Winners in UK awards to find best beers in cans

indie beer can festival

An IPA produced in Windsor has won the top award in the annual competition to find the best canned beer from an independent brewery.

Uprising Treason, made by Uprising Craft Brewing, was named “Best in Show” at the Indie Beer Can Festival, sponsored by the Can Makers and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).

Also named best ale and best beer new to can, the West Coast IPA is produced by head brewer Kieran Johnson using the same kit as Windsor & Eton Brewery. It is also available in kegs and bottles.

Other category winners were Brotherhood Lager by William Bros Brewing Co for best lager and Fireweisse by Firebird Brewing Co in the category for other styles of beer. Best design went to Steam Lager from Redwell Brewery.

Uprising Treason is 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, who is also production manager at Windsor & Eton, said: “I knew there were other beers competing that I loved and enjoyed so I wouldn’t have thought in a month of Sundays 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 10 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 but now head of wine for Lidl, as well as Martin Constable, chairman of the Can Makers – the trade body for can manufacturers.

Ben said: “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 were on display in abundance last night. I feel privileged to have been a judge, encouraging a brilliant industry.”

The new design category was judged by Sean Thomas, creative director at leading design agency JKR and Claudio Vecchio, creative partner at design studio Midday.

Sean said: “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 from the Can Makers added: “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 and marketing director, added: “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.”

From over 130 entrants for the Indie Beer Can Festival, 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.

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