Powderkeg Brewery, based in Woodbury Salterton near Exeter, has gone straight to the top with its first award, having won Best Lager at The Beer Awards for its pilsner ‘Cut Loose’.
The Beer Awards are run by the world-renowned IWSC (International Wine & Spirit Competition), with the beers judged in a blind tasting by leading figures from the international beer industry. Winning ‘Best in Show’ in its category, Cut Loose was described as ‘one of the 16 best beers in the world’. Needless to say, it’s a big award for a microbrewery tucked away in a corner of the Devon countryside.
Powderkeg is run by husband and wife team John and Jess Magill. John, who makes the beer, had this to say, “It’s really amazing. We’re overjoyed. Our intention has always been to make the best beer we can and it’s fantastic that has been recognised. But it does make me chuckle that a little Devon micro can be a world-beater when you simplify things down to just what is in the glass.”
Describing the brewery’s approach, John explained “Cut Loose is a classic full-flavoured German Pilsner in almost every way, but we add a new breed of hop called Motueka which infuses a subtle lemon and lime finish, before letting the beer mature for a full six weeks. That sums up what we are all about – progressive beers, great ingredients and not cutting corners – it’s a simple approach, but it’s surprisingly rare!”
Jess Magill went on to say, “We’re delighted to have put Devon beer on the international map. Our intention has always been to move Devon beer forwards – to shake things up, improve the quality and introduce new styles and flavours. We don’t have the budget, history or influence of other breweries, so we just let the beer do the talking – and people are clearly listening. Powderkeg is still very young and this award is just the beginning.”
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the great local businesses and open-minded beer drinkers that have supported us over the last year. There are so many people in Devon that care about quality local produce, and it is to those people that we raise a celebratory pint today.”
Powderkeg only opened for business in the Summer of 2015, but already had plans in place to expand by the end of the year as a result of a successful start to life, having brewed over 200,000 pints in its first year of trading.
But don’t expect to see Cut Loose everywhere you go from now on. “We’ll hopefully increase production in the new year, but to be honest – it can’t be by much. It will remain a small batch beer, and we’ll mostly keep it for the local market. The world’s beer drinkers will have to come to Devon if they want some.”
‘Speak Easy’, Powderkeg’s Transatlantic Pale Ale, was also recognised with an award at the competition.
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