The International Beer Challenge – which has been judging the world’s best beers for the past 16 years – has awarded Chapel Down a gold medal for its Curious Brew premium lager.
The beer makers’ ‘Oscars’ are entered into by the world’s largest breweries all the way through to tiny, pioneering microbrewers. This year, judges tasted over 400 beers before declaring Chapel Down’s lager to be worthy of its Gold Medal.
The Challenge deemed only 30 beers, from countries around the world to be of gold medal standard and there are no other golden pilsner style beers who have won gold.
Frazer Thompson, Chapel Down’s CEO, says: “We believe that our success comes down to using only the best quality products and, crucially, bringing wine-making thinking to the beer brewing process.
“We use East Anglian malt, saaz and cascade hops to create a premium lager the re-ferment it using the same Champagne yeast that also goes into our award-winning sparkling wines. Finally,we add a “dosage” of very rare and fragrant Nelson Sauvin hops, before cold filtering the unpasteurised beer into bottles.”
As good as Belgian beer
Beer expert and author Pete Brown, says: “I was intrigued when I first heard from Frazer that he was creating beers and I loved the results when I first tasted them.
“Brewing with champagne yeast is something you’d expect the Belgians to do and so is brewing a lager for that matter.”
“The result is a lovely beer which has a sparkling zing that makes it refreshing, satisfying and a lovely halfway house between beer and a sparkling wine.”
Thompson adds: “We’ve changed people’s minds about English wine and now we want to do the same when it comes to lager.
“We’ve worked really hard to craft something that is more fragrant and more refreshing than other beers when served cold. This is a lager for people who love beer.”
Curious Brew is currently served on draught at Jamie Oliver’s Union Jack’s and several Jamie’s Italians, The Swan at London’s Globe Theatre, the Royal Opera House, Gordon Ramsay restaurants, ETM’s The Gun, The RAC Club, M&B’s Brown’s Brasseries as well as leading independent pubs across the South East.