Saturday saw Deva Tap packed with over 100 beer lovers, brewers, bartenders and punters to celebrate the third annual Chester Beer Awards. Seriously, this is the third year. Where did the time go and how is it over again? Anyway. Let’s recap what happened.
The ceremony was once again opened by the MP for the City of Chester, Chris Matheson, who started by asking all those present how “dry January” was going. We’re pretty sure he knew it wasn’t, so we’ll let him off. He went on to congratulating all the nominees for being voted on as the best our city had to offer and thanked everyone for coming to celebrate the diverse and thriving beer scene in Chester. And he is right – we’re the best.
The Best Pub award was for the third time won by The Cellar, Chester, and accepted on their behalf by Aki, commander and chief of the pub. He said the team was “chuffed” to win the award again. We bet he was! And deservedly so.
The Best Pub Grub award was won by Artichoke bistro (Thor tried to do a runner but we caught him and he had to accept the award on their behalf) and for the third year running Chester Beer & Wine claimed the Best Beer Shop award.
Best Local Brewery award was handed over to Runcorn based Chapter Brewing, who have recently won the “Best New Brewery” for Cheshire award from beer rating site RateBeer as well. (notice Dave from Chester Beer & Wine photobombing the winners from now on. Coincidence?)
Newly rebranded and re-established, new kids on the block brewery LOKA POLLY won Best Local Beer with their Galaxy & Mosaic IPA. It’s a hazy lovefest in a can.
The Rising Star award was previously called “Best Newcomer / Pub that has upped their game”, and was aimed at either a new kid on the block, or a pub who has significantly raised the bar of late and by doing so impressed their punters. This year it was won by The Cornerhouse.
The Best Bartender award was scooped by Sophie Hooper at The Cellar, Chester due to her unbeatable beer knowledge and for never failing to recommend a suitable beer, no matter how obscure the taste of the customer (looking at you, RealAleChester) – she couldn’t make it to the event and we refuse to post any more photos of Aki so… you’ll just have to go to the Cellar to meet her.
And finally, the Judges Choice award for Outstanding Achievement was, very aptly, handed over to Bartend Against Bombs, who have to date gathered closer to £37K for War Child Charity. Can we all just… take a moment and respect that achievement. Wow. The award is every year handed to a person or entity who by their actions have contributed to the local beer scene or when one from that scene has done something outstanding. Ben Iles accepted the award to roaring applause.
We’d like to thank Deva Tap for hosting the event, Matt Jeffs for the amazing graphics, everyone who nominated their favourites and of course, everyone who came to celebrate the winners. Every year we’re blown away with the support we receive from the nominees and the public and that just speaks volumes of what an amazing bunch of people we have in our bars and breweries in Chester.