Pale Rider British champion

Brewer 'gobsmacked' after his beer honored at GBBF

Aug 3, 2004 - A strong pale ale from the Kelham Island Brewery in Sheffield was chosen Champion Beer of Britain by judges at the Great British Beer Festival in London. The panel of brewers, beer writers and journalists chose Pale Rider first from more than 50 finalists in eight categories.


The 2004 edition of CAMRA's Good Beer Guide describes Pale Rider as, "A full bodied, straw pale ale, with a good fruity aroma and a strong fruit and hop taste. Its well-balanced sweetness and bitterness continues in the finish."

The beer is not related to one of the same name that was brewed under contract in the late 1990s by the Celis Brewery in Texas for movie star Clint Eastwood.

"The judges were struck by the superb balance of malt, hops and fruit. A wonderfully complex and refreshing beer," said Roger Protz, one of the finalist judges.

"I'm gobsmacked," said Paul Ward, head brewer for Kelham Brewery. "I thought the beer would do well, but to win is amazing. At only 31 years old what do I do now? Thanks to our great team at the brewery, Stuart, Richard, Dave 'The Driver', David Wickett our director and all our customers at the Fat Cat pub in Sheffield."

The Silver went to Greene King IPA, and the bronze to Ironside from the Hampshire Brewery. The category winners:

Mild Category
Bronze: Hardys and Hansons Kimberley Mild
Silver: Brains Dark
Gold: Lees GB Mild

Bitter Category
Joint Bronze: Triple FFF Altons Pride and Whim Hartington Bitter
Silver: Oakham JHB
Gold: Greene King IPA

Best Bitter Category
Joint Bronze: Nottingham Extra Pale Ale and Woodfordes Nelson's Revenge
Silver: Hook Norton Generation
Gold: Hampshire Ironside

Strong Ale Category
Bronze: Hop Back Summer Lightning
Silver: Mordue IPA
Gold: Kelham Island Pale Rider

Speciality Category
Bronze: Titanic Iceberg
Silver: Harviestoun Schiehallion
Gold: Cairngorm Tradewinds

Real Ale in a Bottle category
Bronze: Yates Isle of Wight Special
Silver: Youngs Special London Ale
Gold: Titanic Stout

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