Okell’s Olaf has won a gold award in the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) annual North West regional beer festival.
After the beer won gold in the regional standard mild ale category it qualified for the national competition and was voted overall championship runner-up and silver medal winner by the judging panel of SIBA members, CAMRA experts and national food and drink journalists.
The contest, known as ‘the brewers’ competition’, was staged at the Hawkshead Brewery in Staveley, Cumbria, where around 80 of the North West’s breweries entered more than 200 beers.
Okell’s head brewer Dr Mike Cowbourne said: ‘It’s always great to be recognised by your industry peers and, of course, to come away with not only a gold but also a silver award. The SIBA competition showcases the brewer’s art and some of the finest cask ales, the appeal for which among consumers is growing all the time.
‘Olaf, with its aromas of coffee and liquorice and sweet then bitter roast malt flavours, won in the mild category and is, indeed, a replacement for Old Okell’s Mild, although it does have a touch of distinctive porter and stout flavours to make it stand out from what most people conceive as a mild beer.
‘Earlier this year our 1907 limited edition beer took gold in the 2013 British Bottlers’ Institute awards and now Olaf has been recognised as the gold standard in the latest SIBA regional contest.
‘Winning an award is not only testimony to Okell’s class leading expertise, but it’s also an extremely effective way of promoting the brand to a wider audience of appreciative consumers and introducing them to the quality, variety and sheer brewing excellence of the Okell’s product range.’