Milds||Hastings Brewery
|Champion Speciality Beer||Mordue Brewery, North Shields||Killswitch 51||5.0|