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This monthly newsletter is dedicated to celebrating the work and accomplishments of our individual Guild members. To submit your update, email


It was wonderful to come together for the Guild Dinner & Awards at the start of this month. I really enjoyed being able to see people in person that I hadn’t seen for two years, and to chat with so many people who I’d previously only ever met online. And it was a real privilege to hand out awards to some of the very best in beer writing.

In the days that have followed, I’ve become more and more grateful that circumstances allowed us to come together at that time. And, like most people, I’ve become equally more concerned about what the immediate future holds for the beer industry, our friends in hospitality, ourselves, and our families.

Rather than writing a new message this month, I’d like to adapt a section of my speech from Awards night as it contains everything I’d like to say about where we are now:

"Even before the pandemic hit, every one of us already appreciated the importance of beer and pubs. COVID might have sharpened our minds a little over this – it might even have persuaded some people to agree with us – but we already knew.

We knew that beer is the most convivial of drinks – the kind of drink that puts its arm round your shoulder, that nudges you to contact old friends, or persuades you to make new ones out of strangers. We knew that pubs can be the most welcoming and celebratory of places (although for those amongst us who aren’t straight white men sadly this still isn’t always guaranteed to be the case). But we already knew that pubs are not just places where we drink. They’re places where we meet friends, share food with family, celebrate, commiserate, fall in love, and become the people we are supposed to be…

…At the start of the pandemic, I believed that at some point, at some discrete moment in time, there would come a moment when everything would be safe, when it would all be over, and we would emerge like butterflies from our cocoons and, overnight everything would be back to normal. I guess we now know that’s not true. It seems like it’s more of a slow shift, a gradual metamorphosis into something different. Less of a butterfly, more of a snake regularly shedding its skin and coming out slightly changed each time.

But every time we meet is a new opportunity for change. Each time we share beer and food with friends and strangers provides an opportunity to form connections, begin transformations, and to move forward together."
There will be many more opportunities for us to come together to share beer and food in the future. Until then, I’d like to thank every one of you for your support of the Guild during 2021. I wish you joy for the festive season and hope for the New Year ahead.


Emma Inch
Guild Chair


2021 Guild Awards winners

From the Guild: Winners of the 2021 Annual Awards Announced

Congratulations to all of the winners in this year's Annual Awards!

Author Pete Brown has been named Beer Writer of the Year 2021 after winning Gold in three categories: Best Writing about Pubs, Best Online Communicator and Best Book about Beer or Pubs, for Beer By Design. 

This year's competition saw over 150 entries across 13 categories compete for the highest-ever prize fund of £17,000 which was was shared between 16 Gold and Silver award winners. 

Find a full list of our 2021 Award Winners by category below:

SIBA Award for Brewer of the Year

John Hatch, Ram Brewery

Guild Award for Best Beer Writer, Corporate Communications

Winner: CAMRA’s Learn & Discover programme [Alex Metcalfe]

Highly Commended: Fifty Years of CAMRA book [Laura Hadland]

Harvey’s Tom Paine Award for Best Citizen Beer Communicator

Winner:  Gabriele Bertucci for Turning the Tide mini-series

Silver Award: Chris Hodgson for CraftBeerChris blog

Shepherd Neame Award for Best Writing about Pubs

Winner: Pete Brown for press and online articles

Silver Award: Adrian Tierney-Jones for articles in The Daily Telegraph

VISITFLANDERS Award for Best Beer & Travel Writer

Winner: Will Hawkes for articles in The Washington Post and others

Silver Award: Breandán Kearney for articles in National Geographic, Good Beer Hunting, and others

Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company Award for Best Writing about Sustainability in Beer and Pubs

Winner: Hollie Stephens for writing about carbon capture

Silver Award: Tim O’Rourke for work on carbon footprint

Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I Award for Best Writing about No and Low Alcohol Beers

Winner: Will Hawkes for writing in Good Beer Hunting

Silver Award: Jonny Garrett for work in Ferment and on YouTube

Asahi Award for Best Beer Broadcaster

Winner: Jonny Garret for Craft Beer Channel and The Bubble

Silver Award: Natalya Watson for Beer With Nat

Fuller Smith & Turner Award for Best Young Beer Writer

Winner: Ashley Joanna for articles in Belgian Smaak

Silver Award: Matthew Rogers for CAMRAngle magazine

Guild Award for Best Book about Beer or Pubs

Winner: Pete Brown, Beer By Design

Highly Commended: James Morton, From Scratch: Brew

Allsopp’s Award for Best Beer Writer, Trade Media

Winner: Hollie Stephens for articles in Brewer & Distiller International

Silver Award: Adrian Tierney-Jones for articles in Imbibe and Brewing & Beverages Industries Business

Heineken Award for Best Beer Communicator, Online

Winner: Pete Brown for posts on

Silver Award: David Jesudason for posts on Pellicle

Highly Commended: Mark Dredge for posts on Good Beer Hunting

Adnams Award for Best Beer Writer, Regional Media

Winner: Breandán Kearney for articles on Belgian Smaak

Silver Award: Rachel Auty for regional broadcasts including Harrogate Community Radio

Greene King Award for Best Beer Writer, National Media

Winner: Will Hawkes for writing in the Washington Post and Beer

Silver Award: Adrian Tierney-Jones for writing in the Daily Star and others

Highly Commended: Ruvani de Silva for writing in Good Beer Hunting and others

The Michael Jackson Gold Award for Beer Writer of the Year 2021: Pete Brown


We were delighted to support the brilliant industry charity Only A Pavement Away at this year's Annual Awards Dinner. If you'd like to learn more about the work they do or make a donation, visit

New work from Steve Pratt

Steve Pratt (writing as Steve James) has had four of his articles included in this year's Black Country Bugle Annual, which circulates in the West Midlands. They include pub histories of Quarry Bank and Sedgley, Stourbridge music scene and Crosswells Brewery.

Updates from Paul Nunny

Activities this month:
  • Launch of Beer Pro, the e-learning programme for bar staff.  It has already won an award for the ‘Best course of the Year’.  1,000 pubs have signed up to the training.
  • Stay In A Pub launched its crowd funding via Seedr.   Find out more and watch the video here.
  • Part of a discussion panel organised by Institute of Brewing held at Nottingham University on ‘Net Zero’ carbon footprint.
  • Sponsored the CAMRA Good Beer Guide 2022 launched at the Parcel Yard at Kings X
  • Cask Marque’s 60 assessors attended taste training at the Punch Academy in Burton and Brewpoint in Bedford, the new Wells & Co brewery.

Laura Hadland receives international recognition

Hot on the heels of her British Guild of Beer Writers awards highly commended success, Laura has just been notified that her book '50 Years of CAMRA' has been named best beer book in the UK by the Gourmand World Awards 2022. The book is now in the running to win best in the world against four other finalists at next year's award presentation. 

Laura also invites Guild members to join her in the discussion around whether a distinctly British style of wheat beer can ever be developed in the UK. Her line of questioning is set out in the latest season of SOURCED Journeys, which is focusing on all things wheat. Laura is available for writing and photography commissions and supports breweries and pubs through her creative agency, Thirst Media.

Pubs and brewing journalist Phil Mellows has a chapter in a new book about craft beer

Released by Emerald Publishing on December 13, Researching Craft Beer: Understanding Production, Community and Culture in an Evolving Sector examines the subject from a business/academic perspective. Phil's chapter focuses on the evolution of the brewery tap room and its part in bringing brewers closer to their local communities as well as the commercial benefits of selling beer on site.

Subjects covered by other chapters include strategies for entering the market, the impact of Covid-19, brewing collaborations, beer judging practices, building communities, online buying and more.

Written from a range of business, sociology and law perspectives and aimed at "scholars, practitioners and enthusiasts of craft beer" the collection of essays grew out of a symposium held in 2019 at Edinburgh Napier University, where Phil delivered a presentation on brewery tap rooms as new drinking spaces.

More details are available here:

From Gabe Cook: Award-winning Pommelier courses return in 2022

New dates have been announced for the award-winning Pommelier courses run by The Ciderologist - Gabe Cook.  Run through the Beer and Cider Academy (BACA), this series of cider courses is aimed towards cider enthusiasts and professionals alike, arming them with the knowledge and skills to be able to understand, identify and advocate different styles of cider. 

Qualified Pommelier and British Guild of Beer Writers stalwart, Jane Peyton, says, “If ever there was a time to study cider and become accredited as a Pommelier it is now because cider is in the ascendancy!   This series of engaging and comprehensive courses has given me the knowledge and tools to write, talk, and advocate about cider.  I highly recommend them to anyone who seeks to bring cider into their repertoire."

For the first time, as well as being run in London, the courses will also be offered in Manchester, Bristol and Herefordshire, enabling participation from people based all across the UK.

For more details of the course content, and how to book, please click on this link.  For more information, please contact Gabe Cook via

Natalya Watson's Virtual Beer School® courses to run again in January

Want to learn more about beer and show what you know? Sign up for Virtual Beer School!

Developed by beer educator, Beer Sommelier and Advanced Cicerone® Natalya Watson, Virtual Beer School is a 12-session interactive online prep course for the Cicerone® Certified Beer Server exam.  The course is open to anyone around the world with an interest building up their beer knowledge. (There is no requirement to take the exam at the end.) The next course begins on January 13th, 2022 and less than 10 places remain.

For those who have already passed their Certified Beer Server qualification, VBS: Level 2 is a 12-session interactive online prep course for the Certified Cicerone® exam. The next course begins on January 11th, 2022.

For more information on the courses or to sign up, visit the Virtual Beer School website or contact Natalya on

Virtual Beer School is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone® Certification Program.
Our first events for 2022 will be announced shortly. Please keep an eye on the 'Events' page of the Guild website for more information.

In January, we will launch a survey to select the focus areas for our upcoming training courses. If there are specific topics you'd like to see covered, contact with your suggestions.
To share your news for a future edition, please submit the following:
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