Castle Rock head brewer Adrian
Redgrove (left) receiving the
Champion Beer of Britain trophy
from Good Beer Guide editor
CAMRA has just announced the best beers in Britain at the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF), Earls Court, London. Harvest Pale, brewed by Nottingham brewery Castle Rock, was crowned the Champion Beer of Britain during the festival's trade session; it also won Gold in the Golden Ale category. I don't think I've had it, so I'll keep an eye out for it. It has a strength of 3.8% and is described in the Good Beer Guide as 'blonde and refreshing with distinctive citrus hop.'
I've certainly had the runner up, Timothy Taylor's Landlord many times. Although some CAMRA types like to say that it's not the beer it once was, I don't agree: when it's well kept, it's a wonderful pint, and this award suggests that I'm right. It also won Gold in the Best Bitter category, and since the early 1980s has won over 20 awards at the GBBF.
Our local Southport brewery won Gold in the Best Bitter category last year, but sadly has not repeated its success this time, but that's often the way. Here are the full results - see how many you've had, or even heard of:
Champion Beer of Britain 1st - Castle Rock, Harvest Pale (3.8% ABV, Nottingham, Notts) 2nd - Timothy Taylor, Landlord (4.3% ABV, Keighley, West Yorkshire) 3rd - Surrey Hills, Hammer Mild (3.8% ABV, Guildford, Surrey)
Mild category Gold- Surrey Hills, Hammer Mild (3.8% ABV, Guildford, Surrey) Silver- Greene King, XX Mild (3% ABV, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk) Joint Bronze- Golcar, Dark Mild (3.4% ABV, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire) Joint Bronze- Nottingham, Rock Ale Mild (3.8% ABV, Nottingham, Notts)
Best Bitter category Gold- Timothy Taylor, Landlord (4.3% ABV, Keighley, West Yorkshire) Silver- St Austell, Tribute (4.2% ABV, St Austell, Cornwall) Joint Bronze- Evan Evans, Cwrw (4.2% ABV, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire) Joint Bronze- Great Oakley, Gobble (4.5% ABV, Great Oakley, Northamptonshire)
Golden Ale category Gold- Castle Rock, Harvest Pale (3.8% ABV, Nottingham, Notts) Silver- Marble, Manchester Bitter (4.2%, Manchester, Gtr Manchester) Bronze- St Austell, Proper Job (4.5% ABV, St Austell, Cornwall)
Winter Beer of Britain (announced in January 2010)
Elland, 1872 Porter (6.5% ABV, Elland, West Yorkshire)
Bottled Beer of Britain (sponsored by Travelodge) Gold- St Austell, Admiral's Ale (5% ABV, St Austell, Cornwall) Silver- Pitfield, 1850 London Porter (5% ABV, Epping, Essex) Bronze- Great Oakley, Delapre Dark (4.6% ABV, Great Oakley, Northamptonshire)