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The best of this year's bottled beers are put to the test

Beer writer Gordon Tate puts the best of this year's bottled beers to the test

Beer writer Gordon Tate has again joined forces with a panel of judges to put the best of this year's bottled beers to the test.

After extensive judging the winners have been chosen with the jubilant winners coming not only from the major supermarkets but also bargain outlets and the National Brewery Centre.

Speaking after the judging, Gordon Tate of Ashby Road, said: "Every year, as the autumn leaves start to fall my mind turns to bottled beers. In particular the onerous task of deciding which are the best bottled beers available in the Burton and South Derbyshire region.

"A small panel of experts from various parts of the drinks industry gather around a log fire in a secret location to sample and judge the entries from all the major retail outlets in the area.

"This year's entry was the largest since the competition began several years ago and the judging panel had its hardest time ever deciding on the overall champion from the various category winners.

"The results are now finalised and the overall "Champion of Champions" for 2017 goes to Poacher's Choice which is available from Sainsbury's".

The "Champion of Champions" beer Badger's Choice is brewed in Dorset by Hall and Woodhouse.

Gordon's tasting notes:

Poacher's Choice is a true gem of a beer. Beautifully rich auburn in colour, with a fruitcake twinge of aroma, it slips down like a velvet dream. Malty and full of deep red fruits, the aftertaste is smooth and mellow with a hint of cherry and vanilla.

The judges were ultimately unanimous in their choice and were very complimentary about the ever increasing standard of the beers available in bottled form. Badger beers are brewed in Dorset by Hall and Woodhouse.

The award for the winning beer was presented to Burton Sainsbury’s store manager Guy Swindells by John Mills, the head brewer and proprietor of Burton based Tower Brewery.

Store manager Guy Swindells said: " We are proud of our range of bottled beers from around the country, many of which are brewed in this region and we are proud to win this award for what I believe is the second time."

Beer writer and judge Gordon Tate.

The other individual category winners at the awards were:

  • Best red ale – Brewdog Red from Asda

  • Best dark ale – Twelve Days from the National Brewery Centre

  • Best strong ale – Broughton IPA from the Co-Op

  • Best blonde beer – Golden Boot from Aldi

  • Best bitter / IPA – Pure UBU from Marks and Spencer

  • Best stout or porter – Mud City from B & M

  • Best rye or wheat beer – Shipyard Rye from Morrisons

  • Best fruit inspired beer – Citra from Marks and Spencer

  • Best own label beer – Tesco IPA from Tesco

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