West Country brewer and pub operator Bath Ales is jubilant after its flagship beer, Gem, was awarded one of the most prestigious international brewing awards.
The International Beer Challenge considers over 500 brews from more than 30 countries and Bath Ales’ Gem received not only a Gold Medal but also went on to win the highly coveted trophy for its category – the ‘Best Ale up to 5% abv’ – in the view of the expert panel of judges.
Robin Couling, managing director of Bath Ales was delighted, he said: “With Gem we were determined to create an exceptional ‘best bitter’ with a superb depth of flavour and great balance.
“The many fans of Gem have always agreed we have done an excellent job, and to now receive this highly respected international accolade is a tremendous honour.
“We are very honoured to be the only British brewer to be recognised for one the six top beer awards and the globally recognised trophy will take pride of place in the brewery.”
The blind tasting was conducted by a panel of experts with the 30 Gold Medal winners again being tasted in London to determine the Champion Beers.
Chairman of the judges Jeff Evans said: “The final judging round is always a great occasion because we have on the table in front of us the very best beers in the competition. It means that choosing a winner can be tough but it’s tough for all the right reasons.
“It was also exciting to hold the final taste off on the day of the presentation itself. It definitely added a buzz to the event, knowing that just two hours before the winners were announced the awards had not been decided.”
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About Bath Ales:
Based between Bath and Bristol, Bath Ales is an independent brewery established in 1995 which uses traditional brewing techniques with cutting-edge technology. The founders come from a brewing background and combine a range of skills with a shared passion for all styles of beer.
The business currently produces just over 20,000 brewer’s barrels annually and has had its own bottling plant since 2007. Sustained investment plans will see the brewery continue to increase production volumes. Bath Ales also has an on-site brewery shop.
Bath Ales now operate 12 sites across the South West – two inside Colston Hall, The Hare on the Hill, The Hop Pole, The Salamander, The Swan, The Wellington, Beerd, The Grapes a little bit further afield in Oxford, and three Graze, Brasserie & Chophouse sites in Bath, Bristol and Cirencester. The latest flagship Graze in Bath also features a fully functional microbrewery.
The Bath Ales range of beers includes Gem, Barnsey, Dark Side, Wild Hare, Special Pale Ale and Ginger Hare.