Mauldons, Nethergate and Adnams among brewers in contention for SIBA BeerX awards

Mauldons owner Steve Sims and head brewer Steve Birch celebrate a previous award for the company's B

Mauldons owner Steve Sims and head brewer Steve Birch celebrate a previous award for the company's Blackberry Porter.

Breweries from Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk are in the running for national cask ale awards which are due to be announced at the annual Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) BeerX event next week.

And several other brewers from around East Anglia, including Southwold-based Adnams and Green Jack from Lowestoft are also in contention in categories for keg and bottled beers.

BeerX takes place in Sheffield from March 18 and 21, with the results of the competition – involving gold, silver and bronze awards in each category plus overall Supreme Champion awards for the best cask, keg and bottled beers – due to be announced on the opening day.

Sudbury-based Mauldons – also known at the Black Adder Brewery, after its flagship Black Adder stout – is the East region’s finalist in the Speciality Beers category for cask ales with its Blackberry Porter.

It is the second time that Blackberry Porter (4.8% alcohol by volume, or abv) has qualified as regional SIBA champion in its category and it will now be judged against other speciality beers from across the country.

Brewery owner Steve Sims said: “We are very proud of our beers and delighted to have this opportunity to compete once again on a national stage against some of the finest beers from all over the UK.

“Obviously, we’re hoping to come home from BeerX with a medal, but we’re happy just to be going to Sheffield and introducing our beer to hundreds of drinkers who haven’t tried it before.”

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Other champions from the East region in contention in for the Cask awards are Nethergate, based at Pentlow, in the Best Bitters category with Suffolk County (4.0%abv), and Lacons, from Great Yarmouth, in the Standard Bitters category with Encore (3.8%).

Southwold brewer Adnams is among the contenders in three categories for Craft Beers in Keg, including Bitters, Pale and Golden Ale (Adnams Mosaic Pale Ale, 4.1%), Premium Bitters, Pale and Golden Ales (Adnams Crystal Rye IPA, 5.0%), and Pale and Golden Lagers (Adnams Dry Hopped Lager, 4.2%).

In the section for Bottled Beers, Barrel & Sellers from St Cross South Elmham, near Bungay, is among the finalists in two categories, Bitters up to 4.9% (with its Best Bitter, 4.5%) and Gold Beers (India Pale Ale, 6.0%), the Green Jack Brewing Company from Lowestoft is in contention in the Speciality Beers category (Flower Power, 6.0%), and Grain Brewery from Alburgh, near Harleston, is in the running in the Bitters over 5% category (India Pale Ale, 6.5%).

SIBA managing director Mike Benner said, “There are now more than 1,400 small brewers in the UK, producing innovative, flavourful beers that have fuelled the regeneration of the British beer market and introduced millions of consumers to our national drink.

“With hundreds of beers entered into our regional beer competitions, winning an award and progressing to the national finals is a mark of a quality beer.”

The programme for BeerX, which takes place at the iceSheffield venue, involves SIBA member and industry days on March 18 and 19 respectively, with the BeerX Festival of Beer, which is open to the public, following on March 20 and 21.