Beer cans

The Indie Beer Can Festival has announced the 13 finalists in its 2016 contest.

After two rounds of judging, including a blind taste test, the entries were whittled down by the competition’s judging panel to four ales, four lagers, and five specialist beers.

The 13 will be showcased at an exclusive industry festival final on 12 May in London, when the winner from each of the three categories and the overall winner will be announced.

Nine of the finalists are yet to be sold in cans. As part of the prize for reaching this stage, trade body The Can Makers will arrange for each of them to be canned in a trial run, while professional design teams will work with the brewers to create brand designs to appear on the cans at the final.

The first round of judging, in December, saw 131 entrants give tasting notes for their beers and explain why they wanted to appear at the festival. Thirty-four made it to the next round, where they were blind tasted by the panel consisting of Lidl’s head of beers, wines & spirits Ben Hulme; beer expert and author Adrian Tierney-Jones; beer sommelier Annabel Smith; and Can Makers chairman Martin Constable.

“This competition evidences just how far the independent brewing industry in the UK has come,” said Hulme. “There were some incredible, complex flavours, many we couldn’t have hoped to have experienced a few years ago. But the judging wasn’t just about taste of the beer. We were particularly impressed with those brewers that understood the benefits of the can for their brand.”

The Indie Beer Can Festival was held for the first time in September 2014, when Adnams Ghost Ship was named the UK’s best independent canned beer.

The 13 finalists


  • Leaping Legend (Hall & Woodhouse)
  • Uprising Treason (Windsor & Eton Brewery)
  • Blonde Bird (Greyhound Brewery)
  • New World IPA (Northern Monk Brew Co)


  • Brotherhood Lager (William Bros Brewing Company)
  • Liberty Pils (Freedom Brewery)
  • 1917 (The Little Beer Corporation)
  • Steam Lager (Redwell)

Speciality / other:

  • Spicy Weiss (Earth Ale Brewery)
  • Bad Kitty (Brass Castle Brewery)
  • Fireweisse (Firebird Brewing Company)
  • Oatmeal Stout (FourPure)
  • Northern Star Mocha Porter (Northern Monk Brew Co)