THE home of brewing is bracing itself to welcome beers from around the globe as a major industry awards event returns to Burton – complete with a ‘festival of beer’.
Preparations are being finalised for the return next month of the International Brewing Awards, last held in the town two years ago, while ordinary beer lovers can attend the International Festival of Beer which will run alongside it.
The event, to be held at the National Brewery Centre, in Horninglow Street, will allow punters the chance to sample some of the 800 beers and ciders entered from 40 countries, including Russia, Brazil, Kazakhstan and South Korea.
Mike Stickland, chief executive of Planning Solutions, which manages the National Brewery Centre, said he was ‘delighted’ to welcome the return of the biennial awards bash.
He said: “The international status of these awards helps to reinforce Burton’s reputation as the home of brewing and the festival offers beer-lovers a unique opportunity to taste a huge variety of beers and ciders from around the world- as well as traditional favourites from the UK.”
The awards, dubbed the brewing ‘Oscars’, were first held in London in 1886, moved to Burton in the 1980s and returned to the town in 2011 to mark their 125th anniversary.
Beers will be judged by a panel of 33 currently practising brewers, while a panel of specialist cider judges is also being assembled.
Ruth Evans, director of Brewing Technology Services, which stages the awards, said: “We’re delighted with the entries received to date, which truly represent the global brewing and cider making industry in terms of diversity of style and geographical spread.”
The brewing awards will run over three days from Wednesday, February 13, immediately followed by the beer festival, running from Friday, February 15 to Sunday, February 17.
Live music will be on offer all weekend, including Dr Busker on the Friday night, Dennis Clayton on Saturday, folk outfit What’s The Point on Saturday night and the Paul Mathews Jazz Trio on Sunday, while the Brewery Tap bar and restaurant will be open.
Entry is £3 per person for daytime sessions or £5 for evenings, while beer tasting vouchers can be bought on site.
Full details and tickets are available online at www.nationalbrewerycentre.co.uk or by calling 01283 532880.