A brewery in the heart of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has reached the highest peak as it is now the best beer in Britain. 

Announced on the opening day of the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) at Olympia, London, Surrey Hills’ pale-hued Shere Drop (4.2 per cent ABV) wowed judges with its hint of grapefruit and lemon in the aroma plus wonderful hop bitterness complemented by a balanced malt flavour to take the coveted Champion Beer of Britain (CBoB) title. 

The final at Olympia is the culmination of almost a year of local tasting panels and regional heats, recognising the very best in British beer and more than 70 beers made it through to the last stage in various categories ranging from mild ale to speciality beers. 

Silver was won by Grey Trees brewery’s Afghan Pale Ale (5.4 per cent) a previous winner of the Strong Bitters category, taking first in 2017. Grey Trees is based in Aberdare, South Wales. 

Bronze was Peterborough-based Oakham Ales with its session IPA Citra (4.2 per cent). Oakham is a regular in the Champion Beer of Britain competition and took home silver in 2014, 2009 and 1999 as well as gold in 2001. 

CAMRA’s national chairman Nik Antona said: “Congratulations to Surrey Hills for winning the Champion Beer of Britain for its Shere Drop, which is the highest beer accolade in the country. The judges were particularly impressed with the malty flavour and long finish. A very worthy winner.” 

Surrey Hills brewery director Ross Hunter (pictured above on right with the brewery’s Simon Jones) said: “I am absolutely elated. We have reached the final a number of times, which is most important as it means we are consistently producing quality beers, which is our top goal. To win the gold is a fantastic achievement. I am just speechless.” 

Ross says he plans to keep supplying local drinkers with beer that they enjoy. “As their tastes change, we will adapt to ensure we continue to supply what they want,” he said. 

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