Cheers! Garden shed brewer Stuart from Dudley named best at British beer festival

A Black Country home brewer is celebrating after his latest beer was a winner at the Great British Beer Festival.

Stu Betts with his award-winning home brew
Stu Betts with his award-winning home brew

Stuart Betts, of Bramble Green, Dudley, brews in a brew shed in his back garden.

He entered I Hate Silica Finings (A Dragonfly Summer) in the first home brew competition that the Campaign for Real Ale has held.

His 4.2 per cent blonde ale won the pale ale category, which was one of 12 categories, to reach the final which was won by Stephen Folland's Doggy in the Woods – a 16.1 per cent strong stout.

Stuart, a 54-year-old service and repair engineer for catering equipment, said he was delighted to have won.

"I'm on a roll. I also just won a home brewing competition in Ipswich for my 6.4 per cent West Coast IPA for the second year in a row, " he said.

Stuart is chairman of the Dudley and South Staffordshire branch of Camra and co-ordinator of the 40-strong Midland Craft Brewers.

He has won a brew day at Adnams Brewery at Southwold as part of his prize from the GBBF which is being held at Olympia in London until Saturday, August 6.

Stuart, who is married with two sons, began brewing four years ago.

He is planning to move into commercial brewing and is setting up Ickle Brew to produce keg and cask ales.

He hopes to be able to have one of his beers on the taps for the Dudley Winter Ales Fayre which the branch is running in Dudley Town Hall from November 24 to 26.

The branch is inviting Camra members to come along to a beer festival planning meeting in the Bird in Hand pub in Wordsley on Monday, August 8 at 8pm.

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