Quantock Brewery and Wye Valley Brewery have taken home Overall Champion Gold in the Cask and Keg Awards at the SIBA Independent Beer Awards 2020, with Eight Arch Brewing Co being named the best bottled or canned beer – making their three beers the official best in the UK.
Judged by brewers and industry experts and organised by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) at their flagship BeerX UK event in Liverpool, the awards run across a huge range of beer style categories in cask, craft keg, bottle and can.
The Overall Champion Cask beer is Quantock Brewery’s 5.1% ABV ‘Titanium’ – an aromatic ‘West Coast’ style American IPA with citrus, pine and tropical fruit notes.
James Higgins accepted the cask award alongside the rest of the Quantock team at BeerX UK and gave us his reaction, “It’s a phenomenal achievement, we’ve picked up a few awards with this beer but this is the big one and it means so much. Titanium uses Ekuanot and Citra hops and we think it’s tasting better than ever, but we’re absolutely speechless to win aganst the calibre of beers in the competition.”
In the craft keg competition it was Wye Valley brewery who took home the Overall Gold with their 4.5% ‘1985’ lager, which combines British and European hops in a German Kolsch-style beer. Jack Morris was collecting the award for Wye Valley, “To win the overall keg with a clean, crisp lager against such in your face and super hoppy beers is massive for us. It’s a great beer that manages to do everything you want a lager to do but have a little extra hop bite, with some nice orange and clementine aromas and flavour. We are really proud of it.”
In the can and bottle competition it was Eigth Arch Brewing Co’s 4.2% ‘Square Logic’ pale ale which combines ‘fruit-filled’ hops and huge drinkability, the award was accepted by Steve Farrell, Founder of Eight Arch Brewing Co, “We never expected to win and it’s great to see a lower abv beer winning against such huge rival beers of an amazing calibre. We’ve only been going for 4 years and canning our beers for 2, so to take the top award with a canned beer is massive. The beer has got loads of citra hops which give it a tropical flavour, but it’s still dry and has a crispness too.”
The SIBA Independent Beer Awards at BeerX UK are the trade association’s National finals and in order to earn a place at the competition brewers must first win at their regional competition – making these overall Champions very much the ‘best of the best’ when it comes to British independent craft beer.
SIBA Competitions Chair Guy Sheppard, a brewer himself at Exe Valley in the South West, congratulated the winners on their huge achievement:
“The SIBA Independent Beer Awards 2020 were our biggest ever, and with an incredibly high standard of beer across the board. These three beers are the very best of the best in the UK and the brewers should be hugely proud of their achievement. Huge congratulations to them and the rest of the winners across the competition!”