Brewery strikes gold again at UK’s top beer festival

Craig Lee, managing director of Rudgate Brewery, with a pint of the award-winning Ruby Mild. ( G090805GS4b)
Craig Lee, managing director of Rudgate Brewery, with a pint of the award-winning Ruby Mild. ( G090805GS4b)
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Rudgate Brewery in Tockwith has picked up yet another accolade after its Ruby Mild cask ale won gold in the mild category of Britain’s most prestigious beer festival.

The decision by judges at the Camra (Campaign for Real Ale) Great British Beer Festival held in London last week is the latest in a series of awards for the beer, which won silver in the same category last year and the festival’s top ‘Supreme Champion Beer of Britain’ award in 2009.

Managing director Craig Lee said: “I was so nervous waiting for the decision – it reminded me of being back at school awaiting exam results!

“They announced the bronze and silver and I turned to my head brewer, Jamie (Allen), and said ‘It’s all or bust now’, and then we won gold. It was amazing – it’s just brilliant.”

Ruby Mild (4.4% abv) is among the brewery’s three best-selling beers, the other two being the lighter-coloured, golden ales Viking and Jorvik Blonde (both 3.8%).

But in a real ale market awash with golden pale ales, it is Ruby Mild which sets the brewery apart from the competition.

“Beer buffs know us for our Ruby Mild. We’ve gone for the more old-fashioned style which is a real full-bodied, smooth, dark beer which is of a drinkable strength,” said Mr Lee.

The numerous awards over the years for Ruby Mild also give Rudgate Brewery a marketing advantage. Mr Lee said: “We pride ourselves on quality and consistency. If you’ve got something to talk about over and above your competitors it gives you that edge.”