Burning Sky was crowned the overall winner for 2018 at last night’s award ceremony (13 June) in Bristol, beating competition from low-alcohol beer brand Big Drop Brewing Co and gin producer Moorland Spirit Company/Hepple Gin.
The brewery follows in the footsteps of Somerset brewery Wild Beer Co, which took home the award in 2017.
'Modern, farmhouse beers'
Burning Sky was founded in 2013 by Mark Tranter. Having been a brewer for many years, most notably at Dark Star Brewing Co, Tranter has sought inspiration from both British and Belgian brewing traditions to create unique, modern farmhouse beers.
The brewery makes extensive use of oak vats, or foeders, alongside an array of wooden barrels for the ageing and maturing of beers, and is one of the only breweries in the UK to make use of a coolship to produce spontaneously fermented beers.
"It is very heartwarming and gratifying for everyone at the brewery and reflects their hard work and belief in what we do," Tranter told The Morning Advertiser. "It's one of those things that still hasn't completely sunk it. Just getting to the final three was massive, so now to have won up against 400 nominations is a testament to the path we chose to take.
"To be recognised by the BBC shows how much more acceptance of different and lesser known beer styles there is now," he added.
Range of excellence
“The judges were especially impressed by the range of excellence at Burning Sky Brewery,” said Jaega Wise, one of the judges in the Best Drinks Producer category. “Not only did their barrel-aged blended saisons taste great, their core range pale ales were also lovely.
“What makes the BBC Food & Farming awards so good is that the nominations come from ordinary members of the public. It's a testament to what Burning Sky has achieved in order to resonate within the beer world and also the listeners of Radio 4.”
The BBC Food & Farming Awards were launched in 2000, to mark the 20th anniversary of Radio 4’s The Food Programme. The mission statement of the awards is “to honour those who have done most to promote the cause of good food”.