View this email in your browser



This monthly newsletter is dedicated to celebrating the work and accomplishments of our individual Guild members. You'll now also find a note from the Chair and a list of upcoming Guild events. To submit your update, email



It might be a tough time to create something around beer and pubs at the moment but nothing stops members of the Guild - not least the dozen members who were recognised by our North American counterpart Guild of Beer Writers a couple of weeks ago. Here’s our round-up of what members have been up to this month - everything from fence-building to deep historical research. I hope you find this interesting and inspiring - and if it moves you to do something worth shouting about, let us know and we’ll share it for you next time!



From the Guild: Awards for 12 members in the North American Guild of Beer Writers' Awards

Twelve members of the British Guild of Beer Writers picked up a string of prizes and honourable mentions at the annual awards ceremony held by the BGBW’s sister organisation, the North American Guild of Beer Writers, on October 17.

Pete Brown, the BGBW’s chairman, won the top prize for Best Book with Craft: An Argument, the book he wrote during Lockdown, heading a clean sweep in the category for BGBW writers, with Mark Dredge in second place for his book A Brief History of Lager: 500 Years of the World’s Favourite Beer and Lars Marius Garshol third with Historical Brewing Techniques: The Lost Art of Farmhouse Brewing. Lars Marius also won the Best Blog category with his Larsblog.

Breandán Kearney was another BGBW-member first place winner in the Best Historical Writing category for his piece Flying With Clipped Wings — West Kerry Brewery, County Kerry, Ireland published in Good Beer Hunting.

In the Best Technical Writing category, BGBW members Lily Waite, with Foeder Gatherers — Tracing the Growing Popularity of Beer’s New Favorite Vessel and Claire Bullen with A Fire Being Kindled — The Revolutionary Story of Kveik, Norway’s Extraordinary Farmhouse Yeast, both for Good Beer Hunting, took second and third places respectively. Lily Waite was also awarded third place in the Best Travel Writing category for another piece in Good Beer Hunting, Where the Streets are Paved with Bottle Caps — Exploring Berlin’s Nascent Craft Beer Scene.

Matthew Curtis came third in the Best Beer Review category for “Where the Wild Things Are — The Joy of Harvey’s Sussex Best which appeared in Pellicle Magazine, and also received an honourable mention in the Technical Writing category for a piece in Good Beer Hunting, Welcome to Fringe Division — The Innovative Malting Technology That’s Producing Better Beer.

Martyn Cornell picked up second places in two categories, Best Travel Writing, for If you want craft beer in Munich, it’s pure Helles on his Zythophile blog, and for the Zythophile blog itself, in the Best Beer Blog category.

Closing out the Best Beer Blog category, Em Sauter came in third place with Pints and Panels.

Adrian Tierney-Jones also featured in the Travel Writing category, with an honourable mention for his piece in Good Beer Hunting A Lifetime Spent Weathering the Storm — Adnams Brewery in Suffolk, U.K.

Jonny Garrett received an honourable mention in the Best Beer Review category with A Wake-Up Call — Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Breakfast in Good Beer Hunting.

Finally, Eoghan Walsh’s Lockdown podcast, Cabin Fever, received an honourable mention in the Best Beer Podcast/Broadcast category.

Details of all the awards winners are available here. The awards this year took place “virtually”, with participants connected by Zoom.

The Guild thanks Martyn Cornell for this submission.

From Bob Jeffery: Stroud CAMRA GBG pubs offer over 150 cask ales over 3 months and 33 on first Sunday of CASK Ale Week

The Stroud District CAMRA group has carried out research into the range of cask ales available to customers over three months from July 4 to the end of CAMRA’s Cask Ale Week on October 4th, 2020. The sample includes the 8 pubs in the Good Beer Guide (GBG) 2020 for this District, the 3 new pubs in the 2021 GBG plus our recommendation for Club of the Year.

Cask Ale Week Facts for Stroud CAMRA Pubs:
  1. In the last three months 12 pubs in the Stroud District, which are either in this year’s CAMRA Good Beer Guide or in the 2021 Guide, have offered over 150 different ales to their customers.
  2. These ales have come from over 66 Breweries from over 30 counties, as far afield as Northern Ireland, the north of England, as well as Wales. (These figures will increase as we still need to include the Ale House’s data, although an estimate has been calculated of the range of ales they sold and included in the data). 
  3. Research into the ales available on Sunday 27 September, shows that these pubs had 33 different ales available from 23 breweries from 16 counties. Seventeen of the breweries were from outside Gloucestershire.
This good news story is the result of at least three major factors:
1] the opening of the Ale House in 2012 which set a high standard for the range of ales available (usually 9), and the commitment of the other Public(an) Educators to ensure a continuous changing ale range available for its customers;
2] the commitment of at least two enthusiastic local Ale Distributors - The Good Beer Company and the Beer Agent, who source great ales from across the UK for our local pubs;
3] a very active Stroud CAMRA group SC Facebook. Is this an activity other sub branches might find useful to advertise the value of their pubs and cask ale.

From Alastair Gilmour: Pub trade restrictions? Take offence 

The current brewing and pubs situation needs no introduction, but with beer-writing work at a virtual standstill, Guild member Alastair Gilmour steered his creativity in a completely different direction. He built a fence – and no ordinary fence, either. 

“Our neighbours put up a short screen between the houses,” he says, “and rather than face three metres of B&Q ugliness, I collected salvaged timber, planks, pallets and oak whisky barrel staves then drew up a plan. 
“I stained some of the wood, but left the majority natural – even incorporating a bird box – and gave it all a couple of licks of linseed oil.” 

Alastair then used a wood-burning tool – £7.99 from Lidl – and etched a quote from that renowned French philosopher Charles Aznavour: ‘A man will never grow old if he knows what he’s doing tomorrow’.  

He says: “It took some time to get it how I wanted it, but it also gave me space to think out ideas for future projects.  

“Mind you, I still don’t know what I’m doing tomorrow.” 

Ben Richards launches Finding Beer project to explore self-sufficiency in brewing

Following on from his first series, Growing Beer, Ben has spent 2020 discovering what it takes to brew without the benefit of global supply chains, commercial equipment or modern techniques. Going back in time to understand how our ancestors brewed as well as discovering what ingredients can be found in the natural environment around us, Ben’s going back to basics to ask what it takes to really do it yourself.
You can follow the ups, downs, success and failures through the podcast as all 5 new episodes are released between now and December, each one interviewing an expert in their field to help understand and tackle the challenges ahead. These and the previous series are on Apple podcastsSpotify and, whilst if you want to find out more about the project or speak to Ben feel free to email him at
An aerial view of the Levant Fair. (Source)

From Gary Gillman: Beer and Breweries in Mandate Palestine

In August I completed a 13-part blog series on beers and breweries during the British Mandate of Palestine (1923-1948). Each part is listed and briefly described in this post:

The series examines the beers imported to Palestine during that period as well as breweries established in the territory. It also looks at advertising and promotional techniques of exporters, e.g. by Whitbread, George Younger, Barclay Perkins, Heineken, and describes the Heineken stand at the mid-1930s Levant Fair. The series breaks new ground in beer historical studies.

Paul Nunny chairs Cask Matters forum and launches new website

Paul Nunny chaired a Cask Matters forum on the future of cask ale which included our esteemed Chair Pete Brown and this month launched a new website for pub accommodation.

The Cask Matters is producing a Cask Manifesto that will focus the trade on the importance of cask to the pub.  Of equal importance to the survival of the pub, particularly rural pubs, is accommodation which can benefit from staycations.  A new Stay In A Pub website, part of a £750K investment by Stay In A Pub to support the industry will make booking easier and simpler.  The old site had 40,000 hits a month.  There is a target of 125,000 hits a month by the end of 2021.

Crumbs Brewing unveil a new design for their 3 beer gift pack designed by guild member Martin Barfoot

Crumbs have recently started working with the John Lewis group to launch their beers into 175 Waitrose Stores nationwide. They also sell their gift packs via John Lewis stores and, in preparation for Christmas, have unveiled a brand new design for their 3 beer gift pack. Designed by Martin, the brief was to create impact at shelf and get their unique brewing approach across to potential buyers.
44% of all bread made in the UK never gets eaten. That is a shocking waste.
Crumbs Brewing do their bit to address this growing problem by making their beers from bread that would otherwise go unsold. They use leftover loaves from their local artisan bakery, Chalk Hills, in Reigate, Surrey. Each brew uses a different leftover loaf in its recipe. That way the style and flavours of the loaf are reflected in the taste of the beer.
Martin says “The new gift packs do a great job of catching buyer’s attention on shelf. Once people stop and engage with the story and the positive message of fighting food waste most are very willing to make a purchase. The pack is a great way to discover that the beers not only do good but taste great as well”

Natalya Watson to re-run sold out Virtual Beer School course in January 2021

Beer educator, Beer Sommelier & Advanced Cicerone® Natalya Watson launched an online Virtual Beer School course in September, following on from her popular 'lockdown beer school' sessions that ran throughout the summer.

Natalya's Virtual Beer School is a 12-session live, interactive online course to help prepare attendees for the Cicerone® Certification Program’s Certified Beer Server exam. The exam – and therefore the course – covers the fundamentals of beer flavour and evaluation, beer ingredients, beer styles, and how to best store and serve beer.

The first offering, which is currently running from September to November 2020, has had so much interest, she's re-running the course in the new year from January to March 2021.

For more information, visit or contact Natalya on

Inquiry regarding Thomas Hardy's Ale

The Guild was contacted with above image and the following question: "I have a bottle bought in 1985. What to do with it?"

Share your thoughts via

2020 Guild Annual Awards Presentation

Please put Thursday, 10th December from 7.00 – 8.00 pm in your calendars for the announcement of the winners of the 2020 Guild Annual Awards.

We’re gutted, of course, that we can’t be gathering in person and enjoying a few beers, delicious food and the company of other Guild members while we celebrate our winners. But we hope you’ll want to join us for this year’s online version; our finalists have written, blogged, and broadcast with as much talent as in a ‘normal’ year, and deserve our (virtual) applause! And after the announcements, there will be an option to stay online to chat with other Guild members.

We’ll be in touch nearer the time with joining details. And before then we’ll publish the shortlist for all our categories – so you’ll know if you’re in the frame for a (real) tankard.  

To share your news for a future edition, please submit the following:
  • A one-sentence summary of your news (ie. ‘Guild member launches new website’)
  • A short paragraph with more information (approx. 150 words)
  • A supporting image
We look forward to receiving your news via and sharing it with your fellow Guild members.
Copyright © 2020 British Guild of Beer Writers, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp