Langham Brewery and Gun Brewery were awarded best in class at the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) South East Independent Awards.
Langham was awarded overall gold in the cask competition for its Triple XXX beer and Gun Brewery was named winner of the overall small pack (can and bottle) for its Imperial Whisky Stout.
SIBA chairman Buster Grant said: “The south-east is a fast growing and vibrant beer scene and the beers in the competition reflected exactly that, with some fantastic beers entered across a diverse range of categories.
“These two beers have fought off tough competition to take the overall golds and should certainly be considered the best of the best.”
UK’s best IPA
Meanwhile, at last week’s Imbibe Live on-trade drinks show, Transmission by North Brewing was named the UK’s best IPA, the third year in a row a SIBA member has won the award.
Some 40 beers were entered into the IPA challenge and five made it to the final tasting at the trade show at London's Olympia last week.
The winning brew was described as a “classic American IPA” by judges who commented on its pine, citrus and tropical fruit aromas.
SIBA PR and marketing manager Neil Walker said: “The quality and variety of entries this year was staggering and it is clear to see why IPA is becoming a must-brew for Britain’s independent craft breweries, proving hugely popular with beer drinkers.
“North Brewing Co’s Transmission was a modern interpretation of the style with lots of haze, fairly high alcohol and bags of aromatic hops, all of which proved popular with the audience.”
Also in the top five were Crate’s Session IPA, Roosters 24/7, Butcombe Brewery’s Gorum, and Wimbledon Brewery’s Quatermaine IPA.
Dedicated craft beer bar
North Brewing Co was founded in 2015 by the owners of one of the UK’s first dedicated craft beer bars, North Bar in Leeds.
Since its launch it has quickly cemented itself as one of the leading brewers in West Yorkshire and collaborated with some of brewing’s biggest names, including Huddersfield neighbours Magic Rock Brew Co and Norway’s hugely respected Lervig brewery.
The winners secure a seasonal listing in a selection of Mitchells & Butlers' top pubs, and an entry into There’s A Beer For That’s Explorer and Beer Match digital directories.
Mitchell & Butlers' procurement manager for cask ale, craft beer and cider, Ben Lockwood, said: “The quality displayed from the finalists showed the IPA category in a really dynamic light. Any one of the five IPAs could have won, but North Co edged it and we’re really excited to work with them on a beer that we know our guests will love.”
Neil Gannon, of There’s A Beer For That, said: "The quality and diversity of the IPA’s in the final was immense. A great winner in Transmission displaying big complex flavours, but we had four different votes on our table which shows the strength of the finalists.”