WORKSOP’S Grafton Hotel is toasting the sweet sound of success after winning two prestigious awards for its real ales.
The Gateford Road pub scooped two trophies for their Banalicious and Silhouette brews in the Speciality Beers section of the Society of Independent Brewers Association (SIBA) awards.
Landlord and landlady Richard and Susan Hale’s beers won bronze and silver in the awards at Nottingham Beer Festival in October.
Susan said she never expected to win any awards with such stiff competition from major real ale breweries.
“When the news came through at the festival I was working on the Grafton Brewing Company real ale bar,” she said.
“I was with my dad and we just looked at each other in amazement - it was a very emotional moment.”
She added: “We are so passionate and take so much pride in what we do.”
“A lot of hard work has gone into making The Grafton Brewing Company a success in the past 15 months and for someone else to believe in your product as much as you do and recognises your work really humbles you.”
Bananalicious and Silhoutte were two of 309 ales entered into the Specialist Beers category.
Top judges blinded tasted the concoctions at the popular beer festival, held at Nottingham Castle this autumn.
Susan said she was overwhelmed to stand alongside the Titanic Brewery, who won the gold award for their Cappucino flavoured stout.
“The Titanic Brewery is a massive company and to hear we’d won two awards in that category just meant so much,” she said.
“The judges kept coming back for jug after jug of our beers, so I had a feeling something was going to happen.”
Susan said it has been great to see people’s reactions to Bananalicious (4.5%) which was first brewed back in August.
“We wanted it to be like a banoffee pie. It really is a play on the senses - you can see people’s reaction why they try it,” she said.
“We brewed it with caramel malt to give it that toffee flavour and also used fresh bananas.”
She added: “It really contrasts with Silhoutte (4%) which is brewed with Polish hops and real vanilla pods. It tastes like ice-cream soda and is proving very popular.”
Banalicious and Silhouette will be available over the Christmas and New Year period, along with a hand-picked selection of top festive beers.
Susan said they have been overwhelmed with orders for next year and are looking forward to moving to new and bigger premises in January.
She also thanked their loyal and new customers for their support, smiles and kind words over the past year.
“The awards are not just for us - they are for our customers too,” she said.
“When I see customers picking up the awards in the pub and show them around to their friends, it gives me a great sense of pride and satisfaction.”
“If it wasn’t for their support we would not be where we are today.”
She added: “Worksop has a great brewing history, so why shouldn’t Worksop be known again for having great breweries in the town?
“I would like to think these awards give Worksopians something to be proud of.”
To find out more anout the Grafton Brewing Company’s beers, on sale at The Grafton Hotel, call 01909 530470.