Gold Gold Gold!

We had a grand day out last week! Gateshead Beer Festival was the location for this year’s Society of Independent Brewers’ SIBA North East Independent Beer Awards, and beer judging took place throughout the day, with us scooping five awards and taking the top spot!

Cullercoats Brewery took home overall Gold in the cask beer competition with our‘Polly Donkin Oatmeal Stout’, a rich, thick and creamy stout which proved a hit with the expert judges. We also took overall Bronze in the bottle & can competition with Royal Sovereign Barley Wine ABV 11%.

The awards are judged by fellow brewers and other representatives from the industry, making these the much coveted ‘brewers’ choice’ awards in the North East, including beers from brewers spanning Berwick-upon-Tweed to Sheffield. Accepting the top cask beer award for Cullercoats was Bill Scantlebury, Head brewer:

“This is the most important award for us to to win as it’s judged by our peers and industry colleagues. It’s a fantastic pat on the back and we’re very proud to win. It’s great to see traditional beers like this winning against such varied competition too, with all of the amazing beers in this competition it’s brilliant that a traditional British Oatmeal stout and a Barley Wine can win.”

Describing the winning cask beer Bill added,

“Polly Donkin has a complex recipe with seven different grains and all British hops – Bramling Cross and Jester – which give fruity flavours on top of that lovely roasted malt base, which is very creamy tasting from the oats.”

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) represents independent craft brewers across the UK, who are now brewing the broadest range of beer styles ever seen, to quench the thirst for independent craft beer from drinkers and pub-goers. Presenting the awards was SIBA’s Head of PR & Marketing Neil Walker,

“The quality of beer in this competition was astounding, with a real variety of styles including more modern New England style hazy IPA’s and fruited sour beers going head to head with traditional porters, stouts and barleywines in the final judging. I’d like to congratulate all of the winners and in particular Cullercoats and Ossett who took the overall top spots – winning these awards is a huge achievement and I wish you the best of luck at the National finals next year!”

Winners from the North East Region now go forward to compete at the national finals in Liverpool early next year.

Picture shows Bill and Anna Scantlebury, Neil walker (right), Press SIBA and Ian Fozard, Siba Chairman (left) presenting the award for Overall Cask Champion.

You can try these award winning beers for yourself, bottles are on sale now at Fenwick Newcastle, Boda Home Whitley Bay, Coppers Gosforth, Centrale Newcastle, Grape and Grain Morpeth and The Rare Drop Gateshead.

Beer Festival appearances

Goodbye January! It’s the time of year we take a breath, and have a few days off. We enjoyed watching England storm through the rugby at the weekend  – over a few pints of Shuggy Boat exported to London for the occasion.

We’ve been busy brewing to replenish stocks after the Christmas madness and some wonderful specials are coming your way – a Saison called Biscay and new dry hop project beer called Pilgrim and our strong beer Fortification.This means the Fortified series will feature later in the year. If you’re not familiar with these blended beers, you’re in for a treat and can read all about it here.

Beer festival beer orders are starting to come in, so here are a few diary dates for you:

Winter Great British Beer Festival 19-23rd February Norwich

Tyne Bank Brewery Craft Beer Evolution 23rd February – North East Brewers’ showcase

BeerX Liverpool  13th-14th March – we have beer in the keg competition and in the National Finals of the Cask competition!

Newcastle beer festival 10th-13th April – featuring the annual local ‘Battle of the Beers’ competition

Ponteland Beer festival  26-28th April

Chippenham Beer Festival, North Wiltshire 26th – 27th April

Gateshead beer Festival  3rd-5th May – also hosting the North East SIBA competition

Tynedale Beer Festival  13th-15th June


Another 4 SIBA awards!

We never imagined we’d do even better than last year, but we did! We were thrilled and delighted to pick up another FOUR awards at this year’s SIBA regional competition in York last night – Gold for Polly Donkin Stout and Silvers for Shuggy Boat Blonde, Rocket Brigade IPA and Portland coffee porter. The Portland has been selling exceptionally well, so we are planning on making it one of our core range in place of our Storm Porter. If you want to taste it it’s on now at Left Luggage Room Monkseaton and in bottles at Boda Home, Centrale, Coppers and Rehills of Jesmond.

There were 53 breweries in the competition, and 324 beers judged brewers, landlords and industry suppliers. We had a fantastic family day out in York, lunching at the famous House of Trembling Madness in Stonegate before the competition, then enjoying BFest, the beer folk and blues festival, that starts straight afterwards. Late train home, to find the Metro all awry but it didn’t dampen our spirits, and we eventually found our way home to Cullercoats. And then all the bustle of the Harbour day the next day, and even SHUGGY BOATS on the beach! It’s time for a lie down…