A PORTSMOUTH brewery is competing to be named best in the country.
Irving and Company has made it through the the national final of the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) champion beer of Britain competition.
The brewery, which is based in Walton Road, Farlington, will go head to head with 71 other breweries during the Great British Beer Festival on August 6 at the Olympia in London.
Malcolm Irving, head brewer, said: 'We found out about a month and a half ago that we had two beers in the competition, which is even better than we hoped for.
‘It is the first time we have got to the national level, it is very difficult to get to that level.'
Mr Irving explained that breweries first have to make it through the regional competition before they can reach the national level.
‘There are quite a few hurdles to get through to the national level, there is only 71 beers that get through. Every single brewery in the country are eligible for this competition,’ he added.
'We didn't even realise that one of our two beers was in the regional competition, it was quite a surprise to find out. It is very much done on the consumers behalf, everybody is eligible for it, you don't enter it.
'We also had a bronze medal for the regional competition for another beer.
Irving and Co Brewery will travel up to the Great British Beer Festival at the Olympia in London at the start of the next month and compete to be named best in Britain.
‘The winning beers will be announced at 3pm on August 6.
‘It is quite an intense competition up there. Anything at national level is very intense so to win anything at that level would be life-changing for a company like ours.'
Nick Boley, champion beer of Britain coordinator said: “It is an incredibly exciting time for British brewers, and nowhere is this better reflected than in the Champion Beer of Britain competition.
‘From the largest and most established brewers such as Timothy Taylor and Fullers to the smallest startups such as Redwillow and Byatt’s, it is anyone’s guess who will win the ultimate title this year.’