Posted: 04/09/2014

Beer and beef top National Trust awards

Robert Wicks Westerham Brewery
Robert Wicks with his prize-winning Scotney Bitter. Credit: William Shaw

A bitter beer from Kent’s Westerham Brewery and Red Ruby beef from Devon’s Burrow Farm Food took the top titles in this year’s National Trust Fine Farm Produce awards.

Now in its ninth year, the scheme is designed to raise the profile of food and drink from the charity’s 1,500 tenant farmers and its estates across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In recent years the scheme has been extended to non-food “countyside products”. Producers and press attending the awards day at the Trust‘s Tyntesfield house and estate near Bristol were treated to a barbecue lunch showcasing tenant-produced steak and sausages cooked on tenant-produced charcoal, as well as award-winning potatoes, rapeseed oil, eggs, cream, beer and apple juice from award winners.

The awards, previously announced in late September, were brought forward this year to ensure they featured in the autumn edition of the Trust’s quarterly magazine, which reaches 3.7 million members.

Forty-five products from 25 producers took awards this year. They range from Jacob hogget lamb and honey produced at Charlecote Park in Warwickshire to organic clotted cream from Ashclyst Dairy Farm in Devon.

Beef and venison dominate the awards list, followed by juices and ciders. For the first time, the Trust opted to award separate Overall Winner trophies for food and drink.

Head of food & farming Rob Macklin said Westerham Brewery’s Scotney Bitter typified the products the Fine Farm Produce scheme is designed to highlight, with both good provenance and a strong tie-in with the Trust.

When the brewery was set up by Robert Wicks (pictured) on the Trust’s Grange Farm, it helped create a sustainable market for hops from Scotney Castle garden as well as other Kentish hop producers.

For a full list of winners, click here

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