IT’S made in a tiny Gosport brewery with just seven staff – but a lager that is brewed like a bitter has been crowned the top speciality beer in Britain.
The brew – wittily named I Can’t Believe It’s Not Bitter – won the prize at the Great British Beer Festival.
The beer is produced by the Oakleaf Brewing Company on the Clarence Wharf industrial estate, in Gosport.
The brewery says it tastes like lager but is less fizzy, like a real ale.
It was enough to impress the judges at the huge festival at London’s Earls Court, run by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).
Just like real ale, the winning beer is cask-conditioned and yeast is left in the barrel to continue the fermentation process for longer.
Ed Anderson, director of Oakleaf, said staff celebrated with several pints of the winning beer after the triumph.
‘I was surprised when it got to the finals because it’s a national competition but when they said we’d won it was awesome – there was shouting and cheering and then lots of drinking,’ he saod.
‘It really did feel amazing, particularly because it was a lager rather than a beer because CAMRA is traditionally about real ales.’
Another Oakleaf tipple, Some Are Drinking, was also featured at the festival.
Other beers featured include Admiral, made by Drayton-based Irving brewery and Southsea Spice by Droxford-based Bowman.
Jeanette Darby, Oakleaf’s sales officer, said: ‘It is quite a feat to have got two beers at the festival. Some breweries really struggle to get one there, so it’s a great feeling.’
The Great British Beer festival showcases 500 of the finest British beers, 500 world wide beers and 120 ciders.