Pete Brown scoops Beer Writer of the Year award

It’s been a good year for the proses, to paraphrase a certain Mr Costello, with several book authors taking the trophies at this year's British Guild of Beer Writers' Awards earlier this month.

BGBW 2012 winners

Author of this season’s must-read, Shakespeare’s Local, Pete Brown, won the Beer Writer of the Year Award for his unique style of writing which chair of judges and last year’s Beer Writer of the Year, Ben McFarland, said was “exceptionally readable”, with its “whimsy and occasional anger”, it is “moving”, and at times “frankly hilarious”. Hear, hear.

Judges for this year's awards were Ben McFarland; Guy Dimond, food and drink editor of Time Out; Holly O’Neill, deputy editor of Jamie magazine and Alastair Hook, founder and brewmaster at Meantime Brewery.

Tim Webb was a popular winner of the Travel Writing award for his co-authorship of The World Atlas of Beer, a remarkable tome, with Tim Hampson a worthy runner up for his engaging handbook, 101 Beer Days Out.

Regionally, it was 2010 Beer Writer of the Year, Simon Jenkins, who was this year’s runner up for his Yorkshire Evening Post columns which “demystify beer” so well, while multi-garlanded Alastair Gilmour took top regional honours for his entertaining Cheers North-East website and magazine.

While Dan Saladino’s gripping BBC Food Programme on craft beer culture both sides of the pond came runner up in the National Media category, it was beer doyen Roger Protz’s work – “accurate, in-depth, exhaustive – and campaigning” – that secured him the top spot with his book The History of Burton.

The online winner was Will Hawkes’ crafty Craft Beer London app, an essential for any beer lover visiting the Big Smoke.

Perhaps better known in beer circles for his erudite words on hops and history, Martyn Cornell won the food matching gong for his piece on Matching Chinese Beer with Food. While Carlsberg won the Corporate Communications gong, Pete Brown’s columns in the Publican Morning Advertiser won him the Trade Title award.

And in a first, the Brewer of the Year went to a Brewster: the seriously talented Sara Barton, founder and head brewer at Brewsters– see here for more on Sara's well deserved win.

As Ben said, "beer writing has transformed in the last five years". These awards, the most hotly contested yet, illustrate the breadth and approachability of the new face of beer writing. I hope you enjoy.