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Gold rush: Norfolk and Waveney breweries scoop top gongs at CAMRA awards

PUBLISHED: 13:54 05 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:54 05 March 2019

Three breweries in Norfolk and Waveney have won gold awards as part of CAMRA's Champion Beers of East Anglia. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Three breweries in Norfolk and Waveney have won gold awards as part of CAMRA's Champion Beers of East Anglia. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Breweries across Norfolk and Waveney have been recognised as brewers of Champion Beers of East Anglia - with three taking gold awards.

Lacons Brewery in Great Yarmouth was one of those to win a gold award in CAMRA's Champion Beers of East Anglia. Picture: LaconsLacons Brewery in Great Yarmouth was one of those to win a gold award in CAMRA's Champion Beers of East Anglia. Picture: Lacons

With real ales split into ten categories, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has announced the 2019 award winners for the region after more than a year of blind judging at beer festivals.

In the Best Bitters classification, Lowestoft-based Green Jack Brewery claimed a gold gong for its ‘Trawlerboys Best Bitter’ for the third time.

S&P Brewery, based in Horsford, also took gold in the Strong Bitters category for its ‘Nasha IPA’, while ‘Audit Ale’ from Great Yarmouth brewery Lacons came out on top in the Barley Wines/Strong Old Ales bracket.

Andrew Keely, head brewer at S&P, explained the origins of their winning beer’s name.

Lacons Brewery in Great Yarmouth was one of those to win a gold award in CAMRA's Champion Beers of East Anglia. Picture: Antony KellyLacons Brewery in Great Yarmouth was one of those to win a gold award in CAMRA's Champion Beers of East Anglia. Picture: Antony Kelly

“With it being an IPA, I was in a Norwich curry house and asked whether they could give me any inspiration for a name,” said Mr Keely. “They came up with ‘Nasha’ which means intoxicated or drunk - there’s actually a Bollywood film of the same name.

“We only make one strong bitter and it’s not a beer we brew regularly, but it’s gone down really well,” said Mr Keely.

Organised by CAMRA volunteers, the East Anglia awards features nominations from the region’s branches and tasting panels. ‘Two Tone’, a draught mild ale by Shortts brewery in Suffolk, was named overall winner for 2019.

Elsewhere in Norfolk and Waveney, ‘Edith Cavell’ from The Wolf Brewery in Besthorpe, near Attleborough, and ‘Slate’ from Grain Brewery in Alburgh, near Harleston, took silver awards in the Bitters and Porters categories respectively.

Edith Cavell, from The Wolf Brewery in Besthorpe, won a silver award in the Bitters category. Picture: ArchantEdith Cavell, from The Wolf Brewery in Besthorpe, won a silver award in the Bitters category. Picture: Archant

There was bronze recognition for Woodforde’s and their ‘Norfolk Nog’ and Hindringham-based Norfolk Brewhouse with its ‘Winter Porter’, as well as the ‘Festival 9X’ creation from Buffy’s in Tivetshall St Mary.

Green Jack brewer Tim Dunford said receiving another gold award was encouraging, but admitted the industry itself has seen better days in Lowestoft.

“It’s one that we’ve won a few times and it’s always nice to get that recognition at a local level,” said Mr Dunford.

“Things have changed a lot in the 25 years we have been brewing in Lowestoft. If you look back to the old beach village, every other house was a brewery.

“The positive side is we still brew some of the best beers in the country here.”

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