The Great British Home Brew Challenge 2014 Winner is Announced
In a first for the supermarket, amateur home brewer Graham Nelson’s Vienna IPA has been picked by a panel of drinks experts as the winning beer, which will arrive in Waitrose shops from October.
The competition, which had over 200 entries, was launched in June to find the best home brew. The prize, to see the winning beer turned into a commercial product for Waitrose, has been championed by Derbyshire-based Thornbridge Brewery, who already have a successful range of craft beers at the supermarket. Drinks writers Victoria Moore, Jamie Goode and Daniel Tapper joined Waitrose expert Anne Jones and Thornbridge brewers Rob Lovatt and Dominic Driscoll along with Greg Hughes of Brew UK, formed a panel to judge the entries in August, eventually deciding that Graham’s IPA was the deserving winner.
Graham, a 39 year old father from Holmes Chapel, says, ‘I am absolutely delighted to have won. It was only last summer that I made my first kit beer so to go from there to winning such a prestigious competition is something that may take a while to sink in! I am passionate about the quality and provenance of beer and the thought of having my recipe brewed by Thornbridge and on sale in Waitrose alongside some of my favourite beers is pretty humbling. I’m really looking forward to helping brew the beer and can’t wait to visit my local store and see the finished article on the shelves.’
Kate Prall, Waitrose Beer Buyer says: ‘There has been a steady rise in popularity of craft breweries and people making own home over the last few years and this competition has come at a brilliant time. We’ve been thrilled with the quality of the entries and are looking forward to seeing the reaction from our customers when the beer launches on the 8th October.’
Rob Lovatt, Thornbridge’s Head Brewer and competition judge said “I knew Graham’s beer was going to be in the running for the winner the moment I tasted it. It was solid, well balanced, clean and had a modern hop profile which really stood out. I’m really looking forward to meeting Graham when he comes to brew at Thornbridge”.
Full List of Category Winners:
Jason Daniels – Cambridge – Standard Miles
John Yair – Stourbridge – Standard Bitter
Darren Shaw – Ilkeston – Best Bitters
James Hardacre – Edinburgh – Stout
Rob Brooks – Hoylake – Premium Bitters
Graham Nelson – Holmes Chapel – Strong Bitters (Overall Winner)
Paul Mellor – Oldham – Speciality Beers