A North Tyneside brewery has brought home an armful of awards from the regional Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) competition last week.
Cullercoats Brewery added to its already extensive collection when four of its beers each bagged an award from the competition.
The SIBA awards are often sited as the brewers’ choice in the industry.
They are based on blind tastings by a large panel of judges, made up of brewers and industry experts.
From the North East region, which goes from South Yorkshire up to the Scottish Borders, 177 cask ales were entered into the competition by 56 independent breweries.
From Cullercoats, Fortification (ABV 7.3 per cent) won gold, Shuggy Boat Blonde (ABV 3.8 per cent) won silver and Rocket Brigade IPA (ABV 5.5 per cent) and Dry Hop Project #23 Ernest (ABV 4.8 per cent) both won bronze.
Anna Scantlebury is one half of the husband and wife team which set up the brewery almost six years ago.
She said: “To win awards in four out of the nine cask ale categories against such stiff competition is a huge accolade.
“It’s the third consecutive year we’ve won a gold award, qualifying the beer to go through to the national competition.
“We’ve gone on to win awards at national level twice before, so I’m hoping 2018 will make it a third.”
Bill Scantlebury, the other half and head brewer, added: “As a brewery we put quality first every time, from the ingredients we buy, to the planning and production of all our beers – the hands-on attention to detail at every stage is what makes the difference.
“British hops are of exceptional quality and new varieties (such as Ernest) are giving brewers more choice than ever in terms of flavour and aroma.
“I’m hoping to produce a green-hopped beer in September using freshly-harvested hops grown half an hour away from the brewery, certainly the most northerly crop we will have brewed with yet . Watch this space!”
The brewery’s next project will launch a hearty IPA at Tynemouth Beer Festival.