Woodforde’s Brewery's Kett's Rebellion has claimed the top prize in the Norwich and Norfolk Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) Taste Panel.
The trained tasters have sampled 44 different beers, hailing from 14 breweries all over Norfolk, and submitted a total of 2014 taste cards from the tastings held at various pubs over the last year.
Alan Edwards, Chair of the Tasting Panel, described the winning beer as having “decent depth of flavour, well balanced and malty on the palate with a lovely sweetness coming through. Subtle hops are there to provide contrast”.
He also said that: “it is pleasing that the awards cover a variety of our 30-plus Norfolk breweries. Our largest producer can be proud that two beers, including the flagship Wherry Best Bitter, took the top awards in their categories before scooping the overall top places.
In contrast, our smaller concerns are well represented by the Golden Triangle, Lacon’s and Grain breweries. We can rightly be proud of the number of the breweries and beers they produce. There is something for everyone in the brews they offer”.
Neil Bain of Woodforde’s Brewery said he was “absolutely delighted” upon hearing the news from Mr Edwards. The Woodbastwick based brewery, which is Norfolk’s largest, also claimed the Bitter award with its Wherry.
Great Yarmouth based Lacon’s Brewery’s Affinity won the Golden Ale category. The Speciality category was topped by Blonde Ash from Grain Brewery from Alburgh, South Norfolk and the Golden Triangle brewery from Barford took the Strong Bitter award with Hop Lobster.
Mr Edwards continued: “However, what is of concern is that these beers are not as widely available as either the brewers or CAMRA would like. With more breweries starting every year, continual pub closures and domination by pub chains, large and small, the opportunity for a brewer to sell their beer at a realistic price is increasingly restricted.
"The panel is charged with tasting as many local brews as possible. However only 14 breweries products were sampled as, despite visiting many local hostelries, many remained disappointingly elusive. Brewer and Llndlord need to work together to ensure their mutual survival in the face of the voracious national and international conglomerates.
"We at CAMRA are willing and able to continue to further our relationships with, and efforts in support of, our dynamic local industries.”
Best Bitter & Champion: Woodforde’s, Kett’s Rebellion
Bitter & runner up: Woodforde’s, Wherry
Strong Bitter & third place: Golden Triangle, Hop Lobster
Golden Ale: Lacon’s Brewery, Affinity
Speciality Beer: Grain Brewery, Blonde Ash
Porter & Stout: Grain Brewery, Porter