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Jaipur IPA wins major Top 50 billing and Butcombe reaches finals of industry awards

Added: Friday, July 27th 2012

Thornbridge Jaipur IPA (5.9%) has been named as one of the top 50 Foods and Drinks in Britain. The list was compiled as part of the Guild of Fine Food’s annual Great Taste accreditation scheme that saw 8.807 food and drink products blind-tasted and whittled down over the course of 45 days by 350 experts.

The top 50 food and drink products were chosen from the 123 entries that had gained a coveted 3-star gold and each one has now been nominated for a Golden Fork Award, the highest accolade in fine food and drink, which will be announced at the awards dinner at London’s Royal Garden Hotel in September.

Judges this year included Masterchef winner and restaurateur Mat Follas, restaurant critic and Masterchef judge Charles Campion, food writers Lucas Hollweg and Xanthe Clay, and more than 300 food buyers from leading food halls, delicatessens and farm shops, including Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges.

Guild of Fine Food chairman Bob Farrand said that each of the food and drink products entered into Great Taste undergoes the most rigorous scrutiny. “To achieve a 3-star grading involves at least 25 experts unanimously agreeing that the product tastes divine,” he said. “But to be included in the Top 50 in Britain meant each one had to satisfy the discerning palates of a further 25 dedicated foodies. These products all deliver the most extraordinary taste.”

Simon Webster, Thornbridge’s cheif operating officer, added: “We are delighted with this award. Great Taste recognises the craft and dedication that goes into making superb food and drink. Jaipur has been phenomenally successful and has been instrumental in putting Thornbridge at the leading edge of brewing in the UK.”

Butcombe in Somerset, the fast-growing West Country brewery, has been short-listed as a finalist in the Boxwood Award for Business Transformation, part of the 2012 IGD – Institute of Grocery Distribution – Food Industry Awards. Butcombe’s entry focused on its recent success in building the off-trade sector of the business to gain a place of influence in a category worth than £200 million to British retailers.

The brewery has competed with major national brewers and brands in a market already saturated with some 1,600 brands from more than 300 breweries, many of which have much bigger budgets than the Somerset company.

The past 18 months has seen a remarkable transformation for Butcombe and it has grown its branded distribution and rate of sale to a point where it’s now ranked 24th in Britain and 11th in Wales and West in terms of retails sales. Growing at 113%, Butcombe is now the fastest-growing major brewery in Britain in the off trade.

Nick Everitt, IGD’s director of retail insight and award judge, said: “Butcombe really impressed IGD. As a business, it clearly saw the potential in the off-trade and developed a clear and simple strategy to target retail and wholesale customers. Its clever engagement with multiple retailers has also been instrumental in transforming the business, meeting the aims and making it a finalist for the Boxwood Award.”

The winners will be announced at the IGD Food Industry Awards ceremony on 9 October in London in front of more than 600 other representatives from the food and grocery industry.

Butcombe’s bottled beer range (see image) can be found in approximatel6 600 supermarkets across the country as well as a large number of independent convenience stores and off-licences.


Great Taste
butcombe off trade