The Global Beer Competition: Meet the judges

Shane McNamara, Longflint Drinks (Head Judge)

McNamara is product and innovation manager at Tottenham-based Longflint Drinks, which produces a range of tonics, seltzers and sodas premixed with gin, rum, vodka or mezcal from craft producers. Before that, McNamara was senior technical officer at the Institute of Brewing & Distilling (IBD) and has also worked as a brewer at Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick. He holds a Master’s degree in Brewing Science from the University of Nottingham and a Post Graduate certificate in Brewing Science from Federation University Australia.

McNamara also headed up proceedings at last year’s competition, the Beer Masters, and among his comments from the day, he noted: “The movement towards more balanced beers was present across the styles tasted and the beers that excelled were those balancing aroma, bitterness and flavour with brilliant skill and innovation to produce something that was both bold and moreish.

“The beers that achieved exceedingly well were those that reined in the bitterness to match the fullness of the flavour in the beer yet provide a bounty of hops in the aroma,

”The reverence of quality and logistical care taken by brewers, in particular craft brewers, for their beers to arrive in faultless condition was clear in the tasting. Beer for the large part is a quickly deteriorating beverage best enjoyed fresh and doesn’t take kindly to temperature shifts or even sunlight – keeping it tasting fresh is no mean feat”.

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