Brewery of the Year 2020!

We’re proud to have been named “Brewery of the Year” in the Good Pub Guide.

A fantastic award from one of the best-respected publications in the industry and reward for the hard work of the Oakham team and our commitment to brewing great beers for our customers.

The 2020 edition of the prestigious Guide was published today and Fiona Stapley, Editor of Good Pub Guide, told us “Your prices are fair, your award-winning beers are excellent as well as interesting and you are constantly coming up with new ideas and branching out to reach new areas rather than just sticking to what you know. Your innovation and enthusiasm for the company really stands out. So we feel this is a well deserved accolade.”.

This is proving to be a very special year, with brewery expansion plans well underway and now another major accolade to follow on from our best selling Oakham Citra being awarded “Champion Golden Beer of Britain” and Bronze in the overall “Supreme Champion Beer” competition at this year’s Great British Beer Festival.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve appeared in the Good Pub Guide. In fact, over the last two decades, we’ve won their “Own Brew Pub of the Year” award three times for the Brewery Tap in Peterborough.

Fiona Stapley explained the process behind the award: “We have thousands of readers on our database who send us regular reports and letters and thoughts about pubs and beers in general, as well as specific details on pubs they visit. I always keep a careful check on reports over the year to see what highlights stand out and Oakham Ales have come in for particular praise – for your regular beers as well as your seasonal ones. And they love the Brewery Tap in Peterborough of course.”

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Citra – Our Champion!

Oakham Citra was crowned “Champion Golden Beer of Great Britain 2019” at the Great British Beer Festival in London – the second time in six years that Citra has won that title and yet another major award for this hugely refreshing beer. Citra also received Bronze in the overall Supreme Champion Beer competition

You can read the full story about our love for Citra hops HERE.

Images below: Alex Kean (Oakham Head Brewer) picking up the award and the Oakham team celebrate with Citra all round !

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Green Devil IPA scoops awards

Oakham’s flagship Green Devil IPA has picked-up accolades at both the International Brewing Awards and at the UK’s largest independent craft brewing trade show.

The cask version scooped a Bronze Medal in the International Brewing Awards’ Cask Class 4 (4.9% – 6.9%) competition as well as Gold in the Cask IPA Category (5.5 – 6.4%) at the Society of Independent Brewers’ BeerX event in Liverpool.

The keg version also won Bronze in the Eastern Regional Keg Class at BeerX.

Green Devil IPA (6.0% ABV and available in keg, cask and bottle) is a year round favourite with both our UK and our export customers.

It’s a beer that we’re very proud of producing, so to see it honoured in the face of such stiff international and national competition is absolutely brilliant news.

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Oakham at CBR19

Oakham Ales was one of 155 breweries at this year’s Craft Beer Rising Festival at the historic Truman Brewery in East London and we had an amazing time as always.

What’s not to like when there’s great music, good food, nice people and lots of beautiful beer!

The highlight – literally – of our stand was a our shiny new LED light display that drew huge crowds and must have been one of the most photographed features of the Festival!

Visitors to our stand were also entertained and informed by our brewing director, John Bryan, wearing his white scientist’s coat to reveal some of the science behind the beer and teaching everyone about his favourite subject – the hops that go into our brews!

Kegs on tap included Green Devil IPA and newcomer Brut IPA and we also brought plenty of cask beers this year. Citra, Blue Skies IPA, Hawse Buckler and Dragon in Bavaria were available on cask and visitors also had a chance to sample our new canned range – Best Friend Session IPA, Thrill Seeker New World Pale and Alpha Inception West Coast IPA.

Thanks to everyone who came to see us, tried our beers, rubbed the hops, put on our tattoos and tried on the bear’s (“Best Friend”) mask! We were really happy to have met so many new faces, thanks for all your kind words about the beers and see you all soon again!

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Oakademy 2018

Tuesday 21st August saw us organise a special 10th Anniversary Event for the “Oakademy of Excellence” – Oakham’s inner sanctum for permanent stockists of our beers.

This year there were almost 300 guests at the event – a great opportunity to catch-up with fellow professionals and an chance for the Oakham team to get to know our customers better and to say thank you for their continued support.

“Customer service and the personal touch are central to how we run our business at Oakham,” said Managing Director Adrian Posnett. “We put great emphasis on making sure our customers feel like they have a personal relationship with our staff, not just as product suppliers, so this is a very important opportunity for everyone to get together face-to-face, to relax and have a good time. We value the relationship we have with our stockists, so this is a way to let them know that, and to say thank-you.”

There are currently a total of 375 Oakademy members across the UK, stretching from Devon to the east coast of Scotland.

Among those who attended was Jon Blyth, the landlord of a Nottingham pub which was the very first to join the Oakademy.

Jon runs the King Billy in Nottingham and comes from a long line of publicans. His father Jeff signed-up for the Oakademy when it launched ten years ago and Jon is keeping up with the family tradition.

“Our customers love Oakham – we started in 1997 and it has become a staple of our bar. The beer is always reliable and we have always stocked Bishops Farewell and now Citra. Oakham Ales is a popular choice and we only stock what our customers enjoy,” he said.

We would like to say a massive thank yo for everyone that came down to Peterborough and celebrated with us, we hope to see you all again very soon!

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Our love for Citra hops

Our multiple awards for Citra and Green Devil IPA inspired us to write something more about our love for Citra hops and the story behind it.

So how did it all start?

John Bryan, our Brewing Director, is well known for his quirky ideas, his innovative approach and his passion for quality.
His first hop sourcing visit to the USA was back in 2003 and (with the exception of 2006 when he had the little matter of opening our new brewery to attend to) he’s been back every year since. On his visit in 2009, he discovered a quite exceptional new hop variety – Citra. He was so excited by its potential that he rushed some back to the UK by air to ensure that Oakham Ales were the first UK brewery to brew a beer with 100% Citra hops.

Blown away by the variety’s powerful citrus and tropical fruit aromas and flavours, John’s initial idea was to brew a strong, single hop IPA with Citra. Very much the type of beer that this brewing legend himself prefers to drink.
But he didn’t have enough hops to do more than a couple of brews of that and the stronger beers weren’t fast sellers for Oakham at the time, so John decided to brew a 4.2% beer with the hops he’d flown over and Oakham Ales Citra was born.

John still jokes about it: “This was my first sensible decision at Oakham Ales – to brew a hoppy, sessionable beer”.

Some Decision!

Citra is now Oakham’s No.1 brand and the driving force behind the brewery’s success in recent years!

From that first brew on 20 November 2009, via bi-monthly brews in 2010 and elevation to the Oakham permanent line-up in 2011, Oakham Citra has grown and grown and almost 1.7 million pints plus just under 1.7 million 500ml bottles are now brewed every year.

What happened to John’s original intention of brewing a strong Citra IPA?

Well of course that followed on in 2011 when the supply of Citra hops increased and Oakham Green Devil IPA made its first appearance.
Twice “World Champion Cask Beer” at the prestigious International Brewing Awards and winner of many other major awards, Green Devil IPA is very much the big brother of Oakham Citra, double hopped with a huge 2.25 Kg of top Citra hops per brewer’s barrel (288 pints).
That’s around twice the quantity of hops used in Citra – itself very generously hopped for its ABV! .

Green Devil IPA is also aged in a cask for at least 6 weeks to allow flavours and condition to develop even further.

It’s not just the quantity of hops we use though. The quality of our ingredients is also vital as is the Oakham commitment to quality and consistency.

John’s annual visits to the US hop fields mean that he has unrivalled relationships with the key hop growers and he still personally selects the hops that go into our beers – quite a task when you consider that we now use almost 25 tonnes of Citra hops alone every year!

And his passion for quality has been passed down to the Oakham brewing team who continue to brew Citra, Green Devil IPA and all of our other beers to the highest possible standards.

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