London-based beer writer and filmmaker Jonny Garrett has been named Beer Writer of the Year 2019 at the Guild of Beer Writers’ Annual Awards, presented on 3rd December in London.
Beer Writer of the Year is the top accolade in the Guild’s annual competition for writing about beer and pubs, which this year received more than 150 entries across 11 categories. Garrett won Gold Awards in the Broadcast and Online categories, and a Silver award in the Beer and Travel category, on his way to the top honour. This year’s highest-ever prize fund of £13,500 was shared between 12 Gold and Silver award winners.
Garrett is the co-founder and presenter of YouTube’s Craft Beer Channel. He and Brad Evans travel the world, visiting craft beers and bars, brewing collaborations with brewers and cooking or matching food with beer. The programme has 20,000 regular subscribers. Garrett is also a regular contributor to beer magazines and websites including BEER and Good Beer Hunting
Emma Inch, chair of judges for this year’s Awards after taking the Beer Writer of the Year title in 2018, said, “Jonny demonstrates a sure touch across a range of media from print to blog posts and feature films. His work is sometimes just for beer nerds, at other times educational for a non-beer audience, and at all times engaging and insightful. If we had a slot for a beer programme on mainstream TV, Jonny should make it.
“The standard of entries across all categories was extremely high and judges had a tough task choosing the winners and runners up. We were impressed by the levels of knowledge, energy and passion that shone through the works submitted by our finalists, whether they had written a column, published a book or produced a film.
“Tonight’s roll of honour includes a number of new names, with writers who only joined the Guild in the last couple of years making an impact and proving that our robust judging rewards talent, not time served. Everyone who received an award or a commendation should be extremely proud; they really are the cream of British beer writing in 2019 and we wish them all success in their future career communicating about beer and pubs.”
Inch was joined on the judging panel by Laurence Creamer, Social & Digital Lead on industry campaign Long Live The Local; Tim Hayward, food & drink author, restaurant reviewer and regular on Radio 4’s Kitchen Cabinet;: Charlie McVeigh, founder of Draft House; Tony Naylor, food & drink writer contributing to The Guardian and BBC Good Food; Ross O’Hara, head brewer at Greene King; Kate Oppenheim, hospitality sector journalist and communications expert, currently publisher and editor of BII News; Tony Sophoclides, Strategic Affairs Director at UKHospitality
The Brewer of the Year title, sponsored by SIBA, was presented to Sophie de Ronde, founder of Burnt Mill Brewery, who won the highest number of votes in a poll of Guild members.
Presenting the Award, Guild Chair Pete Brown said: “Sophie is a highly technical and accomplished brewer who led the launch – and continued and international success – of Burnt Mill Brewery. She is hugely engaged in the beer industry, and passionate about taking beer to a wider audience, through her involvement in events such as International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day.”
The winners were announced at the Guild’s annual dinner held at One Great George Street in Westminster. Each dish was served with a specially selected beer: Beatnikz Republic’s Weizenart, Fuller’s Vintage Ale 2018, Anspach & Hobday’s The Smoked Brown and Thornbridge Brewery’s Necessary Evil. Beers from the Award’s sponsoring brewers – Asahi, Adnams, Carlsberg, Greene King, Heineken, St Austell Family Group and a number of SIBA’s award-winning member brewers – were enjoyed before and after dinner.
AND THE WINNERS WERE…
SIBA Award for Brewer of the Year
Sophie de Ronde, Burnt Mill Brewery
Guild Award for Best Citizen Beer Communicator
Winner: Lana Svitankova for https://lana-svitankova.blogspot.com
Commended: Oli Haydon for www.youtube.com/user/pintsizedthinking
Guild Award for Best Beer Writer, Corporate Communications
Winner: Ei Group for National Pub Fortnight
Commended: Verdant Brewing
Guild Award for Best Beer Broadcaster
Winner: Jonny Garrett for YouTube and podcasts: www.youtube.com/thecraftbeerchannel
Commended: Natalya Watson for www.beerwithnat.com
Long Live the Local Award for Best Writer about Pubs
Winner: Ian Clayton for It’s the Beer Talking
Commended: Katie Mather for writing in Ferment
Asahi Award for Best Beer & Travel Writer
Winner: Claire Bullen for writing on www.goodbeerhunting.com
Silver Award: Jonny Garrett for YouTube films and article in BEER
Carlsberg UK Award for Best Writing about Sustainability in Beer and Pubs
Winner: Will Hawkes for articles in BEER, among others
Silver Award: Matthew Curtis for articles in Ferment
St Austell Family Group Award for Best Young Beer Writer of the Year
Winner: Daniel Woolfson for writing in The Grocer
Silver Award: Eoghan Walsh for articles on www.beercity.brussels
Commended: Lily Waite for articles on www.goodbeerhunting.com and www.pelliclemag.com
Heineken Award for Best Beer Communicator, Online
Winner: Jonny Garrett for YouTube and www.thecraftbeerchannel.com
Silver Award: Claire Bullen for writing on www.goodbeerhunting.com
Fuller, Smith & Turner Award for Best Beer Writer, Trade Media
Winner: Richard Molloy for articles in Inapub
Silver Award: Will Hawkes for articles in Imbibe
Commended: Anthony Gladman for articles including Drinks Retailing News
Adnams Award for Best Beer Writer – Regional Media
Winner: Alastair Gilmour for Cheers magazine
Silver Award: Simon Jenkins for The Yorkshire Beer Bible
Greene King Award for Best Beer Writer – National Media
Winner: Adrian Tierney-Jones for articles in Daily Star, Daily Telegraph and others
Silver Award: Claire Bullen for The Beer Lover’s Table and various articles
Commendation: Eoghan Walsh for articles in Ferment, Pellicle and others
The Michael Jackson Gold Award for Beer Writer of the Year 2019: Jonny Garrett
The Guild is grateful to the following sponsors, whose support makes possible our annual awards and dinner:
Established in 1872, Adnams combines innovation with tradition. Behind the walls of its Victorian-looking building, it has some of the most advanced and energy-efficient brewing equipment in Europe and constantly experiments with new, innovative techniques. Adnams brews a range of quality beers which reflect its heritage but also challenge conventions. The brewer uses locally-grown East Anglian grains of malted barley, rye, wheat and oats wherever possible and deploy a number of different hop varieties from Britain as well as across the world – all of which contribute to their beers’ individual characters. Adnams retains the values of an independent, family run business with a strong commitment to and leadership in sustainable business practice.
Asahi Europe Ltd
Asahi Europe’s beer portfolio includes beers brewed in unique ways and with unique histories, from medieval Belgium and Netherlands to modern day Japan, Italy and Great Britain. Crafted from a long tradition and rich heritage, our world-class brands continuously reinvent themselves as contemporary premium beers that travel the world and please discerning consumers in nearly 80 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art breweries, quality ingredients and a culture that fosters innovation, encourages collaboration and rewards high performance, we aim to bring the best quality of beer to life. Our variety of beers delight millions of people around the world with their top quality and uncompromising integrity.
As part of the Carlsberg Group, Carlsberg UK has long been brewing and selling some of Britain’s favourite beers. Today, they include Carlsberg Danish Pilsner, Carlsberg Export, Poretti, Grimbergen and Tuborg. We also hold the UK brand licences for San Miguel, Mahou, and the Brooklyn Brewery range, putting them at the heart of our growing premium portfolio.
Our founders were driven by an ambition to brew for a better today and tomorrow. Over 170 years later, we continue to pursue the same purpose. We want to contribute to a better society wherever our beers are brewed and sold, and that includes taking a lead on sustainability. It is central to our purpose, and we also believe it’s the right thing to do – bringing clear benefits to our business and to society as a whole.
Fuller, Smith and Turner
Fuller, Smith and Turner P.L.C. is a premium pub and hotel business with just under 200 Tenanted and just over 200 Managed Pubs and Hotels. Fuller’s focuses on providing delicious fresh, home-cooked food, outstanding cask and craft ale, great wine and exceptional service and there are 817 boutique bedrooms across the Managed estate. The Fuller’s pub estate stretches from Brighton to Birmingham and from Bristol to the Greenwich Peninsula, including 173 locations within the M25. Fuller’s also owns Bel & The Dragon, six stunning country inns across the Home Counties, and The Stable, a craft cider and gourmet pizza restaurant business, with 17 restaurants in England and Wales. In April 2019, Fuller’s sold its beer business to Asahi Europe Ltd.
Brewing in Bury St Edmunds, the home of Greene King, dates back 1000 years to day of the Doomsday book and in 2019 our two historic breweries, Westgate in Bury St Edmunds and Belhaven in Dunbar will be celebrating a combined brewing heritage of 520 years. With a diverse range in our beer portfolio, from pale ales to craft beers and from bitters to stout one thing is for sure, our passion for brewing top quality, delicious beer is as strong today as all those years ago.
We are proud to sponsor the Guild of Beer Writers Awards, a wonderful celebration of our national passion for great quality British beer, the writers who challenge the brewers and the brewing industry who continue to drive innovation in beer.
With over 2,000 passionate people, some of the nation’s most loved beers and ciders, 2,700 pubs, thousands of acres of orchards and three UK breweries, there’s more to HEINEKEN than the name above the door. Our portfolio of brands includes Heineken®, Lagunitas, Birra Moretti, Maltsmiths, Kronenbourg1664, John Smith’s, Amstel and Red Stripe, backed by a full range of niche and speciality brands. We are also proud to work in partnership with Beavertown Brewery and Brixton Brewery.
As long term supporters of the British Guild of Beer Writers, we truly believe in the power of storytelling – whether that be through the written word, a podcast, or a photograph. And we are proud to be sponsoring once again.
Long Live The Local
This campaign, backed by Britain’s Beer Alliance, celebrates the vital role local pubs play in our community, culture and economy whilst highlighting the jeopardy they face from a range of taxes including beer duty, business rates and VAT. Last year more than 116,000 people signed the petition and almost 50,000 people wrote to their MP asking for a cut in beer duty. The Chancellor heard the voices of pub goers, publicans and politicians and froze beer duty protecting jobs and future investment – but there is more to do.
This year, so far, more than 218,000 people have signed the petition and over 107,000 people have written to their MP. In addition, 25,000 pubs are supporting the campaign. With a Budget now likely in January 2020, there is still time to sign a petition and email your MP to ask for a cut in beer duty at www.longlivethelocal.pub.
SIBA represent around 750 independent craft brewers across the UK and are the voice of British independent brewing. With their ‘Assured Independent British Craft Brewer’ seal, SIBA champion quality, flavoursome beers from independent craft brewers, as well as protect the businesses of thousands of breweries across the UK through Government lobbying and campaigning in Parliament.
St Austell Family Group
In 2016, St Austell Brewery joined forces with fellow West Country brewer, Bath Ales, forming the St Austell Family Group.
Independent, family-owned brewer, St Austell Brewery has been brewing beer in Cornwall since 1851. Most famous for its flagship beer, Tribute Cornish Pale Ale, St Austell Brewery’s range of award-winning beers – also including Proper Job IPA and Korev Lager – are available in pubs and supermarkets nationwide.
Bath Ales opened the doors to its new four-vessel brew house, Hare Brewery, in 2018. Fronted by flagship beer, Gem, Hare Brewery has the capacity to produce over 50,000 brewers’ barrels of beer – doubling Bath Ales’ previous brewing capacity. An exciting schedule of new beers launched alongside the brewery opening, including a West Coast IPA – Lansdown – and premium English lager, Sulis.
The St Austell Family Group employs more than 1,500 people and runs over 175 pubs, inns and hotels across the South West.
The British Guild of Beer Writers was formed in 1988 to help spread the word about beers, brewing and pubs. With more than 300 individual members and 60+ corporate members, its mission is “to improve the standards of beer writing and improve the public knowledge of beer and pubs.” Its members include the cream of the country’s beer communicators – be they journalists, authors, producers, photographers, broadcasters, illustrators or PR consultants. Corporate members of the Guild include brewers, brand owners, distributors, pub companies, and many suppliers associated with the brewing trade. www.beerguild.co.uk