131 become 13

Finalists for the 2016 Indie Beer Can Festival have been announced. After two intense rounds of judging, including a blind taste test, a panel of independent, expert judges have whittled 131 beers down to 13 finalists. All will be showcased at an exclusive industry festival final in May where the winners will also be announced.

Of the 13 finalists, 9 have yet to be sold in cans.  The Can Makers will arrange for those beers to be canned through mobile canning line, WeCan Solutions, in a trial run as a part of the prize for being finalists. What’s more, the Can Makers professional design teams will collaborate with the brewers to create brand designs to appear on their cans at the festival final.

The 13 finalists are:

Category: Ale Category:  Lager Category:  Other
Leaping Legend

Hall & Woodhouse

 Uprising Treason

Windsor & Eton Brewery

 Blonde Bird

Greyhound Brewery

 New World IPA

Northern Monk Brew Co

Brotherhood Lager

William Bro’s Brewing Company

Liberty Pils

Freedom Brewery


The Little Beer Corporation Ltd

Steam Lager



Spicy Weiss

Earth Ale Brewery

Bad Kitty

Brass Castle Brewery


Firebird Brewing Company

Oatmeal Stout


Northern Star Mocha Porter Northern Monk Brew Co

The first round of judging was completed in December based on brewers explaining why they wanted to appear in the Indie Beer Can festival and gave tasting notes for their beer. Thirty-four were shortlisted by the judges to the semi-final where a panel, consisting of Lidl’s Head of Beers, Wines & Spirits at Lidl UK, Ben Hulme; beer expert and author, Adrian Tierney-Jones; and renowned beer Sommelier, Annabel Smith, blind tasted each beer. Judging was overseen by Chairman of the panel, Martin Constable of the Can Makers, after which 13 finalists were chosen.

Annabel comments: “Ben, Adrian and I had our work cut out for us during the first stages of judging. We read about and tasted a wonderful range of brews, many of which we would have loved to have experienced again. Our focus was on those where the appearance, pour, taste and aroma best came together to convince us that we were experiencing a well-thought out beer, worthy of a place in the final.”

Ben adds: “This competition evidences just how far the independent brewing industry in the UK has come. There were some incredible, complex flavours, many we couldn’t have hoped to have experienced a few years ago. But the judging wasn’t just about taste of the beer – we were particularly impressed with those brewers that understood the benefits of the can for their brand.”

As well as the potential to be category winners, and to secure the coveted title ‘Best in Show’, all finalists are also eligible for the competition’s ‘Best Design’ award, a stand-alone category which will be judged by Sean Thomas, Creative Director at lead design agency, jkr and Claudio Vecchio, Creative Partner at Midday. With 27 years of experience between the two of them, they have influenced the design of brands including Staropramen and Adnams.

SIBA Director, Tony Jerome said, “It has been wonderful, for a second time, to see so many SIBA members entering this competition and making the final. We recognise the important role that canning will play in the future of independent brewing in the UK. The Indie Beer Can Festival represents the future for many independent brewers; it’s a significant event and we are delighted to see the nation’s rising brewers embracing it, and the can.”

The Indie Beer Can Festival takes place on 12th May 2016 in London. To find out more about the competition, head to our Indie Beer Can festival website www.indiebeercan.co.uk  or for canning beer information, try our Indie Beer Can Advice site http://indiebeercanadvice.com.