View Full Version : Taking the Beard Out of Beer - Got Great Taste, Well Then, Try These!

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15-07-2011, 15:37
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I was lucky enough recently to be asked to judge at the Great Taste Awards, run by the Guild of Fine Food, a body I genuinely admire for their warm & welcoming family nature, passion for all things tasty and for being one of the most powerful movements championing great produce and products, not only to the industry but giving consumers a clearly defined marker that they can trust in the one, two and three star system.

Not only that but, most pleasingly, the quality of the bottled beers was genuinely the best I've ever judged in any competition - full stop. This is not to denigrate any other bottled beer competition, I am only speaking as I find - and I, and the other judges, were extremely impressed with the quality of the brews.

It was a blind tasting with only two beer writers on both panels, paired with three or four others who have, what can only be described as, excellent palates. There was some healthy debate about some of the beers, downright disagreement about others and a chorus of approval for many.

However, and sorry to put a bit of dampener on this great beery moment, if I had to say one thing though, it's that a lot of the brewery's descriptions seriously let them down. I swear to god, some of the entry forms had 'bottled beer' or simply 'beer' on them!! Really chaps, if I was writing a report card it would say 'must do better' in big red letters!

But, that's a minor blip on an otherwise super result for British brewing.

So, without further ado, drum roll please for the winners!

3 star Purple Moose Dark Side of the Moose
3 star Harviestoun Schiehallion
3 star Otley O Garden
3 star Thornbridge Jaipur IPA
3 star Thornbridge Bracia

3 star Orkney Dark Island Reserve
3 star Dartmoor Legend Beer
2 star Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted
2 star Harviestoun Old Engine Oil
2 star Harviestoun Old Dubh 16
2 star Monty's Sunshine
2 star Otley 06 Porter
2 star Otley 08
2 star Thornbridge Kipling

2 star Orkney Dark Island
2 star Black Sheep Ale
2 star Dartmoor IPA
2 star Hobsons Old Henry 5.2% ABV
1 star Chiltern Brewery Three Hundreds Old Ale
1 star Chiltern Brewery Lord-Lieutenants Porter

1 star Chiltern Bodgers Barley Wine
1 star Bristol Hefe
1 star Southville Hop
1 star Otley Colombo
1 star Thornbridge Wild Swan
1 star Wold Top Bitter
1 star Wold Gold
1 star Laverstoke Park Organic Lager
1 star Black Sheep Riggwelter
1 star Dartmoor Jail Ale
1 star Hobsons Town Crier 4.5% ABV
1 star Whitewater Clotworthy Dobbin 5.0%
1 star Cairngorm Black Gold
1 star Cairngorm Wildcat

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