The Lager Challenge finalists have been announced, pitting five UK breweries and their lagers against each other at Imbibe Live this year, for the chance of a seasonal listing in M&B’s leading pubs.
Winning lagers from Fourpure, Redchurch and Coalition from London, Geipel from North Wales and the Bristol outpost of Zero Degrees will all be put to an audience vote in the Beer & Cider Hub on 2 July 2018, the first day of Imbibe Live at Olympia London.
Run by Imbibe in association with the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), the final selection sees new wave British lagers face up against more traditional European styles. The first round of the competition, held at the Liverpool Exhibition Centre, as a prelude to SIBA’s annual Beer X conference, attracted a record entry.
‘The huge number of entries we received this year from independent craft brewers shows quality lager is here to stay, and I’d like to personally offer huge congratulations to the skilled brewers named as finalists,’ said SIBA’s Neil Walker.
Three breweries were also Highly Commended for their entries, Windsor & Eton, Enfield Brewery and Fourpure, the latter already in the final with another entry.
‘The first round was tough with some great beers narrowly missing out,’ said Imbibe Live beer ambassador Mitch Adams, of Borough Wines & Beers, who will MC the final. ‘We have emerged with a vibrant raft of beers showing the diversity of British brewing and clearly highlighting the demand for flavoursome lagers.’
Visitors to Imbibe Live won’t just get to celebrate the tasty brews though, as the competition aims to shine a light on the ideas behind and the challenges associated with brewing quality beer. ‘I think everyone can benefit from attending a final like this,’ said Nathan Price of M&B’s The Shipping Forecast in Liverpool. ‘Finding out the winner will be interesting in such a tight final.’
Find out in July at the show whether Coalition Brewing, with its take on a classic pilsner, Fourpure’s Indy Lager in the style of a traditional Germany Helles, Redchurch’s original Brick Lane Lager, Geipel’s toffee and caramel-infused Bock or Zero Degrees’s easy-drinking, well-balanced Bohemian will win.