Make that a double!
By Simon Hacker | 18th August 2023
Stroud Brewery is finding the quest for a national award might be like waiting for a bus: not one but TWO potential crowns are drawing near.
First up, the celebrated Brimscombe-based brewery, taproom and community hub has made it through two tough rounds to reach the final stage of the Great British Pub Awards.
But as if that's not enough of a heady accolade, the organic beer gurus have brewed up a session ale called 'Easy Peasy' which has so impressed connoisseurs that it's in the running for the title of New Beer of the Year.
Greg Pilley, founder and MD of Stroud Brewery, said: "This is fantastic recognition for the brewery and for the power of local. It shows that an independent, craft brewery can provide high quality, tasty beer as good - if not better - than any national brand whilst keeping the local community at the heart of what it does and doing what's right by people and the planet."
Within the past two months, the brewery has won 10 local and regional awards for its beer, its taproom and the way it runs the business, he added.
The brewery is now keeping its fingers crossed for a win the title of Sustainable Pub of the Year in the Great British Pub Awards 2023.
Mr Pilley added: "Reaching the finals in itself is recognition of how it's possible to run a business that combines financial success with being ethically responsible. When the brewery started in 2006, such a combination was virtually unheard of within the industry."
No strangers to firsts, Stroud Brewery led the way by becoming the first brewery in the UK to obtain certification as both 100% organic and as a B Corporation, which is a global corporate mark that assures qualifying companies are embracing sustainable and ethical practice.
"Easy Peasy is our summer special, a session ale deliberately brewed to be light – in both taste and alcohol. Its mix of elderflowers and lemons and ABV of 2.6% make it refreshing and perfect for drinking on warm days," Mr Pilley added.
And the beer is in hallowed company, with fellow finalists for the title of New Beer of the Year in the Brewers' Choice Awards 2023 brewed by respected labels Exale brewery in Walthamstow, London, and the Saltaire brewery in West Yorkshire.
The winner will be selected by a judging panel comprising key names in the brewing world: John Keeling, former brewing director at London-based Fuller's, Lotte Peplow, the craft beer ambassador in Europe for the Brewers Association and Paul Davies, founder of the award-winning AleHunters Brewery Tours. Freelance beverage and hospitality consultant Sean Robertson, Tim Sheahan, editor of The Brewers Journal and Brewers Journal, Stephanie Brindley and contributing editor Melissa Cole also make up the panel.
Tim Sheahan, editor of the Brewer's Journal which is running the Brewers' Choice Awards, said: "As with every year, the entries in each and every category was sky-high, making the judging process an incredibly tricky task."
Mr Pilley added: "We're so pleased to be flying the flag at a national level for the great things that can be created by local and independent breweries. And also for Stroud - the home of originality, sustainability and being fiercely independent."
● The Sustainable Pub of the Year winner will be decided on September 19 and the New Beer of the Year title will be awarded on October 18.
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