Glastonbury Ales takes top title at first SIBA keg heat
Somerset-based Glastonbury Ales has added to its trophy collection by winning the top award at the Society of Independent Brewers’ Craft Beer in Keg South competition, held on 13 November. Its winning beer, Equinox, is a 5.9% Black IPA, which won the Dark Ales, Stouts and Porters category on its way to the top prize.
The contest, held at Tulley’s Farm in West Sussex, was the first Craft Beer in Keg regional heat: in previous years, keg beers have all been judged at the National Beer Competition finals, but the growth of the category has made two heats necessary this year. All Gold, Silver and Bronze winners from the South and North competition – to be held later this month – will now go through to the finals, judged at BeerX, SIBA’s celebration of British beer held in Sheffield next March.
Guy Sheppard, SIBA chairman, who oversaw the competition, said, “The quality of all the craft beer in kegs entered into this first regional competition was extremely high and our judges had difficult decisions to make. Every brewer who picked up a medal and a place at the National Beer Competition next year should be very proud of their achievement.”
He added, “Craft Beer in Keg was only introduced to the SIBA competition schedule in 2010, so the fact that we’re now having to introduce regional heats reflects the growing popularity of kegs with our members, with prizes going to both established brewers such as Adnams and Arkells and newcomers such Long Man and Siren Craft Brew.”
Glastonbury Ales chief Paul Nash said, “We are thrilled to win this award. It’s good to have the quality of our craft beers endorsed by an independent panel of judges and especially pleasing given the exceptional standard of beers produced by other craft brewers in the south, with whom we regularly rub shoulders.
“Equinox Black IPA is one of our newest craft beer releases, and has received rave reviews from our craft beer customers in Bristol, Bath and London. This SIBA Award will undoubtedly help us secure more listings for Equinox, and for the other ‘new generation’ IPAs we will be unveiling soon.”
Glastonbury Ales has won at previous SIBA regional and national competitions, taking Gold and Silver medals for its Thriller Rare Cappucino Porter.
The Overall Silver prize at the Craft Beer in Keg South competition went to Adnams for its Mosaic Pale Ale and the Bronze to Red Squirrel Brewery based in Hemel Hempstead.
For a full list of winners, visit http://www.siba.co.uk/events/regional-competitions/south-keg/2014-2