CAMRA names the best bottled beer in Britain
A mighty Imperial Russian Stout, a delectable golden ale and a hoppy IPA have been named the best bottled beer in Britain by the Campaign for Real Ale.
The announcement comes on the opening day of the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham, where visitors have the chance to sample the winning brews first hand in a series of tutored tastings.
Thornbridge’s Saint Petersburg Imperial Russian Stout (7.4% ABV) won crown as a rich and full-bodied stout with black treacle and dark notes. It has a robust, bitter finish that gives it a great balance and is the perfect brew to pair with your Christmas cake.
Simon Webster, Co-Founder and Owner, Thornbridge Brewery: “We’re delighted to have won the gold award in the CAMRA Bottled Beer of Britain competition with our much loved Russian Imperial Stout St Petersburg. Having first bottled it back in 2005, we’re thrilled that this beer has held its own in a very competitive market and is tasting as fantastic today as it was almost 15 years ago.”
Runners up include not just one, but two beers from the same brewery. St Austell’s Proper Job (5.5% ABV) came in second, while BIG Job (7.2% ABV) placed third.
Proper Job is no stranger to CAMRA competitions, having won numerous awards for being “a quaffable, fruity golden ale, whose drinkability belies its strength”. Its fruitiness makes it incredibly moreish, but the bitterness provides a nice balance to the malty sweetness. It would go perfectly with a smoked salmon starter.
BIG Job is the big brother to Proper Job. Bitterer than its sibling, it is fuller-bodied and the perfect brew to go with a Lancashire or Cheshire cheese at the end of your Christmas dinner.
Mark Bishop, Trade Marketing Manager at St Austell’s Brewery: “We are delighted to be here and have not just one but two beers shortlisted in this the competition! Huge congratulations to Thornbridge for the crown – they’re a great brewery.”
The judging and announcement follows a series of local member voting rounds and regional judging competitions throughout the year. Visitors to the Good Food Show will now be first in line to sample the winning brews at a series of tutored tastings hosted by CAMRA with beer experts Mark Dredge, Jonny Garrett and Annabel Smith.
Gary Timmins, CAMRA National Director said: “Congratulations to Thornbridge and St Austell for brewing some fantastic beers! This was a tough competition and it was hard for the judges to whittle down to the final three, and the award is well-deserved.
“It’s fantastic to be able to make the announcement at the BBC Good Food Show – the epitome of all things good in the food and drink industry. It’s a privilege to be here, and we’d urge visitors to the show to make their way down to the CAMRA stand to sample these beers and more throughout the weekend.”
Tickets to the tutored tastings are available on the CAMRA stand, and CAMRA members can receive 20% off their ticket to the BBC Good Food Show by logging in to the CAMRA website: www.camra.org.uk/beer-festivals-events/bbc-good-food-show-winter/