Hat-trick of honours for Lincolnshire brewer at Wetherspoon festival

Managing Director of Batemans Brewery Stuart Bateman with a delivery headed overseas.
Managing Director of Batemans Brewery Stuart Bateman with a delivery headed overseas.

Batemans, the family brewer based in Lincolnshire, has received three awards at this year’s JD Wetherspoon beer festival for two unique brews - Lincolnshire Red, a premium bitter, and Shongweni Durban Pale Ale, a South African strong ale.

Lincolnshire Red is a ruby-red beer with notes of blackcurrant, lime and citrus fruitiness in its flavour, which lead to a tart, refreshing finish.

This beer, brewed exclusively for the festival, and with an ABV of five per cent, was the winner of the Premium Bitter class.

Meanwhile, Shongweni Durban Pale Ale received a silver medal in the Strong Ales class, and a Bronze medal in the separate International Beers class.

This 5.7 per cent ABV beer was created in partnership with the South African Shongweni Brewery, with Brian Stewart and Donn Robson visiting Batemans in February to work on the beer together.

Shongweni Durban Pale Ale uses admiral and challenger hops and was Batemans’s International Brew for the festival.

It is a light caramel colour, with marmalade-orange on the nose, a toffee character with hints of spice and plenty of tangy hop notes, leading to a gentle, yet crisp, bitterness.

The JD Wetherspoon beer festival has held a competition at its historic Trent Bridge Inn in Nottingham every year since 2013 to determine the champion beer of the event.

All 50 beers featured in the festival are entered into the awards and the judges including brewers, people from the brewery supply industry, CAMRA members, and JD Wetherspoon staff.

The beers are divided into classes and judged blindly, with the winner of each class then going on to a final table where they are judged against each other to find the overall champion of the festival.

For 2015, the festival focused on beers using British hops and all 50 beers were brewed using only British varieties.

Stuart Bateman, managing director of Batemans Brewery, based in Wainfleet, said: “The JD Wetherspoon beer festival is one of the highlights of the industry calendar, and we’re ecstatic that these two delicious and flavoursome beers have both received awards. We particularly enjoyed having the opportunity to partner with another brewery to make something truly special!”