German style Dunkelweizen wins South West Independent Beer Award

By James Beeson

- Last updated on GMT

Decorated: Dorset Brewing Co’s Mike Thornton (left) accepts the award from SIBA chairman Guy Sheppard
Decorated: Dorset Brewing Co’s Mike Thornton (left) accepts the award from SIBA chairman Guy Sheppard
A German-style dark wheat beer, traditionally known as a ‘Dunkelweizen’ and an American hopped session IPA have taken home the two top spots in the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) South West Independent Beer Awards.

The awards took place prior to the Tuckers Maltings Beer Festival in Newton Abbot, Devon, last night (19 April) and were judged by fellow brewers and other representatives from the industry.

Winning the overall Champion Cask Beer category at the competition was ‘Jurassic Dark’ (5.9% ABV) by Dorset Brewing Co. The Dunkelweizen is described as “a rich dark beer with chocolate and port flavours, and a forest fruits aroma”.

Tough competition

Commenting on the win, Dorset Brewing Co’s Mike Thornton said: “This is my favourite beer we brew. I am so pleased with this result and look forward to this going forward to SIBA's national beer competition. It is our first crack into the 'craft beer' market - it starts here!”

‘Ellensberg Session IPA’ (4.3% ABV) by Harbour Brewing Co took home the top spot in the Bottle & Can competition.

Eddie Lofthouse, Harbour’s director, was delighted with the result. “I am really pleased to win this award and it is great to be recognised in this way by our peers,” he said. “We were against very tough competition and I would just say please go out and enjoy this beer... it is perfect for a sunny afternoon!”

New categories 

SIBA’s Independent Beer Award categories were given a shakeup​ this year to include more categories for IPA’s and other now-popular beer styles, including a new Session IPA category, which Harbour won before taking the overall Gold against bottles and cans in other styles.

Speaking about the awards, SIBA chairman Guy Sheppard said: "The standard of the South West beers was fantastic again and we had some really good winners. This was the first time we tried some new beer categories to reflect today's beer market and the judges thought these worked very well. We feel this is a very positive move for British independent beer.”

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