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Hawkes hailed as top beer writer, Protz wins gold for work on beer and pubs

Added: Friday, December 6th 2013

bgbw winners

The British Guild of Beer Writers yesterday (5 December) named journalist Will Hawkes as Beer Writer of the Year 2013.

The Beer Writer of the Year award is the ultimate accolade for anyone communicating about our national drink. Entries for this year’s competition 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.  

Hawkes is a freelance journalist who specialises in beer. He writes regularly for a range of titles including The Independent and The Washington Post, and is the author of Craft Beer London, an iPhone app and book about the capital’s best pubs, breweries and off-licences which won the Beer Writers’ online media category last year.

Pete Brown, Beer Writer of the Year for 2012, and chairman of judges this year, said: “2013 has been a good year for beer, with the first reduction in beer duty in over 50 years and burgeoning interest in our national drink. We’re seeing an average of two new breweries opening every week, innovative beers coming onto the market and a growing number of beer enthusiasts drawn from a much broader range of drinkers than would have been the case a decade ago – the young, female and fashionable are now choosing to drink beer, preferably from a dimpled pint mug.

“Beer writing too is in great shape, with more people communicating about more varied aspects of beer across traditional and new media. The judges were impressed by the high standards achieved by entrants and the range of beer-related topics covered. It was a strong year, but the judges were unanimous that Will Hawkes’ writing stood out for its breadth of subjects covered and its accessible, compulsively readable delivery. Will has made a significant contribution to spreading the word about beer to new places this year and I’m delighted to hand him the title of Beer Writer of the Year.”

Other winners named at the event at the Carlton Jumeirah Hotel in Knightsbridge were:

Brewer of the Year  Derek Prentice, Fuller Smith & Turner

Greene King IPA Travel Bursary Winner: Martyn Cornell; Silver Award: Adrian Tierney-Jones

Shepherd Neame 1698 Award for Beer and Food Writing Winner: Mark Dredge

Thwaites Award for Corporate Communications: British Beer & Pub Association video presented by Marverine Cole

Brains SA Gold Award for Best Use of Online Media Winner: Richard Taylor; Silver Award: Adrian Tierney-Jones

Adnams Award for Best Writing in Regional Media  Winner: Gavin Aitchison; Silver Award: Leigh Linley

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

Molson Coors Award for Writing in National Media Winner: Will Hawkes; Silver Award: Sophie Atherton

The Michael Jackson Gold Award – Beer Writer of the Year 2013: Will Hawkes

Judges this year were: Pete Brown;  Bill Dobson, head brewer at SA Brain; David Wilson, public affairs director at the British Beer & Pub Association; Karen Barnes, editor of Delicious magazine and Craig Woodhouse, political correspondent at The Sun and part of the team which spearheaded the newspaper’s successful campaign to abolish the beer duty escalator.

On the Brewer of the Year Award given to Derek Prentice, British Guild of Beer Writers chairman Tim Hampson said: “Derek has made an unmatched contribution to London’s vibrant and vital brewing scene. Over a career that has spanned more than 45 years, he has worked for four of the capital’s greatest known brewing names – Truman’s, Watney’s, Young’s and Fuller’s. In his current job, not only is he the curator of some celebrated beers, but he has helped develop some great new ones too – including Seafarer and Frontier. That’s quite a legacy.”

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 image: the winners of the British Guild of Beer Writers Awards 2013 with chair of judges Pete Brown (far left). Beer Writer of the Year 2013 Will Hawkes front row, second left, Marverine Cole (left), Roger Protz and Derek Prentice to the right of Will Hawkes.