Yorkshire brewer takes top honours in Castle Rock’s awards’ night
Castle Rock pub regulars across the East Midlands and Yorkshire have chosen Black Sheep Bitter as their favourite real ale for 2011. As part of a glittering charity evening at Castle Rock’s Poppy and Pint, brewers from Black Sheep Brewery picked up the top award in front of guests from over two dozen of the UK’s top national, regional and micro breweries.
Close behind, in second place, was Bradfield Blonde, from Sheffield’s Bradfield Brewery, with Fuller’s London Pride coming third. Other awards on the night were given to the new brewer of the year, Derby’s Black Iris Brewery; the brewer of the year, Salopian, and supplier, Charles Faram.
Help for Heroes and Royal British Legion were the charities to benefit from the proceeds of the night with additional money handed on from over-the-bar donations from Castle Rock customers and a hair raising sky dive by Vicki Saxby, the Castle Rock finance director.
Black Sheep Brewery’s national account manager, Phil Bebbington expressed his delight at receiving the award, “It’s particularly pleasing as this was voted for by Castle Rock customers. It’s a real honour to be picked ahead of such a strong field, and it’s great to pick up an award like this in our own 20th anniversary year. A big ‘thanks’ to all at Castle Rock.”
Colin Wilde, Castle Rock’s managing director, says: “With two long established breweries featuring in our top three, it is testament to the fact that good beer doesn’t go out of fashion. Our congratulations go to both, as they do to the comparative newcomers at Sheffield’s Bradfield Brewery, a permanent supplier to our New Barrack Tavern in Sheffield and Derby’s Black Iris often encountered at the Lincolnshire Poacher. This was an entertaining and inspiring evening for us all; it was a great night all round.”
Alex Wilson for Black Iris Brewery, said: “We’re delighted to have won such an unexpected award only seven months after we set up Black Iris in August 2011. It has also been an honour to be in the company of such esteemed brewers, but also to be recognised by the customers themselves. A big thank you to all at Castle Rock and to James and the team at the Poppy and Pint for such an enjoyable event.”
Voting in Castle Rock’s 20 pubs was conducted through the autumn with regulars putting forward their favourites from many hundreds of real ales available through the year. Voting is restricted to guest beers as those from Castle Rock Brewery are not eligible for the contest.
Castle Rock’s industry awards for the brewer of the year and the year’s best supplier are chosen by Castle Rock staff. The 13th annual award ceremony was held at the Poppy and Pint, Lady Bay, Nottingham on Tuesday 28 February 2012.