Champion Beer of Britain First round voting

Champion Beer of Britain

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About the award

The Champion Beer of Britain is one of the most prestigious beer competitions in the world. It is the ultimate honour for UK brewers and has helped put many into the national spotlight. It is awarded every year at the Trade Session of the Great British Beer Festival.

Judging for the competition takes around a year, starting with individual nominations from CAMRA members and local and regional competitions. On the first day of the festival, a team of judges mull over the contenders for the competition.

The competition spans real ales across the categories for Mild, Bitter, Best Bitter, Strong Bitter, Golden Ale, Specialty. These are combined with the Champion Winter Beer of Britain category winners from the Great British Beer Festival Winter (held in February) – Porter, Stout, Old Ales/Strong Milds, Strong Old Ales/Barley Wines – to create a shortlist for the final round of judging.


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Eligible beers

To be eligible for CBOB, a cask conditioned Bitter, Best Bitter, Strong Bitter or Golden Ale must be available for 7 or more months of the year, and a cask conditioned Mild or Speciality Beer must be available for 3 or more months of the year, or else the cask conditioned beer must be one of the beer styles associated with the Winter season (Old Ales, Strong Milds, Barley Wine, Strong Old Ale, Porter or Stout).

The ABV and style of cask conditioned beers must conform to a set of style guidelines:

  • Milds: less than or equal to 4.0%;
  • Bitters: less than or equal to 4.0%;
  • Best Bitters: greater than 4.0% and less than 4.7%;
  • Strong Bitters: greater than or equal to 4.7% and less than 12.5%;
  • Golden Ales & Speciality Beers: any ABV but the ABV must be defined;
  • Old Ales/Strong Milds: greater than 4.0% and less than or equal to 6.4%;
  • Porters: greater than 3.0% and less than 20.0%; Stouts: greater than 3.0% and less than or equal to 12.5%;
  • Barley Wines and Strong Old Ales: greater than 6.4% and less than 20.0%.

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Previous Winners


Surrey Hills, Shere Drop

Surrey Hills ‘Shere Drop’

A brewery located in the heart of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has come out top in a competition to name the best beer in Britain, according to CAMRA.

‘Shere Drop’ is a former winner in two different categories and took home bronze in 2010. Described as pale in colour with a subtle hint of grapefruit and lemon in the aroma, the wonderful hop bitterness is complemented by a balanced malt flavour.

Ross Hunter, director of Surrey Hills Brewery, said: “I am absolutely elated. We have reached the final a number of times, which is most important as it means we are consistently producing quality beers - which is our top goal! To win the gold overall is a fantastic achievement. I am just speechless!”

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Siren Craft Brew’s Broken Dream Breakfast Stout

Siren Craft Brew’s Broken Dream Breakfast Stout

2018 Champion Beer of Britain winner is Siren Craft Brew’s Broken Dream Breakfast Stout (6.5% ABV) thanks to its deep and complex blend of chocolate, coffee and a touch of smoke. The judges commented that it stood out for its aroma, taste and finish, all of which were superb.

Named after the Sirens of Greek mythology, Siren Craft Brew captivated judges for the second time this year, having taken home silver in this year’s Champion Winter Beer of Britain competition.

Silver went to Suffolk-based Green Jack’s Ripper (8.5% ABV), a strong barley wine that is both dangerously smooth and yet well-hopped, and winner of CAMRA’s Champion Winter Beer of Britain competition earlier this year.

Bronze was taken by Tyne & Wear-based Mordue for their Workie Ticket (4.5% ABV). A complex and tasty bitter, this brew boasts plenty of malt and hops and a long, satisfying, bitter finish.

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