Brewpubs and breweries have until Friday to enter the 2016 Imbibe Live Beer Competition, and stand a chance to win not only a trip to the Pilsner Urquell brewery in the Czech Republic, but a seasonal listing with a selection of Mitchells & Butlers leading pubs too.
Imbibe Live Beer Ambassador Mark Dorber of The Anchor at Walberswick issued a Wheat Beer Challenge this year in a bid to find Britain's best brewer of this tricky but tasty style of beer. Beers must contain at least 25% wheat, and can be in any format, provided they're new during 2016.
The first-round judging panel includes the current brewer of the year Jenn Merrick of Beavertown, wheat beer specialist and journalist Adrian Tierney Jones, and chair of the British Guild of Beer Writers Tim Hampson.
Five finalists will be invited to the Brewers' Den, Centre Stage on the first day of Imbibe Live, 4 July, to pitch for the audience vote. Having heard the brewers and tasted the creations, the audience will choose the winner. All finalists will be able to show their beers throughout the show, and they will form the focus for the following week's Beer Club of industry sponsor There's A Beer For That.
'This is an amazing opportunity for brewers to potentially be crowned the UK's best wheat beer brewer in front of the nation's drinks buyers at Imbibe Live,' said Neil Walker of industry partner SIBA. ‘I would encourage as many breweries to enter the competition as possible.'
Finalist Andrew Pringle of Keltek Cornish Brewery said of last year's contest: ‘As a small brew
ery, the 2015 competition was a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our beer at an event such as Imbibe Live.'
The beer must capture the imagination as well as the taste buds of the judges and the Imbibe Live visitors. The best name so far? Wheaty McWheatface from West Berkshire Brewery...
The closing date for the Wheat Beer Challenge is Friday 27 May, with delivery for the first round of judging due between 13-17 June.