Regional beers to go head-to-head in battle to win Sainsbury's store listing

great britsh beer hunt 2012

20 beers short-listed to go into stores nationwide ahead of September grand final.

Sainsbury's has announced the regional winners of this year's Great British Beer Hunt, following five heats in which Sainsbury's customers and beer experts judged more than 100 beers from across the UK. With the long term trend toward premium beers in the market, breweries nationwide put forward their new beers for the chance to win a prestigious retail listing.

There's a distinct animal theme to this year's shortlist which include 'Wojtek', so named after a 500lb Syrian Bear who served in WW2 alongside a unit of Polish soldiers from Scottish brewery Beartown; '99 Red Baboons' from the Blue Monkey Brewery in Nottingham and 'Snowy' from Somerset's Cotleigh Brewery whose entire range is named after favourite birds.

All beers entered into the Great British Beer Hunt were categorised by region and judged by beer experts - including top beer writers and authors Jeff Evans and Chris Pollard. Selected Sainsbury's customers also made up the panel at five regional beer hunt events across the country during April and May. The four beers which received the most votes at each regional event (listed above) will go on sale in the seasonal aisle of Sainsbury's stores for three weeks from 12 September, with the two best performing beers from each region then going into a grand final on 5 October. Two overall winners will then be announced. The winners will receive a guaranteed minimum six-month listing in Sainsbury's stores across the length and breadth of the country from November this year.

Nicky Millington, beer buyer at Sainsbury's, said: "This has been yet another outstanding year in terms of the fantastic quality of British beer showcased. Once again we've included our customers in the selection process and we are also reflecting their wishes in offering five regional winners local listings as well as national.

"In a year when national pride will be heightened, the opportunity to champion British brewing and offer every brewer the opportunity to showcase their beer on a national level is something we're enormously proud of. Over the next two months we'll be working closely with the winning breweries to ensure they have everything in place for their beers to hit our shelves and customers glasses by 12  September."

Notes to editors

Winning beers will be sold in the seasonal aisle in all Sainsbury's stores which promote the drinks festival from 12 September - 2 October (300 stores in total).

Winners by region


Double Espresso Premio Caffe Birra

Traditional Scottish Ales

Prodigal Sun

Williams Bros Brewing Co

White Lady

Cairngorm Brewery

Wild Hop Gold

Harviestoun Brewery

South East (East, Home Counties, South Coast)

Atom Splitter

Wolf Brewery Ltd

Poppy Ale

Wolf Brewery Ltd

Bad Elf

Cotswold Brewing Co for Beer Counter Ltd

Lemon Head

Nethergate Brewery

South West (Wales, West of England)


Cotleigh Brewery

Willy Nilly

S A Brain


Wadworth Brewery

Posh IPA

Yeovil Ales

North England

Batemans Mocha


Manchester Star Ale

JW Lees

Scarborough Fair IPA

Wold Top Brewery


Beartown Brewery

The Midlands

Screech Owl

Castle Rock

Indian Summer

Elgood & Sons Ltd

99 Red Baboons

Blue Monkey Brewing Ltd


Ridgeway Brewing Co.



About the article

  • Posted on: 31 May 2012
  • Type of article: Press release