Earl Soham Brewery in Suffolk and Elgoods Brewery in Cambridgeshire have taken home the two top spots at the SIBA East Independent Beer Awards, taking home overall gold in the cask and bottled and canned beer competitions respectively.
The awards, run by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and held at Elgood’s Brewery in Wisbech prior to its beer festival opening, are judged by brewers and beer experts.
Earl Soham Brewery’s Albert Ale took home the overall gold in the cask competition and is a traditional best bitter with delicate bitterness from British Fuggles hops and a balance of malt and hop character.
Elgoods brewery’s QE Cherry Wheat is a very different beer altogether — a cloudy wheat beer infused with cherry juice for a sweet, fruity flavour and slight tartness, showing the diversity of the awards.
‘Very best cask, bottled and canned beers’
SIBA competitions committee chair, Guy Sheppard, who presented the awards, said: “The SIBA East Independent Beer Awards judge the very best cask, bottled and canned beers from the region, and the overall winners can be considered the very best of the best in terms of independent craft beers from the area.
“The winners will now go on to the national finals in Liverpool next year, and I wish them all the best of luck, with particular praise due to our overall champions Earl Soham and Elgoods.”
Elgood’s head brewer, Alan Pateman, said: “This award is recognition of the hard work that has gone into developing our new-style beers, which come from a completely new style of brewing.
“Our unique, spontaneously fermented sour beers and fruited wheat beers are a new thing for many British drinkers, but our Cherry Wheat is sweeter and fruity, and proving really popular thanks to its approachable, full fruity flavour.”
The competition took place immediately before the opening of the Elgood’s Brewery Beer Festival 2018, which continues today (Friday) from 5pm until 10.30pm, and tomorrow from noon until 10.30pm. The event features more than 150 beers from independent craft breweries and will give visitors the chance to be the first to try the region’s newly award-winning beers.