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Top beer writers honoured in Guild awards

Added: Saturday, December 8th 2012

The British Guild of Beer Writers on 6 December named journalist and social historian Pete Brown as Beer Writer of the Year 2012. The Beer Writer of the Year award is the ultimate accolade for anyone communicating about our national drink. Entries for this year’s competition – which were at a record level -  included press articles, books, radio shows, blogs and apps on a wide range of topics relating to beer. The overall winner is chosen from six category winners.

Brown is the author of four books about beer including Shakespeare’s Local, published last month and chosen as Radio 4’s ‘Book of the Week’ in the run up to Christmas. He contributes regularly to drinks industry and general publications and was a judge in the recent BBC Food & Farming Awards. He won the Beer Writer of the Year Award in 2009

Last year’s winner and chairman of judges Ben McFarland said: “Despite crippling beer duty and pubs still under enormous financial pressure, interest in beer has never been higher. We’re seeing new breweries opening, innovative beers coming onto the market and a growing appreciation among the public at large of our national drink. Beer writing is in fine fettle too with more people communicating about beer than ever before.  All the judges were incredibly impressed with the standard of beer writing across a variety of mediums, yet Pete Brown’s consistently approachable, insightful and knowledgeable writing really stood out and he deserves to win this top accolade for the second time.”

Other winners named at the event at the Carlton Jumeirah Hotel in Knightsbridge included Roger Protz, for best writing in national media; Will Hawkes for his Craft Beer London app in the online category and Alastair Gilmour for the best regional journalism. Tim Webb picked up the beer and travel writing prize for his World Atlas of Beer, and Martyn Cornell the award for beer and food writing. Pete Brown took the trade media title and Carlsberg won the corporate communications award for their ‘Tapster’ brochure on cask ale.

The Guild also named its Brewer of the Year as Sara Barton of Brewsters Brewery in Grantham – the first time the Award has been given to a woman brewer.

Full results:

Brewer of the Year 2012 – Sara Barton, Brewsters Brewery

Greene King IPA Travel Bursary: Winner: Tim Webb; Silver Award: Tim Hampson

Shepherd Neame 1698 Award for Beer and Food Writing: Winner: Martyn Cornell

Thwaites Award for Corporate Communications: Winner: Carlsberg UK

Brains SA Gold Award for Best Use of Online Media: Winner: Will Hawkes; Silver Award: Pete Brown

Adnams Award for Best Writing in Regional Media: Winner: Alastair Gilmour; Silver Award: Simon Jenkins

Fuller’s ESB Award for Writing for the Beer and Pub Trade: Winner: Pete Brown; Silver Award: Roger Protz

Molson Coors Award for Writing in National Media: Winner: Roger Protz; Silver Award: Dan Saladino

The Michael Jackson Gold Award – Beer Writer of the Year 2012: Pete Brown

Judges this year were: Ben McFarland; Guy Dimond, food and drink editor of Time Out; Holly O’Neill, deputy editor of Jamie magazine and Alastair Hook, brewmaster at Meantime Brewery.

On the Brewer of the Year Award given to Sara Barton, British Guild of Beer Writers chairman Tim Hampson said: “Sara isn’t just a great brewer, she is also changing the face of the brewing industry through her collaborative brews with other women. By sharing her experience and skills generously with these emerging brewsters, she is encouraging more of them to start brewing and returning an industry that has been dominated by men back to its roots, when beers were made, like bread, by the woman of the house.”

The British Guild of Beer Writers was established in 1988 to help spread the word about beer and brewing and improve standards of beer writing in general. Today the Guild has more than 150 members – to find out more go to

Caption to main image: some of the winners in the 2012 Awards (l-r) Simon Jenkins; Roger Protz;  Pete Brown, Beer Writer of the Year 2012; Tim Webb; Ben McFarland, chair of judges; Will Hawkes; Tim Hampson and Katie Campion of Carlsberg. Above: Roger Protz with Scott Wilson of Molson Coors, sponsor of the Best Writing in National Publications award

Protz and Wilson