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BBPA Annual Dinner Award Winners Announced

St Austell Brewery, Joseph Holt, S.A. Brain, Molson Coors and Ian Payne MBE scooped up the honours at this year’s British Beer & Pub Association Annual Awards, presented at the BBPA’s Annual Dinner in London; a celebration of Britain’s beer and pub industry.   

The awards, which have been run by the BBPA for the last seven years, celebrate and showcase the very best achievements and innovations of the beer and pub industry.  

The winners triumphed in four categories; Pub Champion, sponsored by Diageo, Heart of the Community, sponsored by C&C Group, Beer Champion, sponsored by Heineken and the Chairman’s award. They were presented with their awards by BBPA Chairman and Chief Executive of Fuller, Smith & Turner, Simon Emeny. 

Pub Champion Award Winner: St Austell Brewery 

St Austell Brewery received the Pub Champion Award from Charles Ireland, General Manager – GB, Ireland and France, Diageo, for its ongoing investment in its award-winning estate of 178 pubs and hotels, many of which provide the last meeting space in their local communities due to the closure of other public facilities such as village shops and post offices.  

St Austell’s entry also highlighted its investment in the local community, particularly its strong links to local schools and colleges – including a Chefs Academy at Truro College – to inspire young talent to look at careers in the pub industry. 

Heart of the Community Award Winners: Joseph Holt and S.A. Brain

The entries were so strong for this year’s Annual Awards that the judges had to pick two winners for the Heart of the Community Award! 

Joseph Holt received the award from Clara Shand, Third Party Brand Director at C&C Group, for their unquestionable long-term commitment to charity. The brewer’s Edward Holt Trust has concentrated recently on providing local funds for the homeless, investing £1.9m to help six charity partners working with the homeless from 2014 to 2020. The brewer’s Peter Kershaw Trust has over the last two years provided nearly £400,000 of support for community projects – funding youth leaders working in the community and providing substantial support for Mood Swings, a local mental health charity. 

S.A. Brain also received the award for its partnership with Welsh charity Tenovus Cancer Care over a three-year period. The partnership saw S.A. Brain’s 2700 staff and customers in their managed pubs raise £150,000 for Tenovus Cancer Care, becoming the single biggest fundraiser of the charity. This has contributed to further research, treatment and support for those with cancer.

Beer Champion Award Winner: Molson Coors

Molson Coors took the Beer Champion Award, presented by Guy Mason, Head of Public Affairs, Heineken, for their aptly named Beer Champion training scheme. The scheme provides employees with three levels of in-depth beer tasting training. It also sees every new recruit who joins the organisation receive an immersive two-day induction on the basics of beer styles, brewing, tasting, and food matching. 

The Beer Champion training scheme is driven by Molson Coors’ Qualified Beer Sommeliers, who undergo an intensive programme of coursework and exams over three years. Molson Coors’ UK and Ireland business now has eight fully qualified Beer Sommeliers, and two more employees recently took their sommelier exams in September.

Chairman’s Award Winner: Ian Payne MBE

Ian Payne MBE won the Chairman’s Award. Ian was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) after working in the hospitality sector for 46 years, starting behind the bar aged 19. He founded Stonegate in 2010, which now owns and manages 693 pubs, bars and clubs, making it one of the largest operators in the UK.

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:

“Many congratulations to all of our winners and thank you to all those who entered as well. 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.”

“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.”