After over a year of local tasting panels and regional heats leading up to the finals, Moor Beer Co’s Old Freddy Walker was announced as Champion Winter Beer of Britain at the National Winter Ales Festival, in Norwich, on Tuesday 21st February.
The Bristol-brewed 7.3% Old Ale was crowned Champion at the festival, organised this year by the Norwich & Norfolk Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).
Festival Organiser Rob Whitmore commented: "Old Freddy Walker is a very worthy winner of one of CAMRA's highest accolades. Our judges in Norwich were impressed with the quality in each category.
"We can all raise a glass to the great team of volunteers, brewers and judges here in Norwich, as well as the Fringe Festival host publicans, for launching the 2017 National Beer Festival in style."
The old ale was crowned the Winter Champion over a host of other finalists in four different beer categories (barley wine & strong old ales, old ales & strong milds, porters and stouts), including beers from both small microbrewers and large regional brewers.
This year's runner up went to Sulwath's The Black Galloway, while Dark Arts by Magic Rock took home the Bronze award.
Nick Boley, CAMRA's National Director responsible for the competition, commented on the winning ale, Old Freddy Walker: "We were very impressed with the balance of the beer with fruity and chocolate flavours – the perfect dessert beer".
Ian Stamp, Chairman of Norwich & Norfolk CAMRA, added: "We are delighted local brewers received awards in their own categories, with Green Jack’s Ripper Tripel winning a silver and Adnams Old Ale winning a joint bronze".
Local brewers Adnams and Green Jack received awards with Green Jack receiving a silver award in the Barley Wines & Strong Old Ales category for their Ripper Tripel and Adnams secured a joint bronze award in the Strong Milds and Old Ales category with their Old Ale.
The CAMRA National Winter Ales Festival (NWAF) ran from 21st-25th February 2017 at the St Andrew's and Blackfriars' medieval friary halls in Norwich – the home of the popular Norwich CAMRA Beer Festival. The winter festival will run in Norwich for three consecutive years.
The CAMRA National Winter Beer of Britain 2017 winners were:
Overall winners -
Champion Winter Beer of Britain – Moor, Old Freddy Walker
Silver and runner up – Sulwath, Black Galloway
Bronze – Magic Rock, Dark Arts
Barley Wines & Strong Old Ales -
Gold – Moor, Old Freddy Walker
Silver – Green Jack, Ripper Tripel
Bronze – Orkney, Skullsplitter
Strong Milds & Old Ales -
Gold – Grainstore, Rutland Beast
Silver – Sarah Hughes, Dark Ruby Mild
Joint Bronze – Old Dairy, Snow Top together with Adnams, Old Ale
Gold – Sulwath, Black Galloway
Silver – Elland, 1872 Porter
Bronze – Tavy Ales, Tavy Porter
Gold – Magic Rock, Dark Arts
Silver – London Brewing Co, 100 Oyster Stout
Bronze – Loch Lomond, Silkie Stout
More information about the National Winter Ales Festival at www.nwaf.org.uk