Home brewer from Great Shefford wins national award
A LOCAL home brewer is the toast of West Berkshire after his creation won a Great British Beer Festival competition.
Stephen Folland wowed CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) judges with his beer 'Doggy In The Woods' – a full-bodied stout which clocks in at a foot-tangling 16 per cent ABV (alcohol by volume).
The 59-year-old from Great Shefford created the strongest beer to yet win a CAMRA award in order to be named the festival's 'brewer of the future'.
One of the judges, Christine Cryne, said: "This beer was remarkably drinkable for its alcohol strength.
"Our overall feedback was: 'wow'."
Mr Folland, who made the beer in 2017 and left it to age for five years, said: "I’m stunned and delighted.
"This is the first beer that I’ve ever brewed, and I can’t believe a beer of this strength won... this is a fantastic accolade to receive."
Mr Folland will be invited to commercially brew and sell his winning beer with the head brewer at Brewhouse & Kitchen in Worthing, West Sussex, who will work with him to adapt the recipe for a 500L brewkit.
He will have the chance to brew his winning beer on site, which will be sold and distributed across local CAMRA festivals.
The competition spanned across 12 different beer styles, from milds and IPAs to barley wines and porters.
There was also a special 'Thank Brew' category where homebrewers tried their hand at the limited edition 3.5 per cent ABV pale ale, which was created in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee to raise money for charitable causes.
Great British Beer Festival organiser Catherine Tonry said: "We're incredibly excited to be crowning the winner of CAMRA’s first ever national homebrew competition at this year’s festival.
"We all know that some of the very best beers in this country begin from humble origins, and it’s very likely that the best beers of tomorrow will be found among today’s homebrewers.
"The judges were impressed by the quality of all of the category winners.
"There was a good range of beer styles complexity and attention to detail, and anyone who made it into the final 12 should be highly commended."