One of Bolton’s most popular brewers has added two more awards to its glittering list of accolades.
Bank Top’s Dark Mild was crowned Champion Mild of Britain at the Great British Beer Festival, becoming one of only seven beers across the country to win a category.
The Astley Bridge brewery was told on August 1 that its Port O’Call ale had won a bronze medal at the 2014 International Beer Tasting Challenge, in the bottled speciality beers category.
Buoyant owner Dave Sweeney said staff at the brewery had been left “shaking with shock” when Dark Mild was crowned champion.
Mr Sweeney added: “I am absolutely overwhelmed. We are all shaking with shock and delight at this prestigious accolade being awarded to Bank Top Brewery.
“Our win has had a fantastic reception from all brewers here at the festival — thank you.
“This annual event has always been fantastic to attend, and it is obvious that the enthusiasm for beer drinking is still going strong and people are as passionate as they have ever been.”
More than 350 different breweries were featured at the festival at London’s Olympia Exhibition Centre, which attracted 55,000 people over the five days.
Mr Sweeney was joined by wife Angela, brewery manager Neil Turner and his wife Caron in London.
The quartet manage Bank Top Brewery Estates, which includes The Brewery Tap in Astley Bridge and The Ale House in Horwich.
Mr Sweeney added that he was delighted both decorated beers came from the darker beers among the Bank Top range.
He will receive the Dark Mild award at a dinner at Kettering Park Hotel in Northamptonshire on October 25 and will travel to Mayfair in London to pick up the Port O’Call gong on September 8.
Port O’Call saw off competition from bottled beers from 30 countries after winning the chance to compete by coming out on top in a UK beer competition in March.
Bank Top is not resting on its laurels, though, with a new, as yet unnamed beer, coming soon.