Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Champion Beer of Britain 2011

Yesterday CAMRA selected its 'Beer Of Britain 2011' and sprung yet another surprise on us. The winner was a dark mild from Essex. Mighty Oak's 'Oscar Wilde Mild' at 3.7% took the ultimate accolade, with Marble 'Chocolate' runner up and Salopian 'Shropshire Gold' coming third.

Mighty Oak is a brewery rarely seen about these parts and the beer is one I have yet to sample, but it has been around for some 10 years. It is described in the 'Good Beer Guide' as 'a roasty dark mild, with suggestions of forest fruits and dark chocolate. A sweet taste yields to a more bitter finish'. The brewery website calls it 'a mellow, nutty, moreish dark mild, brewed with Maris Otter pale, crystal and dark malts,and gently hopped with Challenger'.

Roger Protz, chairman of the judging panel commented, ‘It’s a beer with great depth of character, and for the style has a lot of hop bitterness as well. It proves that a dark beer can be refreshing even in very hot weather.’

The number of Yorkshire beers in the final categories was disappointing with only two contenders in the running. Both came second. Rudgate 'Ruby Mild' was runner up in the mild section and Salamander's 'Golden Salamander' in the golden beer section.

Nevertheless I am still convinced that Yorkshire brews some of the best beers about, it is just a shame that they have failed to get the recognition they deserve on the national stage.


Neil, Eating isn't Cheating said...

Rudgates Ruby mild is probably my favourite of all i've tried. It's just so damn moreish.

Although I wouldnt call the Rudgate the best beer in Britain and I doubt this beer deserves the accolade either. It's very frustrating to see CAMRA shouting about getting more people into real ale then promiting this as the champion beer of britain. Someone who's never drank real ale will give this a try and wonder what all the fuss is about. I like milds, but they take time to appreciate and are a session beer, not aq competition winner!

Foot, Camra, Shoot, Again.

Anonymous said...

Yes you do wonder, without CAMRAs continual (to the point of obsessive) championing of this style, whether mild would have died a natural death in many areas by now. Not a great message to the hundreds of new brewers attempting to push the envelope.

Will said...

No special award for Silly Sods of Tadcaster then? Surely their approach to pub management is deserving of an oven-door styled trophy with cyanide capsule motif.

Squire Neil said...

So what should Camra do? Award the best beer award to a beer that is bland and safe so as not to frighten off the new to real ale drinkers? To be honest the chance of most of the country ever seeing this beer is minimal. And the chance that non real ale drinkers will see the results of the Camra champion beer competition is probably slimmer still.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it usually the bland and safe option though, alternating with the now obligatory mild? The specialist categories should be where it's happening - but it isn't. CAMRA should concentrate on the pub. The beer's doing fine without them.