Fifteen beers were chosen out of 115 last week by a panel of top tasters, including authors Jeff Bell and Martyn Cornell, Camra's John Cryne and Glen Payne. The two best-sellers over a
five-week period will be named as winners in September.
The finalists are: Birds 'n' Bees, Ceilidh, 80/- Ale and Williams IPA from Scottish-based Williams Bros; Hardcore IPA, Dogma and Chaos Theory from Brewdog, also north of the border; Woild Moild and Wolf Whistle from Norfolk's Wolf Brewery; Golden Hare from last year's winners Bath Ales; Porteresque from Wigan's Allgates Brewery; Taylor's Tipple from Yorkshire's Hambleton Ales; Shropshire Lass from Wood Brewery; Bays Breaker from Torbay's Bays Brewery and Bretwalda from Greene King.
Nic Storey, beer and cider buyer, said: " It's all about support and encouragement rather than scaring [regional brewers] away."
We got even more entries this year - it's all about support and encouragement rather than scaring [regional brewers] away. We aren't slashing prices but adding value back."