Wigan beer is the toast of the North West

A potent Wigan ale has been crowned a regional winner.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 12:30 pm
Stuart Hurst (left) accepts his prize from Nick Brading of award sponsor Murphy and Son Ltd

Love is Noise, created by the Hindley-based Hophurst Brewery, claimed the Overall Champion Cask Beer Award at the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) North West Independent Beer Awards 2021, which took place at the Bolton Beer Festival.

Their Gold-winning beer - which had already triumphed in the Cask Strong Beers (6.5 per cent and over) category - was brewed to celebrate the business’s seventh birthday this month and is the first time the brewery have produced a DIPA or Double IPA – the hugely aromatic and flavoursome beer coming in at a punchy eight per cent ABV.

The Overall Silver award winner was another American style beer, West Coast by Blackedge Brewing, and it was Hawkshead Brewery’s Windermere Pale that completed the trio and took the Overall Bronze award.

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The awards took place ahead of the Bolton Beer Festival at the University of Bolton Stadium.

The SIBA Independent Beer Awards are run by and for brewers and are judged by fellow brewers from elsewhere in the UK, as well other representatives from the industry and expert beer judges - making these the much coveted ‘brewers’ choice’ awards in the North West.

Accepting the top cask beer award for Hophurst was Head Brewer and founder Stuart Hurst. He said: “To win with our first ever double IPA is just amazing, especially as we came so close last time around when we won the Silver with our Porter. This was a very special beer to celebrate our seventh birthday and we wanted something big, fruity and with great body.

“The beer is chock full of hops and we use loads of simcoe, mosaic, citra, equanot and a brand new ‘Cryo Pop’ hop which we’ve used for the first time. I’m delighted it’s proved a hit.”

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) represents independent craft brewers across the UK, and all the winners of the North West Independent Beer Awards will now go on to the National Finals at the BeerX UK event in Liverpool, March 2022. Hosting the awards on behalf of SIBA was Neil Walker, chair of SIBA’s Competitions Committee.

“There were some really excellent beers in this competition and brewers should be very proud of taking home these hard-fought awards. The judges had a very tough job separating the pack and I’d like to say a personal well done to all of the category winners and of course our overall Gold winners Hophurst – what a beer!”

It was a good day for Hophurst which claimed a gold for its Irish Cream Porteresque in the Cask Speciality Mid to Dark Beers category, a silver for its Arlo in the IPI (5.5 to 6.4 per cent) category, and bronzes for both its Cosmati bitter and Milkshake IPA in the Cask Speciality Light Beers class.

All gold-winning beers will now go forward to the national competition.

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