Sainsbury’s Great British Beer Hunt – the Winners

24 Jun

A recent blog (here) describes how I had the pleasure of taking part in the judging of the Sainsbury’s Great British Beer Competition, the results of which would determine which beers were to be stocked by Sainsbury’s over the coming year.

The winners have now been announced. As I took part in the North of England Beer Hunt, and I can comment on the results, I’ll show those first.

North of England Beer Hunt Winners

Bateman’s Mocha – no surprise there, I absolutely loved this beer.

JW Lees Manchester Star Ale – big surprise here, I really didn’t like this one. Strong at 7.3%, I found it thick and overly sweet.

Wold Top Scarborough Fair IPA – I didn’t get to taste this one so I can’t comment.

Beartown Wojtek – I didn’t judge this one, but did get a taste of it afterwards in the ‘Meet the Brewer’ room. I only had a small taste, but it was very good. A worthy winner.

The results from the rest of the country were as follows:

Midlands Beer Hunt Winners

Castle Rock Screech Owl

Elgood Indian Summer

Blue Monkey 99 Red Baboons

Ridgeway Ivanhoe

Scotland Beer Hunt Winners

Traditional Scottish Ales Double Espresso Premio Caffe Birra

Williams Bros. Prodigal Sun

Cairngorm White Lady

Harviestoun Wild Hop Gold

South West Beer Hunt Winners

Wadworth Horizon

Yeovil Posh IPA

Cotleigh Snowy

Brains Willy Nilly

South East Beer Hunt Winners

Wolf Atom Splitter

Wolf Poppy Ale

Ridgeway Bad Elf – reviewed here

Nethergate Lemon Head

Congratulations to all the winners. All these beers will be available in Sainsbury’s stores from 12th September. I for one will be trying to get a bottle of each one!

Words are my copyright, please respect that. All you have to do is ask. Thank you.

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Posted by on 24 June, 2012 in Bottled Beer


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8 responses to “Sainsbury’s Great British Beer Hunt – the Winners

  1. Matt

    24 June, 2012 at 17:54

    It is really interesting to get a glimpse of how these decisions get made, so thanks for that – and Im looking forward to trying some of these out. I find the South West results particularly interesting, since it is my patch. I’m very surprised by two of those that won I have to say.

    • Alebagger

      24 June, 2012 at 19:25

      Hi Matt, I appreciate the appreciation! I’m interested in your comment – would you care to elaborate on your misgivings?

      • Matt

        24 June, 2012 at 19:51

        Only that the two I’ve tried recently (the Yeovil and the Cotleigh) were ordinary at best.

  2. Alebagger

    24 June, 2012 at 22:09

    I am frequently astonished by how popular ordinary beers can be. How does one account for the popularity of John Smith’s bland, tasteless product? Come to that, how can people drink Carlingsberg? I haven’t tasted the two you mention – I’ll see if I can get a bottle of each from Sainsbury’s. I’ll let you know what I think.

    • Matt

      24 June, 2012 at 22:28

      I will certainly give them another go too. Sometimes, for me, the context is more important than it maybe should be. A beer I am disappointed with when bought from a specialist retailer, along with other good beers, I might be happy to be able to pick up in my local Supermarket.

  3. Alebagger

    25 June, 2012 at 00:02

    Context is everything, as they say. Sometimes quite good beers can taste a bit crappy if you’re in a place you don’t like. Crappy beer can taste OK if you’re on the beach drinking it through a straw.

  4. drinkerab

    27 August, 2012 at 13:18

    “(the Yeovil and the Cotleigh) were ordinary at best.” but doesn’t that suit supermaket beer? Only joking. Guess it depends what the criteria for entering the competition is. Certainly a minimum quantity will have to be produced and I believe there may be a correlation between quantity and “great beer” (as opposed to qaulity which is another thing…)

    The thing I like about this competition though is the chance to try some different bottled beers at a good price and Sainburys beer range could do with some livenning up. You could probably say that about most supermarkets with the odd exception like Waitrose (Thornbridge!) and Tesco who have had a good range of stouts on recently (e.g. March of the Penguins from WilliamsBrothers).

    Looking forward to Sep 12. (Is that date right? I thought it was Sep 1?)

  5. Alebagger

    27 August, 2012 at 15:02

    I know what you mean about supermarket beer, but to be honest, things are getting much better. I think Sainsbury’s is really trying to get some great beer on their shelves. I think the problem is that we all have different tastes. Some people *like* bland beer. How else do you explain the popularity of John Smith’s – a beer with absolutely no taste whatsoever, in my opinion.

    Got to agree with you about Tesco’s stout range as well. March of the Penguins, Glencoe and so on have livened up their shelves no end.

    12th Sept is the date on the Sainsbury’s promotional material that I have.


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