Thornbridge among winners at SIBA Midlands Independent Beer Awards

By James Beeson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Winners (left to right): Buster Grant (SIBA National Chairman), Ian Hughes (Backyard Brewhouse), Craig Dowd (Nottingham Rugby Club), Alex Buchanan (Thornbridge), Guy Sheppard (SIBA Competitions Chairman)
Winners (left to right): Buster Grant (SIBA National Chairman), Ian Hughes (Backyard Brewhouse), Craig Dowd (Nottingham Rugby Club), Alex Buchanan (Thornbridge), Guy Sheppard (SIBA Competitions Chairman)
Backyard Brewhouse in Walsall and Thornbridge Brewery in Bakewell have taken home the two top spots at the SIBA Midlands Independent Beer Awards, it has been announced.

Backyard Brewhouse’s aptly named ‘Gold’ took home the overall gold in the cask competition and Thornbridge brewery’s AM:PM was named overall small pack (bottle and can) winner.

The awards, run by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and held at Nottingham Rugby Club prior to their beer festival, are judged by brewers and beer experts from across the industry.

Hotly contested awards

SIBA Competitions Committee chair Guy Sheppard said “The quality of entries was once again fantastic in the Midlands beer competition, with breweries new and established fighting it out to be named the best beer overall.

“Backyard and Thornbridge should be hugely proud of nosing ahead of an incredibly accomplished field in these hotly contested awards.”

Backyard Brewhouse’s Ian Hughes said the award came as a “total surprise”.

“Being a small brewery it is a massive accolade to win the SIBA Independent Beer Award. What a huge honour,” he said. “This has come as a total surprise among what I know was fierce competition. It's an intense beer with loads of American Citra hops - which right now we think is exactly what people are looking for.”

Bags of tropical flavours

Collecting the award for Thornbridge brewery was Alex Buchanan, who added: ““We’re hugely honoured to win, this means a massive amount to our whole team back at the brewery. We think it’s a great beer - bags of tropical flavours such as pineapple, tangerine and passion fruit - which is proving really popular with drinkers.”

Former New Zealand All Black and Wasps player Craig Dowd was also on hand to present the awards, representing Nottingham Rugby Club where the competition took place.

Winners in the other categories at the festival included Purity Brewing Company in the Cask Best Bitters & Pale Ales category, and The Loose Cannon Brewing Co in the Cask Premium Strong Beers category. 

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