Beer Academy Sommeliers of the Year announced



The 2014 winners of the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) Beer Academy Beer Sommelier of the Year awards were announced at the BII’s prestigious Annual Lunch held at the Grosvenor House Park Lane.
The winning sommelier for the UK is Jane Peyton, who is a beer writer and drinks event organiser. Jane will be invited to present the beers at the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group’s Annual Dinner held in Westminster on July 9.
The judges also awarded a second prize for the first time this year for International BII Beer Academy Beer Sommelier of the Year to Hans Tryggvason.
Hans, an Icelander, works in the gastropub, Håndverkerstuene, in Oslo.
Applicants were whittled down to a shortlist of eight, from which four contenders were selected for a rigorous interview with the judging panel.
They were asked to suggest beer matches for the three course BII Annual Lunch menu, conduct a tutored tasting of a bottled craft beer and demonstrate how to present a beer in perfect condition in a pub environment.
Caroline Nodder, Brand and Business Development Director of the BII and chair of the judging panel said “We always knew that we would have a tough job on our hands and we were not disappointed. All the candidates were clearly passionate about beer and pubs but came to the subject from very different angles.
“Jane emerged as the winning UK Sommelier by dint of the sheer volume and diversity of her beer knowledge and activity. She trains bar staff, runs brewery tours, arranges beer festivals and writes books on the subject. She has huge passion for beer and a rare knack of bringing a complex subject alive to the non-expert.”
“Hans brings a great sense of playfulness to his work. He has developed the concept of ‘beer brawls’ where he challenges Norwegian brewers to produce the best beer matches for a three course dinner – and the winner is decided by a vote of the sixty diners.”
“Beer is by far the most popular drink chosen in pubs, making up 55% of all alcohol sales, so getting it right is critical to a pub’s success. Over the coming year, we will be working with Jane, Hans and the Beer Academy to help BII members understand how they can maximise the value that beer delivers to their businesses.”

Picture captions: Beer Academy Director Simon Jackson and BII lunch compere John Inverdale presenting the Beer Academy of the Year Sommelier of the Year Award to Jane Peyton and Hans Tryggvason

Jane Peyton's passion for beer started when she drank her first pint of ale - Tetley Mild - as a teenager. She is a keen beer advocate and spends lots of time rhapsodising about it. Jane is Principal of the School of Booze, a company she founded to offer tutored beer, cider, and wine tasting events. She is also an after-dinner speaker on the subject of alcohol history & culture. Changing people's perceptions of beer is a mission and she enjoys the challenge of finding the perfect beer for people who say that they don't like it - especially women. Matching beer with food is a way to do this and Jane has become adept at pairing beer with dessert - crème brulée with a wheat Dopplebock being a particular favourite!

Hans Tryggvason was born in Iceland and having spent more than a decade in both Sweden and Norway, one may rightfully call this gentleman a Northerner. His lifelong interest in food and drink has led to exiting additions to the gastro pub scene in Oslo, with Håndverkerstuene as his most recent project. The plan is to create a playful Nordic Beer-Mecca, focusing on food and beer combined. He wants every Norwegian to see this as the obvious venue to bring out-of-towners to. With a contemporary Norwegian menu, the widest selection of Scandinavian beer in the country and aquavit to please every palate, everyone should be able to find a Nordic treasure here. A true beer and wine sommelier at heart, he feels the long standing battle between wine and beer as the better food enhancer, is over. To everything there is a season - wine will sometimes be the optimal complement to your dinner, and yet other times beer is the only way to go. Skål!

The BII 2014 Sommelier of the Year Award was open to all accredited Beer Academy Sommeliers. The judging panel was Caroline Nodder (BII Director), Alastair Scott (Beer Academy Development Director) and Mark Dorber (Licensee, respected beer expert and Honorary Beer Academy Beer Sommelier)

The Beer Academy is an educational body that was founded by a small group of beer enthusiasts in 2003 to help people understand, appreciate and enjoy beer sensibly. To date over 10,000 people have attended Beer Academy courses and tasting events such as the BBC Good Food Show, the Great British Beer Festival and the British Museum as well as in pubs and bars up and down the country. The Academy offers a range of courses and qualifications ranging from a 90 minute tutored introduction to beer through to its highest award – the Sommelier Qualification. Full details of all Beer Academy Courses and events can be found www.beeracademy.co.uk or follow us on Twitter @TheBeerAcademy and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Beer-Academy/411889238846208

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