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Totty Pot is top tipple

By This is Somerset  |  Posted: March 10, 2009

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Cheddar Ales, a microbrewery based in the village, has claimed the bronze medal at the British brewing industry awards for its bottled version of Totty Pot porter.

The awards, the highest industry accolades in the UK, are organised by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and are voted for by a panel of brewing experts, trade media, CAMRA tasters and licensees.

Entrants to the awards must first be regional champions, and Cheddar Ales won three awards at the South West event, with Totty Pot scooping gold in the bottled beers category.

"I was overjoyed when the beer won gold in the regional finals last year," said Cheddar Ales' head brewer Jem Ham. "To win bronze at the national finals is just fantastic for us.

"It means that more people will get to know who we are, and that there is something special about the beer we are producing.

"We use great raw materials and make the beers as distinctive and as drinkable as we can make them.

"It's just beer made by beer lovers."

Although it has already gained a strong following in this area, Cheddar Ales is still a relative newcomer to the brewing industry and is little-known outside of the county.

That is likely to change now that the brewery is known for making one of the best bottled beers in the country – but with only two full-time staff, there are no immediate plans to become a national brand.

The other half of the Cheddar Ales team, John Magill, said: "For now we would be very happy for the local business to grow further.

"Hopefully the award will spur more publicans and beer drinkers in Somerset into realising some of the best beers in the country are being made right on their doorstep, and that they should be taking better advantage of the microbreweries in their area."

As you might expect from brewers, Jem and John want to celebrate the award with a pint or two.

But two men does not make for much of an office party, so they are instead busy making plans for a beer festival in June.

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