Brewery tastes success at major awards
Hawkshead Brewery was the big Cumbrian success at the SIBA North West Independent Beer Awards.
The brewery - in Staveley, near Kendal - took home overall gold in both the cask and small pack (bottle and can) contests.
Other Cumbrian breweries also took home prizes but Hawkshead was the only one to take home any top prizes.
The awards, run by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), were held at the Macron stadium in Bolton. The judges were brewers and beer experts.
Hawkshead’s Windermere Pale took home the overall gold in the cask competition while Brodie’s Prime Export was overall small pack winner. Both also won in separate categories for cask standard bitters and pale ales and small pack premium strong beers respectively.
The brewery's Hawkshead Lager also won god in the small pack premium lager and pilsners category.
SIBA competitions committee chairman Guy Sheppard said: “These awards are judged in blind-tasting by brewers and industry experts, so to take home overall gold across two categories is a first in England and something Hawkshead should be extremely proud of - I’d like to congratulate them and all of the other brewers who won awards as the quality of entries was high across the board.”
Alex Brodie, in charge at Hawkshead, said: “We’re staggered, we’ve been coming to these awards for a very long time and you leave elated if you win one or two, so to win overall in two is just amazing.
"Our head brewer Matt is the genius behind all of this and the one who gives us amazing consistency, huge innovation, and style in our beers and these awards are down to him and the whole team at Hawkshead brewery. We’ll be cracking open the odd bottle to celebrate with the entire brewing team and bar staff.”
Hawkshead also took a silver in the small pack mid to dark beers for its Tiramisu Imperial Stout and again in the small pack strong bitters and pale ales round for its NZPA product. It took bronze in the smallpack premium bitters contest and pale ales for Sundown and its Chcukleberry Sour won the same prize in the small pack speciality light beer round.
Keswick Brewing Company took three prizes - a silver in the small pack premium bitters and pale ales contest for KSB as well as a bronze for its Dark Horse beer in the cask porters, stouts, old ales, strong milds and strong brown ales category and another bronze for Keswick Bitter in the small pack standard mild ales and brown ales.
Other Cumbrian successes were Barngates Brewery in Ambleside, which took silver in the cask beers and pale ales competition with Tag Lag, Cumbrian Legendary Ales in Hawkshead, which took a bronze in the cask specialty mid to dark beers round with its Vanilla Oatmill Stout, and the Watermill Inn and Windermere Brewing Company won bronze in the cask standard mild ales and brown ales contest with its Balckbeard product.