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Metalhead win Gold at SIBA North East Independent Beer Awards

Nanobrewery ‘Metalhead’ in North Shields have taken home the Overall Champion Cask Beer Award at their inaugural SIBA North East Independent Beer Awards 2021.


Having been founded a year and a half ago and joining the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) in May 2021, Metalhead won the top award at their first competition with their beer ‘Pretty Vacant’ – a double dry hopped blonde ale.


The other top award for Overall Gold in the Bottle & Can competition went to Swaddle Micro Brewery, who trade as Black Storm Brewery & Taproom in North Shields, who won with their Czech-style Pilsner lager.


The awards took place ahead of the Gateshead Beer & Music Festival over the weekend and are judged by fellow brewers and other representatives from the industry, making these the much coveted ‘brewers’ choice’ awards in the North East – including beers from breweries spanning Berwick-upon-Tweed to Sheffield. 


Accepting the top cask beer award for Metalhead was Lydia Soucy, Co-Owner of Metalhead Brewery, “We’re absolutely ecstatic to win! We’ve only been going for a year and a half so to take away the Gold in our first ever awards is absolutely amazing, we’re over the moon. The brewery is just me and my husband and this means so much to both of us.” 


“With this beer we wanted to make something which had all the aromatics of a big American IPA but at a more sessionable, drinkable strength.” Lydia added, referring to the relatively modest 3.8% abv which makes this delicious blonde ale a ‘session IPA’.

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) represents independent craft brewers across the UK, and the winners of the North East Independent Beer Awards will now go on to the National Finals at the BeerX UK event in Liverpool, March 2022. Hosting the awards on behalf of SIBA was Neil Walker, Chair of SIBA’s Competitions Committee.

“This competition was our first in over a year and on behalf of all of the brewers involved I’m very happy to say we’re back! Huge congratulations to all of the breweries who took away awards, the competition was incredibly tight and you should all be very proud of the impressive quality of beers in the judging – and of course particular congratulations go to our overall Gold Champions Metalhead Brewery and Black Storm.”

The Gateshead Beer & Music Festival where the judging took place is run in Association with SIBA and is located in Low Fell between Durham Road and Old Durham Road. The hugely popular festival ran over the bank holiday weekend.