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2019 Champion Winter Beer of Britain

Lacons Brewery has scooped gold in CAMRA’s Champion Winter Beer of Britain competition with ‘Audit Ale’, an 8% ABV Barley Wine packed with berry fruit and spices.

Following over a year of local tasting panels and regional heats, Audit Ale impressed judges for its enticing aroma of marmalade and peach. It was described as “incredibly well-rounded, with not a harsh bone in its body and the perfect balance of flavour”.

Only available on limited release, Audit Ale was named after a number of Cambridge and Oxford University colleges celebrated the end of their annual audits with the special brew. By popular demand, it was exported to the USA in champagne-style bottles from 1937.

The Champion Winter Beer of Britain competition marks the first day of the Great British Beer Festival Winter, which is running from 19-23 February at The Halls in Norwich. It provides an opportunity to showcase the best traditional winter brews in the country, out of categories such as barley wines, strong old ales and stouts.

Nick Boley, CAMRA’s National Director responsible for the competition, says: “Congratulations to Lacons Brewery for winning the Champion Winter Beer of Britain award, which is one of the highest accolades in the beer world. Lacons takes the crown this year because Audit displayed an all-around great character. One judge even said they were ‘completely sold’ despite not being a barley wine drinker!

“I would like to thank all the judges for their hard work and commend the brewers on the high quality of beers tasted. It was a very close competition and a well-deserved winner.”

Ivan Brooks, Sales Director of Lacons, said: “We’re just absolutely blown away. We’ve come so far in such a short amount of time – it’s just amazing. We’re over the moon.”

Champion Winter Beer of Britain winners:


Gold – Lacons’ Brewery’s Audit

Silver – Calverley’s Porter

Bronze – Harviestoun’s Old Engine Oil

Barley Wine Strong Old Ales

Gold – Lacons’ Audit Ale

Silver – Tring Death or Glory

Bronze – Robinson’s Old Tom

Old Age Strong Milds

Gold – Tintagel Excalibur

Silver – Harvey’s Old Ale

Bronze – Brampton Mild


Gold – Calverley’s Porter

Silver – Harviestoun Old Engine Oil

Bronze – Dancing Duck Indian Porter


Gold – Plain Ales Inncognito

Silver – Dark Star Imperial Stout

Bronze – Cairngorn, Black Gold