Acorn’s Barnsley Bitter Voted Top Tipple For The North
Barnsley’s namesake cask-conditioned bitter from the award winning Acorn Brewery has been hailed the top standard strength ale in Yorkshire and the North East.
Acorn is toasting the success of its Barnsley Bitter (3.8%abv) after scooping gold in its class at the fiercely fought SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) annual regional contest in York, which judged 176 cask ales from 66 breweries. The acclaimed traditional ale has kept the town in the forefront of the UK’s brewing revival since Acorn was launched in 2003. It will now be judged on the national stage by SIBA at Beer X in Sheffield next March.
Barnsley Bitter was Acorn’s first beer and recreated the style of bitter once widely popular among the industrial communities of South Yorkshire. Acorn uses the same yeast strain as the original Barnsley Brewery of the 19th century, along with the traditional Maris Otter malt and English hops to produce the chestnut coloured ale.
Top beer author and broadcaster Pete Brown, a famous son of Barnsley, has described the brew as ‘the drinkability of session beer with a dark richness, a hint of chocolate and red berry fruit – beer that Yorkshire does better than anywhere else.”
Acorn founder, head brewer and managing director Dave Hughes said: “This SIBA award is wonderful news for all the team and another exciting boost for our continuing growth. And, as the first ale brewed when we took our early faltering steps in 2003, it is particularly gratifying to have this tremendous tribute from our brewing peers in the North. It’s real recognition that it remains an outstanding brew.”
Barnsley Bitter also triumphed with silver in class at the Champion Beer of Britain Awards at the Camra (Campaign for Real Ale) Great British Beer Festival 2006. In recent years Acorn has enjoyed spiralling sales at some 30 per cent a year and expanded to a production capacity to some 150 brewer’s barrels a week (43,200 pints) to become one of Yorkshire’s fastest growing breweries.
Acorn also enjoyed further success at the SIBA contest with Gorlovka Imperial Stout (6%abv) also claiming silver in the bottled stouts and porters category.
The SIBA success made it a double victory for Barnsley brewers at the prestigious event. Stairfoot’s three year old Geeves Brewery also took gold in the best bitter class for its Clear Cut (4.4%) brew.
Dave Hughes added: “Maybe it is something in the Barnsley water that is helping us to make the town famous for excellent beers. Whatever it is, it seems to be working.”
Acorn now directly delivers to more than 400 free trade outlets across Yorkshire, Midlands and the North West and regularly to prestigious London outlets. National wholesalers and pub chains are also supplied. Acorn’s growth reflects the burgeoning market for cask conditioned ale as reported in recent years in the brewing industry’s annual Cask Report.