UK beer festival launches competition to find new brewing talent

By James Beeson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Festival stalwarts: We Are Beer was founded by Dan Sylvester (left) and Greg Wells (right) in 2013 (Image: Mark Bassett)
Festival stalwarts: We Are Beer was founded by Dan Sylvester (left) and Greg Wells (right) in 2013 (Image: Mark Bassett)

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The organisers of three of the UK’s biggest craft beer festivals are to seek out new, up and coming brewers as part of a new competition aimed at promoting “creativity and innovation” within the beer industry.

We Are Beer, the organisers of London, Edinburgh and Bristol Craft Beer Festivals, has launched its ‘Raise the Bar’ competition, which will be judged by an expert panel, including former Beavertown head brewer Jenn Merrick; and Ben Freeman, co-founder and brewer at Pressure Drop.

The top four brewers will be invited to attend the organisation’s three festivals, which would provide them with a platform to showcase their beer to 17,000 people across the UK.

Potential brewers (under two years in commercial production) are asked to enter online, before submitting samples of their beer for panel review. Entries must be received before Monday 12 March.

Supporting new talent

Jenn Merrick, founder of community-based brewery Earth Station and former head brewer of Beavertown and Meantime, said: “I am delighted to be asked by Dan and Greg to be a judge for Raise the Bar. I am a great believer in opening up the industry to a more diverse group of people – so it’s great to see an initiative like this that will support new talent.”

The Craft Beer Festivals will be returning across the UK for the sixth time in London, the third time in Bristol and second time in Edinburgh in 2018.

Among the first hand-picked brewers to be invited to the London festival are: Mikkeller from Copenhagen, Denmark; Cloudwater from Manchester, England; and Stillwater Artisanal from Baltimore, USA.

Edinburgh line-up revealed

For Edinburgh, the line-up includes: Lervig Aktiebryggeri from Norway; Beavertown Brewery, from London; and Tempest Brew Co from the Scottish Borders. The full line-up of brewers for each location will be announced in the coming months.

Commenting on the festivals, Greg Wells, co-founder of We Are Beer, said: “The festivals are an opportunity to celebrate modern beer and brewing culture from across the globe and give beer fans and those discovering craft beer the opportunity to sample a range of beers they wouldn’t normally get the chance to try.

“In our quest to champion the incredible upcoming talent, we are really excited about the potential for our Raise the Bar competition to give young, new brewers a platform to showcase their beer on a UK stage.”

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