CAMRA reveals the best East Anglian brews
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Colchester Brewery has bagged gold and bronze awards for its draught beers in the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)’s Champion Beer of East Anglia competition. The overall gold award went to ‘Old King Coel’, Colchester’s 5% ABV London Porter. Colchester also won the overall bronze award for its speciality beer ‘Brazilian Coffee & Vanilla Porter’, ABV 4.6%.
The overall silver award was picked up by Lacons brewery of Great Yarmouth for its barley wine, ‘Audit’, ABV 8%.
Old King Coel is a rich dark ale brewed the original way, with brown malt. Since the 19th century, when pale malts became widely available, porters have been generally been produced with pale malt mixed with highly roasted black malts.
Audit barley wine has a prominent flavour of berry fruit, laced with pronounced spice. The finish is warming, smooth and sweet.
The awards come after over a year of blind tastings of real draught beers at CAMRA beer festivals around East Anglia. Judging categories were milds, bitters, golden ales, speciality beers, old ales, stouts, porters and barley wines. The beers were nominated by CAMRA’s East Anglia branches and tasting panels.
The awards were organised by CAMRA volunteers Paul Moorhouse and Kathy Hadfield-Moorhouse. Paul Moorhouse said: “Colchester beers always impress and I’m delighted that they have won the overall gold and bronze medals. These awards are well deserved and will hopefully lead to more pubgoers enjoying these splendid cask ales.”
Other gold awards in the East Anglia competition were scooped by the Son of Sid brewery at Little Gransden, Cambridgeshire; Bishop Nick of Braintree; Green Jack from Lowestoft, Fat Cat in Norwich; Norfolk brewers Grain at Alburgh; Adnams of Southwold and Milton at Waterbeach.
Other successful breweries taking awards were Suffolk brewers Earl Soham; Cambridge Brewhouse, 3 Brewers of St. Albans; New River of Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire; Norfolk brewers Wolf and Woodforde’s; and Essex brewers Brentwood, Crouch Vale, Maldon, Mighty Oak, Nethergate, Red Fox and Wibblers.
The full list of awards is as follows:
|CATEGORY||GOLD AWARD||SILVER AWARD||BRONZE AWARD||WHERE AND WHEN JUDGED|
|Milds||Son of Sid||Muck Cart Mild||Mighty Oak||Oscar Wilde||Milton||Minotaur||Cambridge, May 2019|
|Bitters||Bishop Nick||Ridley’s Rite||Mighty Oak||Captain Bob||Earl Soham||Victoria Bitter||Chappel, September 2019|
|Best Bitters||Green Jack||Trawlerboys Best Bitter||Colchester||Colchester No 1||New River||Five Inch Drop||Watford, November 2019|
|Strong Bitters||Fat Cat||Marmalade Cat||3 Brewers of St. Albans||Special English Ale||Adnams||Broadside||Norwich, October 2019|
|Golden Ales||Grain||ThreeOneSix||Bishop Nick||Heresy||Crouch Vale||Brewers Gold||St Albans, September 2019|
|Speciality Beers||Colchester||Brazilian Coffee & Vanilla Porter||Wolf||Straw Dog||Brentwood||Chockwork Orange||St Neots, March 2019|
|Old Ales/Strong Milds||Adnams||Old Ale||Wibblers||Winter Wibble||Colchester||Double Brown Ale||Chelmsford, February 2019|
|Porters||Colchester||Old King Coel London Porter||Nethergate||Old Growler||Cambridge Brew House||Night Porter||Colchester, May 2019|
|Stouts||Milton||Nero||Maldon||Hotel Porter||Green Jack||Baltic Trader Export Stout||Members’ vote, 2018|
|Barley Wines/ Strong Old Ales||Lacons||Audit||Woodforde’s||Headcracker||Red Fox||Ruby Red Mild||Cambridge, November 2019|
|Overall Champion Beer of East Anglia||Colchester||Old King Coel London Porter||Lacons||Audit||Colchester||Brazilian Coffee & Vanilla Porter||Colchester, January 2020|