International awards spark growth for Sheffield-based Abbeydale brewery

[Note: this is being re-published as part of my NCTJ portfolio submission.) 

A Sheffield-based brewery is expanding after winning five international awards.

New brewing tanks and a new building will increase the amount of beer that Abbeydale Brewery can produce each week.

The brewery, located just off Abbeydale Road, scooped five awards at The Global Beer Competition, formerly known as The Beer Masters. Their double IPA, Deliverance, got gold with the brewery also receiving two silver awards and two bronze.

Founder and chemist, Patrick Morton, started his brewing career with Sheffield’s Kelham Island Brewery before striking out on his own to form Abbeydale Brewery. Morton said: “It gives me great pride that over 22 years our brewery has gone from strength to strength and shows no signs of slowing down.

“There’s still so much to come from Abbeydale Brewery and we’re looking forward to finding out what this new expansion brings us”.

Abbeydale are planning new projects on the back of their awards and expansion. Abbeydale hope more accolades will follow and new plans include more ‘meet the brewer’ events, a new lager and an on-site brewery tap bar.

The annual awards are conducted by industry magazine and authority, The Drinks Business (TDB), who provided expert judging panels to test the beers.

Abbeydale’s beers have been well received by customers, as well as judges, said Edith Hancock from TDB. She said that, at a recent event run by TDB, which offered all the award-winning beers, Abbeydale’s selection were the first to run out and were very popular with industry insiders.

“It was great to see smaller, regional breweries like Abbeydale impress the judges,” said Hancock, 25, who manufactures her own wine and was a judge at the competition. “Sheffield has always had a strong reputation for producing award-winning independent breweries and Abbeydale absolutely did the steel city justice.”

Gaining international accolades is a big step for the brewery, who have won awards within Britain before. Abbeydale’s small brewing team already make Sheffield’s most popular beer, Moonshine, according to CAMRA’s annual census.

Abbeydale Brewery Office Manager, Laura Rangeley, said: “It was great to see our beers being represented on a global stage.

“It was the first international beer awards that we’ve entered so to come away with five awards for our Sheffield born and bred beers was really exciting.”

The brewery creates a wide range of beers from the experimental to the traditional. They also make their presence felt locally through charity events and collaborative projects with local businesses, including a pork scratching flavoured beer.

Mrs. Rangeley believes that changing consumer preferences, and the brewery’s active community role, will help them make their new lager a success. “We’re very much a community brewery,” she said.

“People want their vegetables locally sourced and their beer from somewhere that they recognise. I think the lager drinkers are starting to move towards that a little bit as well and caring a bit more about who has made what they are drinking.”


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