The award, now in its 25th year, and which recognises the best bottle-conditioned real ale in the country, was given to Stringers Mutiny, a 9.3% ABV double stout with coffee, chocolate and liquorice flavours.
Nottingham brewery Flipside - which also owns the Great British Pub Awards-winning the Old Volunteer pub and two other sites - took the silver award for its Russian Rouble, a 7.3% ABV Russian imperial stout brewed with English hops and with rich malt and chocolate flavours.
Chelmsford based Crouch Vale took bronze for its Yakima Gold, a 4.2% ABV pale ale.
The judging and decision on the winners took place at the Great British Beer Experience - hosted by CAMRA and online beer retailer Beer Hawk at the BBC Good Food Show at the NEC Birmingham.
CAMRA national director responsible for the competition Nick Boley said: “(It) is one of the highest achievements in the beer world. To win the award demonstrates a significant level of creativity and ingenuity in the brewing process."
“We were particularly impressed with Mutiny this year because it consistently secured high scores from all the judges for its taste, aroma and appearance. It is a clear winner."
Amazed and elated
Jon Kyme and Becky Stringer from Stringers brewery said: "We are amazed. We are a very small brewery in Cumbria. We started in 2008 and have been making the Mutiny for five years. We are surprised and pleased, it was a terrific competition this year."
Maggie Dunkin from Flipside brewery said she was 'elated'. "It's absolutely fantastic to have been awarded something like this from CAMRA,'' she said. ''We are really excited and will need to start brewing more bottles!”
Colin Bocking from Crouch Vale brewery said: "We are really pleased with the result. It's great to have the recognition for 35 years of effort. We are based in Essex and originally got into brewing when there were hardly any microbreweries as compared to these days, so it is amazing to be so high up in the competition!"