The book, titled “Beer Champions, A History of the International Brewing Awards” is the result of nine months of painstaking research by Adrian Tierney-Jones, who has delved into records of the competition, which dates back to 1886, visited dozens of breweries that have won medals over the years and spoken to many more brewers, cider makers and others involved in the awards. Yeah, that sounds pretty tough…
“The book is a wonderful history of beer over the past century or more, detailing the rise and fall of different beer styles and strengths, for example, but it is also a record of everything linked to beer and brewing, from the impact of two world wars to the temperance movement,” said Ruth Evans, director of Brewing Technology Services, who commissioned the book. “Adrian is a talented writer with a passion for beer that jumps off the pages and he has produced an account of our historic competition which preserves it for future generations.”
The result is a comprehensive account of the competition from its start at Agricultural Hall in Islington through to the 2013 event. It lists the winners from each competition, but also does much more, providing commentary on the development of the international brewing industry over the last 130 years. It also shows beer’s place at the heart of society, with social and economic history influencing the development of different beer styles and categories.
“Exploring the history of these Awards has been more complex and interesting than I thought it would be, with hundreds of written records as well as fond memories from many brewers and cider makers across the world,” Tierney-Jones said. “It’s a history of brewing and beer, but it’s also about people, from the charismatic Robert Dale, who founded the first competition in 1886, to his brother Arthur who was involved until the 1930s, to a veritable cast of brewers who gave up their time to judge their fellow brewers’ beers. Names such as Fred Berman and, more recently, Doug Odell, make their way through the competition’s history. It has been a pleasure to find their stories and turn them into a permanent record of the competition.”
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