Cask Champion Award 2010
The Trafford & Hulme Branch has inaugurated an annual Cask Champion Award for "Services to Real Ale". This first award has been given to the Dunham Massey Brewery and the brewer, John Costello, primarily for spreading the message of cask ale, with an emphasis on traditional North West ales, throughout the local community.
Since the opening of the brewery in 2007, Dunham Massey ales have made a real impact on the local cask ale scene, with outlets in 125 pubs and clubs (40 on a regular basis) and cask-conditioned bottled beers available in the brewery shop, National Trust shops and farmer's markets. Dunham beers have also been available at numerous Beer Festivals throughout the country and it is a testament to their quality that the brewery has scooped 15 awards at CAMRA Beer Festivals, 8 of which were for Beer of the Festival, the latest being at the Aberdeen and North East Festival 2010 for the famous Chocolate Cherry Mild.
John has produced 20 different cask ales since opening the brewery, all very different, not simply the re-badging of earlier brews. These include several bitters, dark and light milds, porter, stout and brown ale as well as seasonals such as Summer Meadow, Treacle Treat and Winter Warmer and a recent speciality Duerr's Blossom Honey Beer.
John is a strong supporter of the aims of CAMRA and has welcomed our own, and many other CAMRA branches to the brewery, often to receive beer festival awards on these occasions and to infect us, and any other visitors, with his great enthusiasm for the cause of cask ale. Advertisement of CAMRA events and distribution of our local newsletters, Opening Times and Out Inn Cheshire is also made from the brewery shop, reaching a wide audience. He also runs his own annual Beer Festival in the local village hall.
As an important contribution to the campaigning aims of CAMRA, John presented a Meet the Brewer evening to celebrate Cask Ale Week in March at the nearby, regular GBG entry pub, the Swan with Two Nicks which has been a consistent outlet for Dunham beers. A report on this event is on the Trafford & Hulme website.
The brewery was presented with the Cask Champion Award 2010 on the occasion of Branch's annual Grand Cheshire Day Out (via the Barn Owl, Home and Swan with Two Nicks) culminating with a barbecue at the brewery. In accepting the award John wanted it to be known that the success of the brewery has been a very much a team effort, involving his sons (Anthony and Jason), his wife Linda and assistant brewer, Dave Sumner.
Presentation of the Cask Champion Award 2010 to the Dunham Massey Brewery.
Left to right: Beverley Gobbett (Chair of Trafford & Hulme CAMRA Branch),
John Costello (Brewer), Dave Sumner (Assistant Brewer) and Anthony Costello.