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SIBA Cask Champion 2016

Scottish and Welsh breweries have beaten England in SIBA’s National Beer Awards competition.

southern summit2Loch Lomond Brewery’s Southern Summit took home Gold in the cask Supreme champion category of the competition, seen by many as the pinnacle of brewing excellence in these ‘brewers choice’ awards, with Wales’ The Waen Brewery Lemon Drizzle winning Silver and Harbour Brewing Co Pale Ale in England’s South West in Bronze position.

“Loch Lomond are deserved winners of this hugely coveted beer award, seen as the epitome of brewing excellence in the UK. The beer proved a huge hit with judges and can now be tasted by hundreds of brewers, beer buyers, journalists and publicans from across the UK who come to BeerX to taste the best of the best.

England may be dominating the Six Nations rugby this week, but it is Scottish and Welsh breweries taking home the top gongs in the UK’s premier beer awards, SIBA’s National Beer Awards 2016 – presented last night at BeerX in Sheffield – where coincidentally many will be watching the Six Nations on Saturday!” said Guy Sheppard, SIBA Chairman.

southern summit3Husband and wife team Euan and Fiona MacEacherern (pictured left) from Loch Lomond Brewery said they were overwhelmed on hearing their brewery’s name read out,

“We are absolutely lost for words, you have no idea how much this means to us. This is the pinnacle, after years of growing and growing it’s amazing. We’re totally overhwlemed.” said Fiona, with Euan adding that they would like to dedicate the win to his late mother, who died just four weeks ago,
“I’d love to dedicate this award to my wonderful mum who passed away four weeks ago. She supported us every step of the way and she would be over the moon to see us win this amazing award. We’re a true family business and when we’re working it is our family supporting us by looking after the kids or even pitching in at the brewery. It honestly means so much to us that the beer we brew, by hand, has won what we think is the most important award in the UK – it doesn’t get any better than this.”

southern summit4The couple were also keen to extend thanks to the other independent breweries in Scotland, who they say make it feel like ‘we’re one big brewing family – even when we’re competing for the same awards!’

Southern Summit is a 4% golden coloured ale that won the Best Bitters & Pale Ales category before moving forward and taking the crown in the final round of judging where the overall champion is named. The light golden ale hopped with American summit and city hops for a citrus aroma and flavour proved a big hit with competition judges.

The Silver winner ‘Lemon Drizzle’ at 3.7% ABV, as the name might suggest, has a zesty lemon flavour that set it aside from the pack, whereas the Bronze winner is a British take on an American style pale ale at 6% ABV – showing the huge diversity of flavours and strengths available from UK craft brewers.

As well as the cask competition SIBA also run keg and ‘small pack’, or can and bottle, competitions at the event, with the Keg Competition Supreme Gold winner being named as Sambrook’s Russian Imperial Stout, owner Duncan Sambrook’s had this to say on the win,

“We are absolutely delighted. We have been brewing this beer for 18 months and we have made it available all year round and so thankful that our customers enjoy these styles. I would like to credit Sean Knight for this recipe as it really is something special!”

The small pack (bottle and can) Supreme Gold winner was Old Dairy Brewery’s Dark Side of the Moo, brewer Sean Calnan said of his win,

“I’m just so shocked. I can’t believe we won. I know this is my favourite beer that we brew as it’s just so full bodied, full flavoured and a nice cross over between a strong porter and a black IPA. We take a rich dark beer and hop it really heavily like and IPA – we love it and i’m over the moon that the judges do to!”