Stroud -based company, Stroud Brewery, is a proud winner of a Soil Association Organic Food Award for their organic Maris Otter Vintage Ale 2011 and their Big Cat organic stout. 
The Organic Food Awards 2012 were announced as part of this year’s Organic September, Europe’s biggest celebration of all things organic.  Now in their 24th year, the Soil Association Organic Food Awards recognise and celebrate the highest quality organic food and drink. The awards are among the most prestigious and widely respected in the UK food sector.
The judges could not decide on the winning product, so decided to award both Stroud Brewery products as joint winners in the beer category of the awards. The Maris Otter Vintage Ale 2011 celebrates the Maris Otter barley variety, and contains only Maris Otter barley malt and organic First Gold hops from Herefordshire. Stroud Breweries organic bottled version of their best selling beer Budding Pale Ale was also highly commended in the awards.
Over three days at the Duke of Cambridge organic pub in London, an expert judging panel of food critics, restauranters, broadcasters and chefs, including Hardeep Singh Kohli and Jo Wood, sipped, nibbled and crunched their way through over 500 products across 28 categories.
Judging in all categories was by blind tasting, with products rated according to smell, texture, appearance, taste and overall ‘yumminess’.
The awards are open to all organic food and drink products that are certified by a recognised certifier within the EU. Winners gain industry respect and are able to use the recognised and trusted awards logo on their products.
“We are absoloutley thrilled to have won the awards this year. We are comitted to using Cotswold grown barley and as well as our draught organic ale, all our bottle products are organic and vegan” says Greg Pilley, MD of Stroud Brewery.
Finn Cottle, Soil Association Certification Trade consultant, said:
“These awards showcase the best of organic food and drink and the high quality of products within this market. As the organic market returns to growth, this is a great time to encourage wider availability of these products so that more people can enjoy them.”
Geetie Singh, owner of the Duke of Cambridge organic pub where the awards were hosted, commented:
“I have been hosting these awards for the last five years and I think this was one of our best years yet. A wonderful array of products were entered which were a pleasure to judge, from baby food to beer.”
Hardeep Singh Kohli, writer, broadcaster, comedian, food ambassador for Scotland and Organic Food Awards judge, said:
“It was heartening to taste so many high quality organic products. It seems that progress and innovation in organic food and drink are on an upward trajectory. For me, food is about passion, joy, laughter and love and I certainly had a lot of fun judging this year. I’ve never eaten so many eggs in my life!”
Jo Wood, lifestyle guru and Organic Food Awards judge, said:
“I love being one of the judges at the Organic Food Awards each year. It is a great reassurance to see continuing innovation in the organic food industry and the choice of organic produce getting better and better. If we grow food from healthy soil, then we naturally have a healthy organic chemical free diet, both of which go in unison towards living a more sustainable life.”