Farmers Weekly hunts for Britain’s Best Rural Beer

Farmers in this country grow some fantastic barley and brewers use it to make some brilliant beer.

Much of this happens in small breweries based on farms, some of which are even run by farming families alongside their agricultural enterprises.

So we want to celebrate the range and quality of beers made by small, rural breweries.

We’re on the hunt (yes, it’s a hard job, but one we’re up to) for a top tipple that is worthy of the title Farmers Weekly‘s Best Rural Beer 2012.

You can nominate one of your own beers if you’re a rural microbrewery or, if you’re merely an enthusiast, you can let us know about your favourite tipple.

We’ll feature the winner – plus a few of the others that we particularly like – in Farmers Weekly in the run-up to Christmas (which might well spark a few extra festive season orders).

Don’t worry – we won’t be embarking on in-depth technical tests or a behind-the-scenes analysis of your business; this is just a good old-fashioned taste test so all you’ve got to do is send us a sample of the one tipple you’d like to enter for the contest (we’re not trying to stock up ahead of the Farmers Weekly Christmas party, honest).

Our celebrity judge is Nigel Barden, a contributor to Radio 2’s Drivetime show and a man with an encyclopaedic knowledge of food and drink – a knowledge inspired during his farm upbringing.

Nigel, who helped choose the menu at the Farmers Weekly Awards, is widely respected as a beer and wine expert, as well as a champion of local, artisan and seasonal food.

This is, after all, the ideal time to celebrate these smaller country breweries as beer is experiencing a renaissance and is increasingly viewed in a similar way to wine – something to be appreciated, with or without food, and savoured in all its delicious and individual glory.

Roger Protz, editor of the Good Beer Guide, recently dubbed the small brewing sector as “surely one of the most remarkable UK industry success stories of the last decade” and declared that beer drinkers now have “an enormous variety and choice”.

The Campaign for Real Ale said a record 158 new breweries had opened in the past year and suggested there are now twice as many breweries now in operation than a decade ago.

Here’s what we need you to do:

  • If you’re a rural-based micro-brewery, send one or two bottles of the tipple you’d like to enter to: Farmers Weekly‘s Best Rural Beer 2012, Farmers Weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5AS.
  • Include a line or two about why you think your beer is the best in Britain and feel free to include a bit of background information about you and your brewery
  • If you want to nominate a beer, just send us the name of the beer in question and the brewery and we’ll get in touch with them and ask if they’d like to enter

Please note: Samples must be received by Farmers Weekly Friday 2 November in order to be included in our tasting.

You can also get in touch and talk about this competition:

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