The winners of this year’s Beer Marketing Awards were announced last night at an event at Truman’s Brewery in London.

The awards are designed to recognise the very best in beer marketing, with categories from best ad campaign through to best stunt. The judges, lead by beer writer, Pete Brown, included leading on and off trade operators, beer journalists, bloggers and award-winning marketeers.

Brown said: “The principle behind the awards was to celebrate great marketing across the sector – regardless of whether you’re a mainstream lager brand creating a large scale TV advertising campaign or a microbrewer pouring creativity into social media. In the modern market it’s not enough to simply brew a great beer – it needs to be communicated and presented to the drinker in the most compelling and attractive way possible. The variety and breadth of brewers and ideas that make up our finalists demonstrated that creativity and effectiveness can come from a brewer of any size, with any budget.”

The Winners of the 2016 Beer Marketing Awards (comments from lead judge, Pete Brown).

Best Ad Campaign – Broadcast

Sponsored by: Kegstar

Winner: Greene King IPA for ‘To the Pub’

Highly Commended: Guinness and AMV/BBDO

“This was a knife-edge decision that came down to a close vote. The judges felt both ads were innovative in their own way, and that both presented original ideas for beer. Both connected with something deeper. Greene King IPA won because of its involvement with the pub trade, crowdsourcing content from them and in turn championing the idea of the pub as well as Greene King IPA as a sessionable pub pint.”

Best Branding/Design

Sponsored by: Them That Can

Winner: Thirst Craft for Loch Ness Brewery

“Loch Ness looks great, and makes a little budget go a long way. They’ve obviously had fun with it; it has a bit of soul, a really strong aesthetic and stands out from the crowd”

Best Business to Business Campaign

Sponsored by: Page Creative

Winner: Crafted from Carlsberg UK

“The judges appreciated that all shortlisted entries were tangible objects rater than digital, something to be shared with staff and therefore useful.

‘Crafted’ felt like it had an independent spirit and demonstrated a category leadership approach.”

Best Event

Sponsored by: Pub17

Winner: Fuller’s London Pride for ‘The London Pride Clubhouse’

“This was a difficult decision that split the judges down the middle. Beer Day Britain was a brilliant idea that gained huge traction on no budget from a standing start, and Jane Peyton should be congratulated for an outstanding personal achievement.

London Pride Clubhouse won because it was a thoughtful, well planned and well executed idea that succeeded by genuinely engaging its target market in a meaningful way. It also exceeded expectations in the results that followed.”

Best Innovation

Sponsored by: There’s a Beer for That

Winner: Island Records/Soundwaves Brewing/Two Tribes Brewery/Boutique Bar Brands/La Boca for their Shazamable can.

“These awards are about inspiring others and raising the overall standard of marketing in beer. All entries were very strong creative ideas that generated plenty of interest. But the Shazamable can struck us as completely original, a great way to add value, and something that can inspire others.”

Best Integrated Campaign

Sponsored by: BII

Winner: Britain’s Beer Alliance - There’s A Beer For That

Highly Commended: Sharp’s Brewery

“The Sharp’s campaign was a lot of fun, had good insight and a nice creative idea, and its results were excellent. But There’s A Beer For That triumphed because it’s a single idea, consistently executed across different media, which becomes much greater than the sum of its parts.”

Best Merchandise

Sponsored by: Vektor

Winner: Budweiser Budvar

“Both entries were great pieces of design. Budvar triumphed because it took a tailored approach to each venue, executing the idea creatively to form an immersive experience.”

Best Launch

Sponsored by: London Beer Week

Winner: BrewDog for their Jet Black Heart

Highly Commended: Cloudwater

“Cloudwater instantly became the most talked about new brewery in Britain and has built a great profile and reputation with minimal spend. But BrewDog won because their launch was fun. It cut through and created awareness, and successfully launched a new beer – and it made the judges laugh.”

Best Online Marketing

Sponsored by: Nurture Brands

Winner: Guinness & AMV/BBDO

“Too many brands use online as a cheaper version of broadcast media, when the medium’s real strength is in enabling genuine two-way interaction between a brand and its consumers. Guinness was our winner because it was a single-minded idea, very well executed, that demonstrated Diageo had thought carefully about their media and how it could be used, rather than approaching it frivolously - which so much digital and social work does.”

Best PR Campaign

Sponsored by: Charles Wells

Winner: Kronenbourg for #lebigswim

“The judges thought Kronenbourg’s campaign was fun and fresh, and amplified the core messages about the brand effectively.”

Best Stunt/Guerrilla Marketing

Sponsored by: Brewing Equipment and Technology Show

Winner: BrewDog for DIY Dog

“We’re not sure if BrewDog avoided this category because they don’t like their ideas to be seen as stunts, but we felt this definitely was a stunt, and a very good one. It created an instantaneous global conversation about that brand as soon as it was announced; dividing opinion, creating a great deal of debate, and keeping the brand at the heart of discussions around craft beer.”

Best Sponsorship

Sponsored by: The Dark Star Brewing Co.

Winner: Heineken

“The best sponsorship is a relationship that works for the mutual benefit of both parties, and also engages the consumer with an experience they wouldn’t have been able to get had the sponsorship not taken place. Heineken had the budget that meant they could have just plastered the event with logos. They did plaster the event with logos, but in addition they created genuine, memorable experiences for fans and helped bring the tournament to life.”

Best use of Competitions

Sponsored by: The Craft Beer Co.

Winner: Shepherd Neame for their 75th campaign

“At a gut level, Spitfire’s competition is the one the judges wished they could have won. But it was also executed in an engaging way that managed to be fun and also respectful – something that’s not always easy to do in this area.”

Outstanding Individual Contribution

Winner: Glenn Payne

The world of brewing was shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Glenn Payne in December 2015. It seemed that everyone in craft brewing knew Glenn, that he was always there. Behind his easygoing manner, he worked hard to spread awareness and knowledge of great beer, and was largely responsible for introducing American craft beer to the UK. He encouraged a movement, and he quietly encouraged individuals within it. As with all people of his calibre, the scale of his achievement was only really apparent after he’d gone.

This year’s award is dedicated to Glenn’s memory.

Overall Winner: Grand Prix 2016

Sponsored by Boutique Beers by Matthew Clark

Winner: Diageo/Guinness/AMV BBDO

Runner Up: BrewDog

“This was a difficult decision that came after a very long discussion ending in a vote. Here are two very different beer marketers, both masters of what they do. Guinness is the most iconic beer brand in the world, with a pedigree of great advertising stretching back decades. BrewDog has torn up the rulebook of how beer marketing should be done, and has gained global awareness on a minimal budget by eschewing everything Guinness represents. There was a strong case for splitting the awards between them – but if we’d done that, we would have been ducking the difficult decisions awards juries must make, and setting a precedent for doing so. There was really nothing to choose between them. In the end, the judges voted for Guinness because of its consistent excellence across marketing disciplines, the high quality of thinking and execution at all levels.”