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BELFAST LAGER RANKED IN WORLD'S TOP 50 BEERS

A local lager brewed by artisan brewery, Whitewater Brewing Company in Kilkeel, has been ranked as one of the world's top 50 beers in the prestigious International Beer Challenge 2008, the largest packaged beer competition in the world.
 
Belfast Lager, now ranked 14th in the Top 50 of bottled beers, was voted a winner in the lager class by quenching the thirst of the expert judging panel of beer critics, current and former brewers, buyers and retailers under the chairmanship of renowned beer writer Jeff Evans. The Challenge discovers and rewards the finest beers from across the globe and in association with Off Licence News, publishes the list of the 'World's 50 Best Beers'.
 
Clotworthy Dobbin Ale, the brewery's main product, secured a Top 50 listing in 2007.
 
Belfast Lager, Whitewater's distinctively rich flavoured lager came out ahead of a host of international entries on taste and packaging.
 
Expert brewer Bernard Sloan, who founded Whitewater Brewing Company in 1996 with his wife, described the listing as ???a marvellous endorsement of the quality of our products and the dedication to customer-focused fresh thinking which drives the team at Whitewater.
 
???What makes the Belfast Lager new and innovative is the unexpectedness of this crisp, continental style, full-flavoured lager with a very smooth finish and distinct bitterness, which makes it very drinkable. We use only the best quality ingredients, traditional brewing techniques and no additives or preservatives.  
The largest microbrewery in Northern Ireland, Whitewater currently supplies bottled beers to Sainsbury's, ASDA, the Co-op, Musgrave, Tesco & independents. 
 
In just over two years, the company's sales have grown by over 100% per cent and the brewery has invested heavily in the latest bottling technology, which can produce up to produce up to 1,000 bottles and hour. Whitewater source their malt from the England, the   Republic of Ireland and Germany. 
 
With listings currently secured in over 100 outlets in the Republic of Ireland, the company has ambitious growth plans and is currently looking to further export it's portfolio of bottled beers to the US and Europe as Bernard explained: ???We attended the New York Fancy Food Fair in July this year and our range of bottled beers were very well received by the industry there. We recently returned to the United States to meet with a number of interested companies. In addition, we recently secured a listing with a Belgian based European distributor and are currently in discussions with a Russian distributor.
 
Whitewater???s Clotworthy Dobbin Ale and Belfast Lager, picked up two gold stars  award and a one gold star award respectively, at the recent 2008 Great Taste Awards.
 
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Head of Business Development

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Drew McIvor
Head of Business Development

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Michelle Charrington
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