Batemans Mocha*, a new ale from Batemans inLincolnshire, has been announced as winner of the prestigious Sainsbury's Great British Beer Hunt 2012, with Manchester Star Ale** of JW Lees in Manchester unveiled as runner-up.
Batemans Mocha has been awarded the title after a six month search across the UK, fending off strong competition from over 140 beers. Batemans has won a six-month listing for Batemans Mocha in Sainsbury's stores nationwide from mid-November this year, with Manchester Star Ale also winning a six month listing.
The Great British Beer Hunt aims to bring new and interesting beers from all around the UK to Sainsbury's customers. The search kicked off earlier this year with over 140 beers battling it out in a series of regional heats around the country. Twenty of these beers were chosen by regional panels of Sainsbury's customers to go head to head in Sainsbury's stores, on sale for a three week period in September up and down the UK.
Ten finalists*** based on sales volume made it through to the Grand Final of the Great British Beer Hunt on Friday 5th October, held at London's Oxo Tower. Deliberation by a judging panel of beer industry experts, including top sommelier Gerard Basset, MW, beer expert Adrian Tierney Jones and one of the UK's first female beer sommeliersSophie Atherton**** saw Batemans Mocha crowned as a worthy winner.
Batemans is a brewery that takes huge pride in producing traditional beers, but eighteen months ago made the decision to begin developing beers with unusual flavours. A rich, smooth beer made with real Arabica coffee and Belgian chocolate, Batemans Mocha was a firm favourite with customers and judges alike.
Jaclyn Bateman of Batemans says "We think it's so important to introduce new people to the beer category and encourage them to experiment with different tastes and styles, and we hope to continue to achieve this goal with Batemans Mocha. Traditionally, we've always produced classic style beers, but we hope new styles of beer like Batemans Mocha will become classics of the future. We're absolutely delighted to win Sainsbury's Great British Beer Hunt and be a part of a movement that champions British beer. We'd like to thank Sainsbury's for helping to move forward the British beer industry, especially as it has been a fantastic experience to be part of the competition."
Andy Phelps, Beer, Wines and Spirits Category Manager at Sainsbury's said "Following an exciting six month search around the UK, we're pleased to congratulate Batemans on their well deserved win and are looking forward to see Bateman's Mocha on sale in our stores across the country. Sainsbury's customers have played a huge part in our search for the winner of the Great British Beer Hunt this year, judging the beers during the regional heats, and voting with their shopping basket for their top 10 finalist beers in September so I am sure that this prize winning ale will be a popular listing. Great British Beer Hunt sales this year have increased by 25%, which clearly shows how much our customers have enjoyed trying out the spectrum of beers available."
Christine Cryne of the Guild of British Beer Writers and judge at the Grand Final of Sainsbury's Great British Beer Hunt comments "'It was a pleasure to be judging at Sainsbury's Great British Beer Hunt this year. The finalists represented both large and small breweries and a whole range of different beer styles. Sainsbury's should be commended for providing a fantastic show case for the wealth of tastes that British beer can offer these days and supporting British brewers in their growing creativity".
Notes to editors
*Batemans Mocha will be available at 300 Sainsbury's stores nationwide from mid-November
**Manchester Star Ale will be available at 100 Sainsbury's stores nationwide from mid-November
***The winners were selected from the following ten finalists who made it through to the Grand Final:
****The Grand Final took place on Friday 5th October 2012 where the following judges tasted the ten finalists' beers, and deliberated amongst themselves to decide upon the winner:
Judges at the GBBH Grand Final - October 5th 2012
Gerard Basset, MW (sommelier)
Olly Smith (wine and beer expert)
Howard Calvert (Shortlist)
Sophie Atherton (beer sommelier)
Marc Strooband (beer sommelier)
Adrian Tierney-Jones (beer writer)
Jeff Evans (beer writer)
Simon Russell (beer writer)
Tim Hampson (beer writer)
Don Burgess (beer writer)
Glenn Payne (beer writer)
Michael Hardman (beer writer)
Christine Cryne (CAMRA/ Guild of British Beer Writers)
Paul Buttrick (Beer Dimensions)
Ciaran Giblin (Meantime Brewing)
Oliver Chadwick-Healey (Sainsbury's)