Friday 2 August 2013

The Market Town Tavern Yorkshire Beer Awards

Last night I was lucky enough to be invited as a guest to attend the inaugural Market Town Taverns Yorkshire Beer Awards. There is no doubt that the UK is in the grip of a beer frenzy, and outside of London it's clear that Yorkshire is the most seething hotbed of brewing activity - there are lots of them, and the quality is very high.

Market Town Taverns is a chain of 15-odd pubs that was built by Ian Fozard (now director of Rooster's Brewing Co), and more recently sold to Heron & Brearley, a many-tentacled business based on the Isle of Man, hence the presence of a lot of (latterly very good) Okells beers within the MTT estate.

As it explains on their website, the Market Town Taverns Yorkshire Beer Awards "has been born out of passion for beer and the pride we have in our Yorkshire breweries. Over 100 Yorkshire breweries were invited to submit their beers for a blind tasting by our judges which took place in early May 2013, where the finalists in each category were decided on". The awards dinner was where finalists were announced, and here they are:

Best Bitter:
Great Newsome Frothingham Best
Ilkley  Joshua Jane
Saltaire Pride
Winner: Saltaire Pride

Pale/Golden Beer:
Great Heck Citra
Abbeydale Dewception
Bradfield Farmer's Blonde
Winner: Great Heck Citra

Dark Beer:
Old Bear Black Maria
Rooster's Londinium
Black Sheep Riggwelter
Winner: Rooster's Londinium

Rooster's Fort Smith
Saltaire Stateside IPA
Great Heck Yakima IPA
Winner: Saltaire Stateside IPA

Brass Castle Bad Kitty
Black Sheep Imperial Russian
Partners Tabatha
Winner: Black Sheep Russian

Craft Keg:
Wold Top Humber Light
Saltaire Gold
Great Yorkshire Blackout
Winner: Saltaire Gold

Best Newcomer: Magic Rock

Overall Champion: Saltaire Pride

Should you still be reading this and be slightly "say what?" about the whole thing, let's go through the pictures. Denzil from Great Heck Brewery (Best. Website. Ever) giving it large in one of his trademark Shite Shirts. Tom and Ol from Rooster's, looking like a buffed up version of the Blues Brothers. Stu from Magic Rock in a three piece suit, looking every inch the Victorian steampunk brewer. The ever-glamorous Marverine Cole presenting the awards. Really, what's not to like?

Congratulations to all of the finalists, and special congratulations to all the category winners, maybe especially to Saltaire Brewery, not only for the overall win, but just for their ability to place in so many categories - the upcoming expansion is clearly going to move them to the next levelThe beer scene in Yorkshire isn't just full of great beer, it's full of great people - the sort of people that attracted me to this industry in the first place. Long may they prosper, and long may Market Town Taverns celebrate and reward their prosperity.

Movie via Bibulous Me