Lacons Brewery, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk has scooped gold in CAMRA’s Champion Winter Beer of Britain competition with Audit Ale, an 8 per cent ABV barley wine.

Following over a year of local tasting panels and regional heats, Audit Ale impressed judges for its enticing aroma of marmalade and peach. It was described as “incredibly well-rounded, with not a harsh bone in its body and the perfect balance of flavour”.

The beer was first brewed by the original Lacons brewery, which can trace its roots back to 1760, which was shut by Whitbread in the 1960s. Traditionally audit ales were brewed for universities to celebrate the end of their annual audits.

According to the brewery, which was relaunched in 2013, its audit ale le was enjoyed by a number of Cambridge and Oxford colleges to celebrate the end of their annual audits. The beer was exported to the USA in champagne-style bottles from 1937.

CAMRA’s National Director responsible for the competition Nick Boley said: “Congratulations to Lacons Brewery for winning the Champion Winter Beer of Britain award, which is one of the highest accolades in the beer world.

“Lacons takes the crown this year because Audit displayed an all-around great character. One judge even said they were ‘completely sold’ despite not being a barley wine drinker.

“I would like to thank all the judges for their hard work and commend the brewers on the high quality of beers tasted. It was a very close competition and a well-deserved winner.”

Lacons sales director Ivan Brooks said: “We’re just absolutely blown away. We’ve come so far in such a short amount of time – it’s just amazing. We’re over the moon.”

Lacons brewery manager Chris Everett said: “This is a fantastic result – long may it continue.”

The silver award went to Calverley’s ‘Porter’ while Harviestoun’s ‘Old Engine Oil’ took home the bronze.

Champion Winter Beer of Britain winners


Gold – Lacons’ Brewery’s Audit

Silver – Calverley’s Porter

Bronze – Harviestoun’s Old Engine Oil

Barley Wine Strong Old Ales

Gold – Lacons’ Audit Ale

Silver – Tring Death or Glory

Bronze – Robinson’s Old Tom

Old Age Strong Milds

Gold – Tintagel Excalibur

Silver – Harvey’s Old Ale

Bronze – Brampton Mild


Gold – Calverley’s Porter

Silver – Harviestoun Old Engine Oil

Bronze – Dancing Duck Indian Porter


Gold – Plain Ales Inncognito

Silver – Dark Star Imperial Stout

Bronze – Cairngorn, Black Gold

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