The breweries chosen as finalists in the 2016 Imbibe Wheat Beer Challenge have today been announced, with all five being independent craft brewers from the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).
Boss Brewing, Heavy Industry, West Berkshire Brewing, The Little Beer Corporation and Harviestoun will fight it out to be named the ‘UK’s best wheat beer’ in the competition taking place at 12.30pm on the 4th July at Imbibe Live, Olympia London.
The five finalists were chosen by expert judges; Judging chair and wheat beer expert Mark Dorber, Beavertown’s Jenn Merrick, Chairman of the British Guild of Beer Writers Tim Hampson, Imbibe beer journalist Susanna Forbes and wheat beer expert and beer writer Adrien Tearney-Jones, as well as representatives from SIBA, There’s A Beer For That, Pilsner Urquell, M&B and Fuller’s.
“Huge congratulations to the five SIBA member breweries who were selected by the panel in what was a hotly contested tasting – the quality was amazingly high in this difficult category. This style can have a huge range of flavours, and we, the judges, felt we picked a selection which represented well the diversity of wheat beers” said Neil Walker, SIBA PR & Marketing Manager and one of the competition judges.
The entries came from a broad spectrum of styles within the wheat beer category – from light and aromatic Belgian Style Wit beers, to full and fruity German hefeweizens or even American Style Wheat Ales. Judges were looking for classic wheat beer flavours during the blind judging session.
Chair of Judges, Beer & Cider Ambassador, Mark Dorber, of The Anchor at Walberswick & The Swan at Stratford St Mary also added: “We’ve had an outstanding range of beers today, demonstrating an imaginative range of herbs, fruits and spices as well as a discernible wheat character, showing that wheat beers are a worthy addition to the summer must-stock beer list.”
The winner of the competition will receive a seasonal listing at a selection of Mitchells & Butlers top pubs, a trip to the Pilsner Urquell brewery in the Czech Republic and to be the focus of one of the There’s A Beer For That’s Beer Clubs.
The competition was open to British breweries who sell to restaurants, bars, pubs and hotels and the beer must be new in 2016 and contain at least 25% wheat.
Imbibe Live 2016 – Wheat Beer Challenge
12.30pm, 4 July, Brewers’ Den, Imbibe Live – centre stage
• Boss Brewing Co, Boss Bix – 4.6%,
established 2015, launched April 2015,
Contact: Sarah John & Roy Allkin.
• Heavy Industry Brewing, Pigeon Toed Orange Peel – 5.2%
Contact: Tom McNeil, founder & head brewer, 01745 814655
• West Berkshire Brewing, Wheaty McWheat Face – 4.2%
• The Little Beer Corporation, Running of the Bulls – 4.5%
Guildford-based, micro, with 300 local shareholders
Founder & CEO – Jim Taylor
• 6.6, Harviestoun, Wheat Beastie – 4.5%
Alva, Nr Stirling, Scotland
Amy Cockburn, head brewer