SIBA beer competition saved by London pub

A south London pub has just hosted a successful beer competition for the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) after the original event was a victim of the summer's flooding.

Jamie Hooper, of Dulwich pub Hoopers, was invited to judge at the SIBA south east beer competition in July. When heavy rain made the site - a marquee in the grounds of Tonbridge Rugby Club - unusable for the event, he offered Hooper's as an alternative venue.

Jamie Hooper said, "We're proud of our ales at Hoopers and sell a number of beers from SIBA members, as well as being a SIBA Locals pub. So when the competition was called off, I suggested staging it here. SIBA were enthusiastic and once they'd established we had enough space to host the event, we had a couple of months to get everything organised.

Over 140 beers from 49 SIBA brewers in the south east were delivered to Hoopers for judging. He added, "Taking delivery of that number of barrels and preparing the beers for the competition was quite a task. SIBA Cellar Services gave us a lot of help beforehand and on the day, so it really was a team effort - and a very successful event."

SIBA chief executive Julian Grocock said, "Cancelling the July competition was a real blow, and we're grateful to Jamie for hosting it in a rain-proof environment - especially as it was once again pouring down on the day of the event.

"Our regional and national beer competitions are showcase events where we aim to demonstrate local beer at its best. Thanks to the sterling work by the Hoopers and SIBA Cellar Services teams, this event lived up to that ambition." As well as installs for competitions, SIBA Cellar Services also offers dispense installation and maintenance, which is free of charge to pubs on its Direct Delivery Scheme.

The overall Gold Award winner at the south east competition was London's Redemption Brewery for its Big Chief beer, while Whitstable Brewery picked up the Silver Award for its Native and Triple fff Brewery collected Bronze for its Moondance.