hobsions-mild.gifHooray, its beer festival time again. And while the Germans sit in big tents drinking litres of the same beer, we all go to Earls Court to sup sup sup lots of different ales. This years champion beer is a Mild (its mildness being a point of interest to the Sun). The list of winners are below, but wait, not all has been drinking pints out of half pint pots and joy in Earls Court. 15,000 pints of beer were stolen on the way to the beer festival.

This heinous crime is made all the more awful when you consider that the beer thieves probably aren’t in it for the bouze. 15,000 pints is a lot of drinking, and equally and the brewing police may just keep an eye out for these distinctive ales. If you stole barrels of Stella you might just be able to fence them, but you can’t just drop barrels of “mystery ale” in a pub. So more likely the barrels will be tapped, poured away and the kegs melted down for scrap. At least that what the police think, careful reading of the news story suggests a more sinister aim.

“I’d like to thank Dave Scott and Glyn Williams at Small Beer for working so hard today to find replacement beer, to the brewers for rising to the challenge and to Tom Wood of Highwood for letting us borrow a truck and driver to replace our stolen vehicle.”

So says Tony Eastwood of cleverly named Small Beer whose truck was stolen. But note, Highwood leant them a truck AND A DRIVER. There is a hidden subtext here. Not only did 15,000 pints get stolen, but so did the driver. Clearly a tale of kidnap is more serious, but would detract from what CAMRA are hoping would be a good mid-festival bit of publicity. It didn’t work, only the BBC website nibbled (oh and a South African paper). Silly season isn’t what it used to be. But shame on you journalists for not noting the kidnap story at the heart of the jolly beer stealing wot got replaced anyway story.

Those winners in full:

CATEGORY WINNERS – Note: The winner of the Champion Winter Beer of Britain (“Ripper” from Green Jack Brewery in Suffolk) was already in the final after being entered in February at the National Winter Ales Festival.

Gold Hobsons Mild
Silver Mighty Oak Maldon Gold
Bronze Green Jack Ripper

Gold Hobsons Mild
Silver Nottingham Rock Mild
Bronze Brain’s Dark

Gold Castle Rock Harvest Pale
Silver Twickenham Crane Sundancer
Joint Bronze Surrey Hills Ranmore Ale & Fyne Piper’s Gold

Best Bitters
Gold Purple Moose Glaslyn Ale
Silver George Wright Pipe Dream
Joint Bronze Fuller’s London Pride & Nethergate Suffolk County & Station House Buzzin’

Strong Bitters
Gold York Centurion’s Ghost
Silver Inveralmond Lia Fail
Bronze Brain’s SA Gold

Speciality Beers
Gold Nethergate Umbel Magna
Silver Little Valley Hebden Wheat
Bronze St Peter’s Grapefruit

Golden Ales
Gold Mighty Oak Maldon Gold
Silver Oak Leaf Hole Hearted
Bronze Otley 01

CAMRA Bottle-conditioned Beers
Gold O’Hanlon’s Port Stout
Silver Titanic Stout & Wye Valley Dorothy Goodbody’s Wholesome Stout
Bronze Wapping Baltic Gold