UK's first Brewster of the Year

Sara Barton, Brewsters founderSara Barton, the first Brewster to win Brewer of the Year in the British Guild of Beer Writers’ annual awards earlier this month, will be joining Jamie & Jimmy’s Food Fight Club on 27 December.

Sara and a select group of brewers join the two Js for a Britain vs Belgium Battle of the Beers, where her American Pale Ale will no doubt come up against some stiff opposition.

Armed with her masters in brewing and distilling from Heriot-Watt University, Sara set up Brewsters in 1998 and has been creating distinctive beers not shy on flavour ever since.

“Sara isn’t just a great brewer, she is also changing the face of the brewing industry through her collaborative brews with other women,” says BGBW chair Tim Hampson. Brewsters range includes Sara’s WhimsicAles and Wicked Women series of beers, as well as her Gold Medal winning American Pale Ale.

“By sharing her experience and skills generously with these emerging brewsters, she is encouraging more of them to start brewing and returning an industry that has been dominated by men back to its roots, when beers were made, like bread, by the woman of the house,” says Tim.

Venus Jade launchInspired by her Stateside brewster sisters and their Pink Boots Society, Sara founded Project Venus in 2011. Drawing together brewsters from Ireland and the UK in a series of creative collaborative brews, the first – Venus Jade – was launched in a crowded Rake pub back in April 2011 (pictured left), and the next is planned for January 2013 at Offbeat Brewery in Crewe.

“I hope that this award puts female brewing at the heart of the brewing industry where it belongs,” says Sara. So do we.

Keep up with Sara via her website and blog, Brewsters, and @BrewsterSara on twitter 

Brewsters logo

Main photo: copyright Hazel Patterson

Post-script: I am thrilled to say that Jane Peyton (aka School of Booze) and I will be joining Sara to do a brew in the Spring. I'll keep you posted on how we get on, what ingredients we choose, and where it will be launched and stocked.