Fixed Wheel Brewery has scooped gold in CAMRA’s Champion Winter Beer of Britain competition with ‘Blackheath Stout’, a 5% ABV stout packed with malts, fruits and hops.
Following more than a year of local tasting panels and regional heats, ‘Blackheath Stout’ was named overall champion, with beer writer Roger Protz described it as “a very fine example of a stout.”
He adds: “We were all very impressed by its rich malty flavour, its fruity hop aroma and the overall flavour of the beer.”
Runners up include Elland brewery’s ‘1872’ porter (silver) and Hawkshead ‘Brodie’s Prime Export’ (bronze).
Available all year in cask and keg, ‘Blackheath’ is a full-bodied fruity stout dedicated to the home of Fixed Wheel’s Blackheath brewery. It is brewed with New Zealand and English hops to give an oaky bitterness and dark fruits finish.
The Champion Winter Beer of Britain competition marks the first day of the Great British Beer Festival Winter, which is running from 4-8 February at The New Bingley Hall in Birmingham. 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.
The Great British Beer Festival Winter features a range of ales from dark, strong winter ales to light hoppy ales. It also boasts a Learn & Discover area to meet brewers and try comparative tastings, a key keg bar and a retro gaming section.
Scott Povey, who owns Fixed Wheel Brewery alongside his partner Sharon, said: “I’m just really shocked. It’s amazing news for us, fantastic! Blackheath Stout is the first beer we brewed, and is named after where we’re based. We’re really pleased to see it get the recognition it deserves – we’ll probably have to brew it a bit more now! Thank you to all the judges for voting for us.”
Sarah Newson, another judge on the panel said: “It’s particularly well-balanced, slightly sweet but full bodied but with a satisfying finish. A winner on many levels.”
Gary Timmins, CAMRA’s National Director responsible for the competition, says: “Congratulations to Fixed Wheel for winning the Champion Winter Beer of Britain award, which is one of the highest accolades in the beer world.
“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 win!”
This year’s gold, silver and bronze awards will now go through to the finals of the Champion Beer of Britain competition, and will be available to sample throughout the Great British Beer Festival Winter this week.
Champion Winter Beer of Britain winners
Gold – Fixed Wheel’s Blackheath Porter
Silver – Elland’s 1972 porter
Bronze – Hawksheads Broodies Prime Export
Barley Wine Strong Old Ales
Gold – Hawkshead, Brodie’s Prime Export
Silver – Exmoor’s Beast
Bronze – Lacon’s Audit Ale
Old Age Strong Milds
Gold – Loddon’s Hocus Pocus
Silver – Brunswick’s Black Sabbath
Bronze – Tintagel’s Caliburn
Gold – Elland’s 1872 porter
Silver – Fownes’ King Korvak’s Saga
Bronze – Colchester’s Old King Coel London Porter
Gold – Fixed Wheel’s Blackheath Stout
Silver – Barngates, Goodhew’s Dry Stout
Bronze – Plain, Inncognito