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Barnsley Bitter wins silver at national beer awards

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Barnsley Bitter is the toast of the town after winning a silver medal at a national competition to find the best beers in the land.

Acorn Brewery’s iconic brew has won silver in the standard strength bitter category at the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) National Beer Competition this week.

The competition was held as part of the Beer X Festival – the biggest beer festival in the country.

Barnsley Bitter secured its place in these national finals after winning Gold in SIBA’s north east’s regional competition last autumn.

It beat off tough competition for hundreds of other beers to get to the finals this week and impressed no less than 100 judges to gain the Silver Award.

Owner of Acorn Brewery Dave Hughes said: “We are very proud of Barnsley Bitter and delighted to bring back a silver medal from BeerX 2015, pitting our ale against some of the finest beers produced all over the UK.

“We’ve brewed Barnsley Bitter since we set up the brewery in 2003 and it’s always been good – but we now think it is event better than ever so it is fantastic to get this national recognition.”

Barnsley Bitter is Acorn Brewery’s best-selling brand and has won several awards in the past. It is produced using the original strain of Barnsley Bitter yeast, dating back to the mid-19th century.

The chestnut-coloured real ale combines Maris Otter malt and English hops and boasts a well-rounded, rich flavour and lasting bitter finish. It has a 3.8 per cent ABV.

The Society of Independent Brewers represents and promotes the interests of independent brewers in the beer industry.

Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are awarded in each category at SIBA’s annual awards.

SIBA managing director Mike Benner said: “There are now more than 1,400 small brewers in the UK, producing innovative, flavourful beers that have fuelled the regeneration of the British beer market and introduced millions of consumers to our national drink.

“Hundreds of beers were entered into our competition, so winning an award at the national finals is a mark of a quality beer and Acorn Brewery should be very proud of their achievement.”

As well as Barnsley Bitter, Acorn also produces permanent ales called Barnsley Gold, Yorkshire Pride, Blonde, Gorlovka and Old Moor Porter; plus a wide range of seasonal IPAs and kegged beers.

Acorn has seen a growth in sales in the last 12 months. The Barnsley-based brewery now delivers direct to more than 400 pubs and bars in the north and midlands and supplies hundreds of others via wholesalers.

Its bottled beers can be bought in more than 50 independent retailers and in all five top UK supermarkets: Morrisons, Asda, Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.

Acorn secured its first export order shipping £10,000 worth of its real ale to Italy five months ago – and other Italian orders have followed. Just last month, a delegation from the brewery went to the UKTI’s ‘Barcelona Food and Drink Exhibition’ to court Spanish buyers.

Acorn Brewery, based on Aldham industrial estate in Wombwell, has a turnover of £1.2 million and produces around 30,000 pints of real ale every week.

Dave Hughes owner of Acorn Brewery
Dave Hughes, owner of Acorn Brewery

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