Jane Peyton UK beer sommelier of the year

Beer writer, Jane Peyton, has been crowned the winner of the British Institute of Innkeeping’s (BII) Beer Academy Beer Sommelier of the Year awards.

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Jane Peyton receives her award from Beer Academy director Simon Jackson (left) and sports commentator John Inverdale.

Jane was presented with the award at the BII’s annual lunch held at the Grosvenor House Park Lane, and will now be invited to present the beers at the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group’s annual dinner held in Westminster in July.

Caroline Nodder, brand and business development director of the BII and chair of the judging panel said: “We always knew that we would have a tough job on our hands and we were not disappointed. All the candidates were clearly passionate about beer and pubs but came to the subject from very different angles.

“Jane emerged as the winning UK Sommelier by dint of the sheer volume and diversity of her beer knowledge and activity. She trains bar staff, runs brewery tours, arranges beer festivals and writes books on the subject. She has huge passion for beer and a rare knack of bringing a complex subject alive to the non-expert.”

Judges also awarded a second prize for the first time this year to Hans Tryggvason, an Icelander who works in the gastropub, Håndverkerstuene, in Oslo.

Nodder said: “Hans brings a great sense of playfulness to his work. He has developed the concept of ‘beer brawls’ where he challenges Norwegian brewers to produce the best beer matches for a three course dinner – and the winner is decided by a vote of the sixty diners.”

“Beer is by far the most popular drink chosen in pubs, making up 55% of all alcohol sales, so getting it right is critical to a pub’s success. Over the coming year, we will be working with Jane, Hans and the Beer Academy to help BII members understand how they can maximise the value that beer delivers to their businesses.”

The competition required applicants to suggest beer matches for the three course BII annual lunch menu, conduct a tutored tasting of a bottled craft beer and demonstrate how to present a beer in perfect condition in a pub environment.

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