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Raindrops on Roses – the winner of the Great British Home Brew Challenge 2016

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2016 Great British Home Brew Challenge, supported by Brew UK, Waitrose and Thornbridge Brewery, is Phil Sisson with Raindrops on Roses (5.3%) – a Belgian Wit style beer, brewed with rose petals.

Phil, who recently moved from London to Scotland with his wife and daughter, says, “This is a huge, and completely unexpected honour for me! I’m absolutely flabbergasted. I’ve been a big admirer of Thornbridge’s beers for years and it’s just fantastic to have been able to impress the judges with my own creation. I originally brewed the beer as a present for my wife’s birthday and my daughter chose the musical-themed name, so it’s a truly family affair. I’m really looking forward to seeing it on the shelves at Waitrose.”

Phil’s beer was chosen as the winner, from over a 100 that had been submitted, by an expert panel of judges including Rob Lovatt, Head Brewer at Thornbridge, Greg Hughes, Director at BrewUK and Sarah Hammond, Waitrose Beer Buyer.
Rob Lovatt, says, “Phil’s beer was undoubtedly well made with the roses working in a beautiful harmony with the camomile and coriander. A worthy winner from a great selection of beers that were submitted to the challenge which goes from strength to strength. I enjoyed tasting Raindrops on Roses and working with Phil to recreate this and I am sure it will be very popular”.
Sarah Hammond, Waitrose Beer Buyer, says, “We loved the fact that we could distinguish the traditional style of beer that it’s based on, and that it came with a really modern and well-judged twist. The palate was refreshing and full of flavour, and all the elements were really well-balanced – distinct yet not overpowering. A great combination of delicacy, interest and full of flavour, this is an excellent homebrew that we hope our customers will enjoy as much as we did.”

Raindrops on Roses, (330ml) will be available in 70 Waitrose branches from the 14th of November.


All beer entries need to be submitted by 30th August 2016 – postal address for entry is:

Thornbridge Riverside Brewery, Buxton Road, Bakewell, DE45 1GS 

With so many beer styles now being brewed we have removed the categories for submission to allow for a wider range of styles to be submitted and a greater degree of creativity. Beers need to be submitted in 500ml bottles with crown caps – three bottles per entry. One submission per person – please download and complete the entry form below. Attach a Beer Label with a rubber band to your bottles, download below. No beers will be returned. Please package the beers carefully and mark the box with Great British Home Brew Challenge 2016.

Recipe requirements: A recipe is not required to make an entry. If your beer is chosen by Waitrose for national distribution then the winning brewer will be asked to give their recipe to Thornbridge.

The winning brewer will be invited to Thornbridge for the inaugural brew.


The judging will take place in September 2016 and be carried out by a panel of practising brewers, beer writers and beer industry experts.

The Winner will receive £250 and have their beer brewed at Thornbridge and sold in a selection of Waitrose Stores.

These are our previous year’s winners: