MJ Pale scoops GOLD in National SIBA competition

Just three months after its official launch, Ilkley Brewery’s MJ Pale, a hand crafted pale ale from its MJ Artisan Ales range, has won gold at the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) National Craft Beer in Keg Competition 2012.

The competition, which took place at The Barrels in Hereford on Friday 3 February, saw MJ Pale take the top spot in the Champion Bitters, Pale and Golden Ales category. This is first national SIBA gold award for Ilkley Brewery and the seventh SIBA award overall that it has won since it launching in January 2009. Its Mary Jane has won regional gold and national bronze SIBA awards, its Stout Mary has won regional silver and its Ilkley Black, Ilkley Pale and Lotus IPA have all won regional bronze awards in the past three years.

The competition saw Ilkley Brewery pit its artisan pale ale against 32 other national breweries and over 60 other brews which a selection of industry expert judges put through their paces. The overall ‘champion of champions’ will be announced in March.

MJ Pale is one of three new beers from the spa town brewery’s MJ Artisan Ales range which was unveiled in November 2011. MJ Summit, an artisan India Pale Ale, and MJ Fortis, an artisan stout, feature alongside MJ Pale in the range.

A distinctively hoppy and crisp pale ale at 3.7% ABV, MJ Pale is packed with American hops which give it a spicy citrusy nose and a tangy bitterness.

Stewart Ross, one of Ilkley Brewery’s directors, commented: _”To gain national recognition in the form a gold award from SIBA for our new MJ Pale is tremendous. The beer is only three months old and is already being served in 40 bars in Leeds, Manchester, York, London and Bristol which has surpassed all our expectations. _

_”We created the MJ Artisan Ales range, which complements our cask conditioned real ales perfectly, so that bars, hotels and restaurants who aren’t able to serve hand-pulled ale can offer quality hand-crafted local beer which is big on aroma and flavour, something Ilkley Brewery has been winning accolades for in recent years.”_

*Mary Jane is favourite at Pendle Beer Festival*
Ilkley Brewery added a further award to its collection as its celebrated Mary Jane beer was named Beer of the Festival at the Pendle Beer Festival, which took place from 2 to 4 February at the Muni Theatre in Colne. Mary Jane, the brewery’s flagship ale, beat 169 beers sourced from around the UK. Stewart Ross commented: “This is a great win for us. We are delighted as Pendle is the largest festival at which we have achieved success”. The festival was attended by 2,600 people over the three days and raised a total of £6,000 for Pendleside Charity.

To find out more about Ilkley Brewery, visit: “www.ilkleybrewery.co.uk”:http://www.ilkleybrewery.co.uk/ or to read the brewery’s blog, go to: “www.ilkleybreweryblog.blogspot.com”:http://www.ilkleybreweryblog.blogspot.com/