The IPA Challenge at Imbibe Live

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In partnership with SIBA, M&B, There’s A Beer for That, Fuller’s

Have you – or will you be – brewing a brilliant IPA this year? Could it be the best in the country? If so, The IPA Challenge is for you.

Imbibe Live is once more teaming up with SIBA, M&B, There’s A Beer For That and Fuller’s for its 2017 Beer Competition, to find the best IPA of 2017.

Entries are welcome in bottle or can format and the contest is open to all British breweries. The winner secures a coveted seasonal listing at a selection of M&B’s top pubs, as well as the chance to feature on TABFT’s Beer Match and Explorer digital directories. All five finalists will be able to share their beers in the popular Hop & Apple Bar during Imbibe Live.

As in previous years, initial judging will be hosted by Fuller’s, with IPA expert Mark Dorber of The Anchor at Walberswick chairing the panel, including representatives from SIBA, TABFT, M&B and Fuller’s. Finalists will be invited to the Beer & Cider Theatre at Imbibe Live on 3 July.

Jonny Garrett of Craft Beer Channel will act as our MC, while the audience listens to the finalists, tastes their beers and ultimately decides on the winners.

Dorber, in his former role at the helm of The White Horse at Parsons’ Green, hosted the pivotal seminars in the early-1990s that helped to kick off the UK revival of the style. He calls IPAs ‘The most popular beer in modern craft brewing.’ Why? ‘Because they are packed with hop flavour and character,’ he says. ‘They are the pinnacle of the pale ale tradition. What other drinks category is experiencing such a surge of interest?’

'Craft Beer continues to grow in popularity as drinkers seek out those now iconic hop forward flavours and aromas so synonymous with a modern IPA,’ says M&B’s Ben Lockwood. ‘We’re delighted to partner with Imbibe Live for the second year running to bring what I know will be a much sought after IPA to our pubs.'

‘SIBA is very proud to once again be partnering with Imbibe Live on its beer competition,’ says the Association’s Neil Walker. ‘This exciting style allows breweries to really show off what can be done with hops and I’ll be looking for big aromatics and flavour from the beers entered by SIBA’s independent craft-brewing members – some of the most exciting breweries in the UK.’

‘We were absolutely delighted to win last year with Wheaty McWheatface,’ says West Berkshire Brewery’s Simon Lewis. ‘Entering gave us the perfect opportunity to put ourselves up against other brewers in the Wheat Beer Challenge. We also used the competition to engage on social media with our drinkers and let them choose the name for the beer. The listing with M&B was the added bonus for us. We agreed with M&B’s Ben Lockwood the listing of Wheaty in their Castle outlets and received unanimous support and appreciation from the pubs for the period that we were on the bar. With our current move to a new £5m brewery nearing completion, we are looking at the potential of adding Wheaty McWheatface back into our future range. And, as the competition comes around again we are getting geared up to come up with our next new beer.’

So, could you follow in West Berkshire’s footsteps and be the next beer competition winner? Enter now and let your beer do the talking.



  • Online entries by 1 June & Sample Delivery 5 to 8 June to Fuller’s, Chiswick.
  • Following the initial round of judging, finalists will be notified by 14 June, to ready themselves for their appearance on 3 July in the Beer & Cider Hub.
  • The winner secures a seasonal listing in early 2018, to be agreed with M&B depending on the style and abv of the winning beer.
  • Any queries, please contact competition manager, Susanna Forbes, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 07811 913971

With thanks to our sponsors: 

Fullers Logo SIBA logo Mitchells  TABFT logo