The full-bodied, 5.9% dark ale was tested by a select panel of CAMRA members at the Stockton Beer Festival (7-9 February) and judged against 30 of the leading ales from the Yorkshire and North East area. Riggwelter won the strongest ale heat, before beating off stiff competition to claim the title of best all round beer based on clarity, aroma, taste, aftertaste and condition.
Paul Theakston, Managing Director of Black Sheep Brewery said: ‘The proof of a good ale is always in the tasting and to come out on top against tough competition is very rewarding. The Stockton Beer Festival does a great job in raising awareness of real ale and Yorkshire brewers and we hope to see continued success for the festival in the future.’
The Ale & Arty Stockton Beer Festival took place over three days and was organised by the Cleveland branch of CAMRA to introduce more of the local community to the delights of real ale.
Commenting of the success of the festival Jill Day, Chair of Cleveland Camra, said: ‘Each year we organise the festival to encourage members of the local community to sample the wide range of real ales on offer in Yorkshire and the North East. Many of our festival goers haven’t tried ale before, but after sampling several of our speciality beers they often find one that they really enjoy.
‘We had 2000 visitors over the three days which is testament to the popularity of real ale in the North East. Through events such as the Stockton and Redcar Beer Festivals, we are trying to whip up as much demand as possible for real ale so that publicans and landlords can begin to stock an increased range of ales knowing that there is a supply of customers in the area.’
Black Sheep currently supplies some 700 outlets throughout the North of England, as well as UK wholesalers and pub chains and is no stranger to success. Last year the brewery was named The Good Pub Guide’s Brewery of the Year for the second year running and was the first brewery in the North of England to receive the industry quality hallmark, the Cask Marque Distributor’s Charter, for achieving the highest standards for storing, transporting and delivering cask beer, enabling pubs to serve the perfect pint.