The top of the hops in the Chester beer scene were given recognition this Saturday in the second annual Chester Beer Awards, my favourite event of the year. Okay, I am a little biased on this and it’s purely because it’s my very own creation.
When hubby and I last year envisaged an award event to really recognize and celebrate the amazing pubs, beer shops and breweries of Chester we really didn’t think it would become this enormous event. I mean, all 125 tickets were sold out and the room was so packed even the hosts could barely move in there.
It just speaks volumes that the beer scene is Chester has been left wanting for the proverbial pat on the back for a job well done. And boy, did they get that pat on the back on Saturday.
Beer aficionados packed out Kash Tap Rooms on Brook Street to witness who would win the coveted awards in seven categories, nominated by the local patrons of Chester pubs, bars and breweries and judged by an expert panel of beer bloggers, beer festival organisers and beer club hosts. Oh, and me.
Chris Matheson, Chester’s own MP, opened the ceremony commending the beer community for coming together to celebrate each other in such a positive spirit.
There was very little formal about the awards, they were presented in a fun and casual format including loads of laughter and good cheer and lots of raising a glass to the winners. Maybe a few times too many considering how my head felt the next day… it was death, but oh so worth it.
For the second year running, the Cellar Bar on City Road was crowned as the best pub in Chester for their exceptional beer selection and superb customer service.
The award for Best Local Brewery was won by Deva Craft Beer to celebrate their unconventional and adventurous beers. Deva Craft beer also grabbed the award for Best Local Beer for their brew Dual IPA.
The Best Pub Grub award was handed to the hosts of the day, Kash Taprooms.
The coveted Best Bartender award was won by Craig Elliott from the Cross Keys – due to his innovative guest beer choices, his talent in keeping the beer in top notch order and his ability to recognize and remember his customers, even if there may have be a year in between their visits.
The judges also wanted hand out two special awards, to recognize Outstanding Achievements in the Chester Beer Scene. The first one was handed over to The Centurion at Vicars Cross, to celebrate them and their community for standing up to developers who wanted to sell their local for a care home. They are only the second or third group in the country to take a pub into community ownership for their achievements in the planning inquiry where they gave compelling evidence about the value of pubs to their community and how they can be sustainable in an economy where pubs are closing every day. What the Centurion team did is of national importance and shows the way for other communities at risk of losing their boozer.
The second award was handed to Andy Tabberer to recognize his role in revitalising the Chester Beer scene in the last five years. Andy has been an integral influence in creating numerous beer tasting clubs and beer festivals – as well as bringing much needed recognition to the numerous pubs and bars in Chester and helped them to make their mark on the beer map of our city.
I don’t know about everyone else but I was exhausted the day after – so much positive energy and love in one room does that to you. Oh, and copious amounts of beer as well. Well worth all the work – and now I’m ready for next year’s bash.
Congrats to all the winners. ❤❤❤