Uprising Treason by Windsor & Eton has won ‘Best in Show’ at the Indie Beer Can Festival. The event saw UK and Eire’s leading indie brewers gather together to champion the hottest trend in the independent beer market: cans. The market has grown from four brands in can two years ago to over 100 and based on the success of the event, this growth is set to continue.
Sponsors, the Can Makers and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) have also announced the category winners for Best Ale (Uprising Treason by Windsor & Eton Brewery), Best Lager (Brotherhood Lager by William Bros. Brewing Co.) and Best ‘Other’ (Fireweisse by Firebird Brewing Co.). Uprising Treason was also awarded best ‘New to Can’.
The Best in Show beer is a described as having a flavour that provides a punchbowl of fruits set against a sweet caramel and crusty bread structure. Its taste finishes with a juicy lingering bitterness. The judging team praised the beer’s balance of flavours and felt it would appeal to both ale and lager drinkers. They said its gorgeous aromatics translated perfectly onto the palate.”
Kieran Johnson, Production Manager at Windsor & Eton comments: “Going to the ceremony, I knew there were other beers competing that I loved and enjoyed so I wouldn’t have thought in a month of Sunday’s that we would win. It’s been a real, but brilliant shock.
“I am personally very influenced by the US market. It has spent the last ten years showing the world market that the can is the way forward and I’m so glad that the UK is now following suit. I truly believe that the can is the best format to preserve the integrity of the beer and make any beer look awesome.”
An expert taste-judging panel included industry experts Adrian Tierney-Jones and Annabel Smith, Ben Hulme, then Beer Buyer for Lidl (now Head of Wine for Lidl Intl), as well as Martin Constable, Chairman of the Can Makers.
Ben Hulme comments: “The range of tastes and can designs at the Festival has been nothing short of spectacular and I have really enjoyed tasting each brand. The independent beer industry is one that celebrates innovation and entrepreneurship and these qualities have been on display in abundance. I feel privileged to have been a judge, encouraging a brilliant industry.”
Aside from preserving the quality of brews, canned craft beer has also become synonymous with cool design. Recognising this, the festival introduced a new design category. Judged by Sean Thomas, Creative Director at lead design agency, jkr and Claudio Vecchio, Creative Partner at Midday, the winner of Best Design was Steam Lager by Redwell Brewery.
Sean Thomas, Creative Director, jkr, comments: “The Redwell can made us smile from every angle. The design had a great tone of voice and instantly appealed to us aesthetically. There was loads to discover; from the bottle hidden in the hour glass to the branding hidden in the stars – it all came together to secure its place as our winner. The label also did its job, telling us what the beer was about; we knew exactly what to expect when opening the can and we weren’t disappointed at all.”
Martin Constable, Chairman of the Can Makers, says: “Two years ago there were only a handful of UK craft beers available in can. We couldn’t be prouder that this festival has supported such incredible and positive market growth. We’d like to congratulate all the entrants and finalists who have done an amazing job showcasing indie beers in cans.”
Tony Jerome, SIBA Communications & Marketing Director adds: “Congratulations to Windsor & Eton brewery for their well-deserved win in the Indie Beer Can Festival competition 2016. The demand for independently brewed craft beer continues to grow and cans are becoming an important part of this exciting and diverse industry. I look forward to trying more fantastic canned beers from all of the competing breweries and the hundreds of SIBA member breweries across the UK in 2016.”
The second Indie Beer Can Festival launched in October 2015 with independent brewers in the UK invited to submit their beers, regardless of pack format. From over 130 entrants, 36 semi-finalists were selected before 13 were chosen as finalists. Those not already in can won the opportunity to trial their brand in a can for the Festival final.
Best in Show: Uprising Treason, Windsor & Eton
Best Ale: Uprising Treason, Windsor & Eton
Best Lager: Brotherhood Lager by William Bros. Brewing Co.
Best ‘Other’: Fireweisse by Firebird Brewing Co.
Best Design: Steam Lager by Redwell Brewery
If you would like to more, check out the Indie Beer Can Advice website.