'Leading lights' celebrate industry at BBPA awards

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

BBPA awards 2018: The Molson Coors team picked up the Beer Champion prize
BBPA awards 2018: The Molson Coors team picked up the Beer Champion prize

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Around 350 of the sector’s 'leading lights' celebrated industry achievement at this year’s British Beer and Pub Association awards.

In their seventh year, the awards aim to showcase the best achievements and innovations of the trade.

Simon Emeny, BBPA chairman and chief executive of Fuller Smith & Turner, thanked an audience of “leading lights” for working “often in challenging circumstances to make our pubs and our beer something real that we can all be proud of”.

He spoke of the challenges faced by the industry in recent years, but said the British public held an "intrinsic love" for the pub.

St Austell Brewery, Joseph Holt, SA Brain and Molson Coors were big winners on the night, scooping prizes for Pub Champion, Heart of the Community (won jointly by Joseph Holt and Brains), and Beer Champion respectively.

Ian Payne, who previously operated the Laurel Pub Company and is now chairman of Stonegate, accepted the Chairman’s Award for service to the industry. 

Continued achievements

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said: “Many congratulations to all our winners, and thank you to all those who entered.

“The BBPA Annual Awards serve to highlight the continued achievements of our industry and rewards the commitment to our sector and local communities and we look forward to more award-winning efforts in the future."

She added: “I have known Ian Payne for the past 25 years, through Rank, Stakis and back to his much-loved pub trade. 

"He thoroughly deserves the Chairman’s Award for the huge contribution he has made to the leisure sector.

“Visiting every one of his 333 pubs in 2011 is just one example of his dedication and he has always supported so many of the BBPA’s campaigns.”

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