Cellar Keeper of the Year Award 2016

Sweet taste of success as publican Peter helps brew own ale

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The runner-up in this year’s Enterprise Inns Cellar Keeper of the Year competition is enjoying the fruits of success – his own beer.

Part of Peter Clements’ prize was the chance to name and help brew his own ale courtesy of London-based Meantime Brewing Company, one of the sponsors of the 2106 Cellar Keeper of the Year awards.

Publican at The British Oak, in Blackheath, Peter has helped create Best Cellar Pale Ale.

At the beginning of August he visited the Meantime Brewery, in Greenwich, to help brew master Kieran Giblin begin the process of creating the 5% ABV ale from scratch.

The following five weeks saw it ferment and mature into the finished article; ‘a very moreish beer’, which delivers ‘a full-flavoured aromatic taste bomb’.

Peter was back at the brewery this week to see the beer kegged, ready for it to go on sale at his Old Dover Road pub next week, and at the pubs run by the 15 regional winners of the Cellar Keeper of the Year awards, which will each received a keg of Best Cellar Pale Ale.

“It was fascinating to be part of process,” said Peter, “and fantastic to see something being made right in front of us that’s for us. It’ll have pride of place on the bar, and I’m sure it’ll go down well with our customers.”

Meantime trade marketing manager Andrew Hall said: “We’ve brewed this beer to hero the hop that arguably defined the start of the craft beer movement – the humble but brilliant Cascade hop.

“We’ve used Cascade hops from four different parts of the world: UK, Germany, US and Argentina and combined them with a punchy pale ale malt to give a full-flavoured aromatic taste bomb. Drinkers will love the classic Cascade hop aromas of melon, tropical and citrus fruits in this very moreish beer.”

As well as his beer brewing prize and four kegs of Best Cellar Pale Ale, Peter also received £2,500 to spend on The British Oak, which is described as ‘a traditional Victorian pub’, featuring local beers, changing cask ales, bottled craft beers and ciders, fine wine, and places itself at the heart of the community, with open mic and quiz nights, and live music.

The second Cellar Keeper of the Year competition was a five-month process that began back in February, and which saw entrants from Enterprise’s Greater London regions, ranging from North London & Watford and Kingston & Staines, to Barbican and Central London.

Open to publicans, managers, bar staff, cellar men and women across its Greater London division, the award recognises the people responsible for its best beer cellar, according to a judging panel of industry experts. Each pub that entered went through a rigorous audit and assessment process. The first round produced 13 regional winners, while round two narrowed those down to a five-strong shortlist.

Enterprise senior regional manager Michael Ekberg, who launched the awards last year, said: “The inaugural competition in 2015 was well received by our publicans, and we wanted to continue to drive excellence, which is one of our pillars for 2016.

“We’re also keen to promote a culture of the cellar as the heart of our business, and we hope that this will ultimately help maintain top quality standards of both the beer our publicans serve, and the way in which it is served.”

 

Article by Alistaire Gray

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