Award winners are joined by SIBA chief executive Mike Benner on stage


Blackedge Brewing Co and Redwillow Brewery have been named the best independent craft breweries in the North West, taking home the two top spots at the SIBA North West Independent Beer Awards.

Blackedge brews its beer just three miles from the Bolton Wanderers ground where the competition took place, and took home overall gold in the cask beer category with West Coast Pale Ale — an aromatic brew featuring punchy American hops.

Director and head brewer, Wayne Roper, said: “We’re absolutely delighted. It’s been a tough year in a market that is so saturated and competitive, and this is brilliant recognition from our peers.

“We’re all about quality, no compromise on ingredients, and we brew full-flavoured beers that people want to drink. It’s great to see that shining through to judges in the competition.”

Redwillow Brewery, in Macclesfield, took home the top award in the bottle and can competition, winning overall gold with its Weightless session IPA, a lower-strength style IPA with pithy grapefruit and mango flavours.


Strong competition


Brewer Mel Mason said: “It’s very exciting to win in a blind tasting against such strong competition. We brew this beer to be balanced, sessionable and flavourful, and it’s amazing to know we’re getting it right.

“The beer started life as a Mosaic pale ale as part of our single-hop range, but was so popular it flew out. We had to make it part of our core range! It’s just really juicy and not too bitter, with a great aroma and flavor.”

SIBA chief executive, Mike Benner, said: “I was blown away by the standard of brewing on display at the SIBA North West Independent Beer Awards, and all of the winners should be hugely proud of their achievement — judges had a really tough job separating out the best of the best.

“I’d especially like to congratulate Blackedge and Redwillow, who alongside a number of wins in various categories across the competition, also claimed the overall champion golds — the top awards on offer.”

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