A FLEDGLING brewery is celebrating after it took home a best beer prize just weeks after opening its doors.
Holmfirth pub The Nook had ale lovers ‘hopping’ with joy at last September’s Tamworth Beer Festival.
Their Nook Blond wheat beer brewed up so much of a storm it was awarded the top prize by members of the Lichfield, Sutton and Tamworth branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).
And the prize was all the more significant as the Victoria Square brewery had only brewed its first pint in July.
Members of the Midlands-based branch have now travelled up to the Holme Valley to hand over the belated award.
They described the Nook’s beers as memorable and “very polished offerings” and predicted more CAMRA awards would be on the way.
Nook co-owner Sheila Sutton said she was very proud to have been recognised so soon after launching.
And she put the early success down to plenty of dedication and study.
She said: “Because (the award) was from a festival outside of our area it means a lot more because there’s no favouritism or politics involved.
“We put it down to hard work, using the highest quality local ingredients and adhering very strictly to brewing procedures and not cutting any corners.
“We have a team that work very well together and we’re very interested in the brewing process.
“We’ve attended a lot of training courses and we just want to be the best we can be.”
Nook beers were originally only going to be sold in the pub with expansion to external sales a long-term ambition.
But Sheila said she knew they were on to a good thing when sales of drinkers’ favourite, Timothy Taylor’s Landlord, plummeted after they launched their own brew.
And just three months after the brewery opened its doors the team stepped up their operation and began selling their products to other pubs.
Their five ales are now available at free houses across the country and national chain Wetherspoons has also jumped on the bandwagon to stock its branches in Wakefield and Manchester.
Said Sheila: “We were conscious that we had a hard act to follow for our customers that had been used to such a high quality product.
“We’ve been very fortunate that we’ve achieved a very good reputation locally and the local CAMRA branch are very happy with the standard of beer we’re turning out.”
The Nook is now planning to launch more beers and will be holding a spring beer festival from April 25 to mark the tenth anniversary of the death of former landlord David Roberts, father of current brother and sister team, Sheila Sutton and Ian Roberts.