SIBA competition winners set to showcase at GBBF
The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) will be showcasing eight of its competition winners 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, announced at BeerX in Sheffield 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 Gold medal at SIBA’s national competition, and gives the brewers a chance to promote their beers to a wider audience than usual. The choice of beers this year is diverse both geographically, with brewers from with brewers from Argyll to Gloucestershire, and in the styles represented.
SIBA managing director Mike Benner said, “The beers on our Champions Bar 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 visitors to GBBF, with the stamp of approval that comes with a place on the Champions Bar.”
Brass Castle Brewery, Supreme Champion of the cask beer competition at BeerX earlier this year, will be at GBBF for the first time. Director Ian Goodall said, “We’re thrilled to be going to GBBF, of course. We have not been before so it will be great to see the level of interest we get from being on the SIBA Champions Bar. With 12 firkins of Burnout being sent to Olympia, it is a great chance to get in front of many new drinkers who wouldn’t otherwise know much about us, and of course has the potential to create lots of new opportunities, which is really exciting.”
Winner of last year’s SIBA’s Supreme Champion cask ale title was OSM (Old Sodbury Mild), a 3.9% ABV mild from Cotswold Spring Brewery. Director Mark Frankcom said, “Winning prestigious Awards, as OSM has done for several 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, was of tremendous benefit to us; they saw the Champions title and felt confident about the beer’s quality. Our presence at GBBF led to increased interest, sales enquiries and listings and a growth in our social media traffic.”
Killswitch 51, from Northumbrian brewer Mordue, earned its place on the SIBA Champions Bar at last year’s Great British Beer Festival by winning the Speciality Beer category in 2014.
Mordue Brewery owner Matt Fawson said, “Having a presence at GBBF was a real boost for Mordue. The festival attracts everyone from the industry – licensees, buyers from pub groups and supermarkets – and being on the SIBA bar was good as it’s a focal point that a lot of people visit.
“It was a great way for us to raise our profile and led to a number of interesting opportunities for us, including a listing with Punch Taverns on their guest ale programme. We also met our exporter at GBBF – he tasted Killswitch 51 there and is now working for us on a number of export opportunities including Bermuda and Scandinavia.”
SIBA CHAMPIONS BAR 2015
The winners of the SIBA National Cask Beer Competition 2015, who will be on the SIBA Champions Bar at GBBF this August are:
Burnout, Brass Castle Brewery, Yorkshire: Supreme Champion of the Cask Beer Competition
Ruby Jane, Ilkley Brewery, Yorkshire: Champion Standard Mild Ale
Nibley Ale, Severn Vale Brewing, Gloucestershire: Champion Standard Bitter
Darwin’s Origin, Salopian Brewery, Shropshire: Champion Best Bitter
Affinity, Shiny Brewing Company, Derbyshire: Champion Premium Bitter
Red India Ale, Dorking Brewery, Surrey: Champion Strong Bitter
Sublime Stout, Fyne Ales, Ayreshire: Champion Premium Strong Beer
Apricot Jungle, Grafton Brewing Company, Nottinghamshire: Champion Speciality Beer