Oakham Atilla has been crowned Champion Winter Beer Of Britain at The National Winter Ales Festival.
Well done Oakham say I, although I'm calling for this competition to be scrapped and the Champion Beer Of Britain judging in August to include all styles of beer. The only time I've had the beer was in October 2004 at The Bedford Beer Festival which it could be argued is the Winter although I'm not convinced. Looking at the other ratings on RateBeer most people on there drank it in the Autumn or even the Summer, so although it the type of beer that just doesn't see the light of day at GBBF, it's probably inaccurate to call it a "winter beer", so even the name of the competition is folly.
The categories which are judged at NWAF are old ales and strong milds; porters; stouts and barley wines. Any beers fulfilling these categories struggle to gain floor space at Earls Court, instead being showcased in Manchester. I really cannot agree with these beers being described and judged as Winter beers. I'd like to see them available all year round, but CAMRA calling them and judging them as such is not helpful to the necessary promotion of these styles.
So CAMRA, by all means have a huge beer festival in the North at this time of year, but let both festivals have the best of all British beers and just have the one big best beer of Britain competition.