The awards are decided by votes cast by drinkers and customers in Castle Rock’s pubs across the east Midlands and Yorkshire with the brewer and supplier winners selected by Castle Rock staff.
Now in its 16th year of competition, these awards were presented alongside those for best new brewer, best LocAle brewer, best cider, and best supplier. The event, attended by award winners and guests, was at the Canalhouse, Nottingham and was hosted by Castle Rock Brewery chairman, Geoff Newton.
Fuller, Smith and Turner were winners twice taking the cider prize for Cornish Orchards Vintage Dry and the runners-up place in the Beer of the Year with Chiswick Bitter. The LocAle brewer was Bradfield Brewery with the prize for the new brewery going to Totally Brewed.
In his presentation Geoff Newton thanked all the brewers, cider makers and suppliers for coming along: “This year, we’ve had even more votes cast than previously. Again this shows how interest in, and knowledge of, cask ales flourishes as the quality of the products in the marketplace continues to grow. This is highlighted by the all the winners of our awards. All have produced some amazing beers and ciders. Congratulations to them and to everyone attending this very enjoyable evening,” he said.
Voting for the beer of the year competition 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.
The industry award as the year’s best supplier, given to Santander Corporate and Commercial Bank, and the brewer of the year are chosen by Castle Rock staff.
Winner – Beer of the Year 2014-15, Citra Pale, Black Iris Brewery
Winner Brewer of the Year 2014-15, Black Sheep Brewery
Winner – Cider of the Year 2014-15, Cornish Orchards Vintage Dry, and Chiswick Bitter runner-up Beer of the Year, Fuller, Smith and Turner
Winner – LocAle Brewery of the Year 2014-15, Bradfield Brewery
Winner – New Brewery of the Year 2014-15, Totally Brewed
Winner – Supplier of the Year 2014-15, Santander