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Champion stout good way to start the day

Added: Wednesday, August 8th 2018

Siren champion

A strong stout brewed with coffee beans and lactose has won the prestigious title of Champion Beer of Britain on the opening day of the 2018 Great British Beer Festival. Broken Dream Breakfast Stout (6.5%) comes from Siren Brew in Finchampstead, Berkshire, which has been brewing since 2013.

Siren Brew, founded by Darron Anley (pictured in the centre with his brewing team), specialises in barrel-aged beers and also using ingredients that broaden beer appreciation. Breakfast Stout uses eight specialist malts, including chocolate malt, oats, smoked malt and grain from the famous Weyermann maltsters in Bamberg, Germany.

Lactose or “milk sugar” is added to give the beer a creamy and smooth character. Lactose is a by-product of cheese-making and is made up of 95 per cent milk sugars. It cannot be fermented by brewer’s yeast and leaves carbohydrates and calories in the finished beer. The coffee used in Breakfast Stout, which is added during both mashing and the copper boil, comes from specialist roasters in Berkshire. Just one hop, Magnum, is used.

The beer has an entrancing aroma of chocolate and espresso coffee with rich notes of roasted grain and creamy malt. The hops make an appearance on the palate and balance the richness of grain, chocolate and coffee. The long finish is bittersweet, with continuing contributions from chocolate, coffee and roasted and smoked malts but the hops lead to a dry finale.

The silver award in the championship went to Green Jack Brewery of Lowestoft, Suffolk, for Ripper, a 8.5 per cent barley wine. Bronze was won by Mordue Brewery of North Shields, Tyne & Wear, for Workie Ticket, a 4.5 per cent Best Bitter. Workie Ticket won the overall championship in 1997.

Category Winners


Gold: Greene King xx Mild

Silver: Rhymney Dark

Bronze: East London Orchid


Gold: Orkney Red MacGregor

Silver: Mighty Oak Captain Bob

Bronze: Joint winners Bank Top Flat Cap & Acorn Barnsley Bitter

Best Bitter

Gold: Mordue Workie Ticket

Silver: Bishop Nick 1555

Bronze: Joint winners St Austell Tribute & Salopian Darwin’s Origin

Golden Ale

Gold: Salopian Oracle

Silver: Salopian Hop Twister

Bronze: Joint winners Abbeydale Moonshine & Windsor & Eton Knights of the Garter

Strong Beers

Gold: Fuller’s Dark Star Revelation

Silver: Bay Devon Dumpling

Bronze: Kinver Half Centurion

Speciality Beers

Gold: Colchester Brazilian Coffee & Vanilla Porter

Silver: Cromarty Red Rocker

Bronze: Derventio Cleopatra


Gold: Siren Craft Brew Broken Dream Breakfast Stout

Barley Wines & Strong Old Ales

Gold: Green Jack Ripper


Red MacGregor