Batemans' Bock wins Sainsbury's Beer Hunt

Nathan Wride and Jaclyn Bateman from Batemans brewery celebrate with grand final host Olly Smith

Batemans has won Sainsbury’s Great British Beer Hunt for the second year in a row.

The brewer’s English B Bock beer, and runner-up Crafty Dan from Thwaites Brewery, have secured six-month listings with the retailer. B Bock will roll out to 300 Sainsbury’s stores from 3 November, and Crafty Dan to 150.

The success of B Bock – described as “malty and dark” – follows Batemans’ arabica and chocolate Mocha beer taking the top prize in the contest last year.

Sainsbury’s said 150 beers fought it out in the 2013 regional heats, with the top 20 selected by consumers and experts going head-to-head in stores for a three-week sales period. Twelve finalists based on sales volume made it through to the final on Friday, when a panel of industry experts including Olly Smith selected the ultimate winner.

“2013 has been a record year for the beer hunt, with over 150 beers entering the competition and more Sainsbury’s customers than ever buying premium bottled beers in-store,” said Sainsbury’s beer buyer Jack Rutherford. “We’re delighted to congratulate Batemans and Thwaites for taking the winner and runner-up prizes respectively. We can’t wait to see their beers in stores later this year.”

Jaclyn Bateman of Batemans said the Great British Beer Hunt encouraged breweries to be innovative and introduced people to new tastes and styles. “Following the results of last year’s competition, when Mocha won first place, we have been able to broaden our entire range, creating a new market for all of our beers.

“The Great British Beer Hunt has effectively been the catalyst for that and we’re completely overwhelmed to have won it again!”

The full list of finalists comprises:

English B Bock,  Batemans; Black Pepper Ale, Batemans; Lavender Honey, Wolf Brewery; Devon Dreamer, Hunters Brewery; Harbour IPA, Harbour Brewing Co; Gower Gold, Gower Brewery; Crafty Dan, Thwaites Brewery; American Pride, Maxim Brewery; Swedish Blonde, Maxim Brewery; The Honey Thief, Williams Bros Brewing Co; Wayfarer IPA, Orkney Brewery; Barney’s Brew, Hilden Brewery.