The Cask Project

Homebrew beer winner to hit UK pubs

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

SIBA homebrew competition winner picks up national listings

Related tags Craft beer Beer Siba Brewing Brewery

A hazy pale ale named the best homebrew in the UK is set to hit pubs and bars across the UK after winning a competition run by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).

Originally brewed by champion homebrewer Sam Thakker-Jones for the SIBA Homebrew Beer Awards, the recipe was upscaled for commercial production at Quantock Brewery in Somerset and will now get a limited national release.

Thakker-Jones, who joined Quantock along with awards organisers SIBA and Yakima Chief Hops, to brew his beer on a commercial scale, said: “It’s been amazing brewing here at Quantock, really in-depth, really friendly, getting closely involved in every part of the process – from milling the grain to mashing in, adding hops, right through to the end of the brew day. I’ve loved every second of it.”

The competition was open to homebrew members of the not-for-profit trade association representing amateur and professional brewers across the UK.

sam Thakker-Jones middle of right-hand image
Brewing day at Quantock, the can's image and Sam Thakker-Jones centre of group on right

Quality of homebrewing is astonishing

SIBA head of comms Neil Walker said: “The quality of beer being brewed by the best homebrewers in the UK really is astonishing and we were blown away by Sam’s beer when it was judged. The brief was to best showcase Yakima Chief’s new experimental hop and his deliciously hoppy, hazy pale ale did exactly that. Huge congratulations to Sam and I look forward to trying his beer in a pub near me very soon.”

The beer called Push the Button was named as a tongue-in-cheek jibe at the differences between homebrewing and commercial brewing, where the much larger scale means some elements have to be automated. The brew makes use of an experimental new American hop HBC 586, which is said to make the finished beer “hugely aromatic and hoppy with aromas and flavours of tropical and stone fruit, backed up with citrus notes and a soft mouthfeel”.

Yakima Chief Hops’ Robbie Harrigan said: “It’s been brilliant to be involved, growing our engagement with the homebrewing community, who we feel are one of the most passionate brewing communities across the globe. “

Really good fun

He continued: “Many of our commercial customers around the world started out as homebrewers, so to keep engaging with these guys, and doing projects such as this one is extremely valuable and really good fun.

“HBC 586 is one of the latest and most exciting trial varieties from the Hop Breeding Company and is a firm favourite of everyone at Yakima Chief Hops.”

As well as being available in Quantock’s taproom and specially selected venues across the UK, including Thakker-Jones’s hometown of Bath, a limited amount of the beer will also go into cans and be available via the Quantock webshop.

Quantock brewer Daniel Enticott said: “The recipe itself is really interesting because it’s pretty much the same process as we use here for our hoppy pale ales, so transitioning the recipe from a homebrew batch up to a commercial kit has actually been pretty easy.”

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