Horsham-based brewery WJ King today won the Silver Medal at the National Winter Ales Festival in Manchester for its Kings Old Ale, in the old ales and strong milds category.

Head Brewer Ian Burgess, who joined the WJ King team less than a year ago, leaving Harveys of Lewes where he brewed for 19 years, created this beer, which won the Champion Beer of Britain, London and South East Regional Beer in March 2010, taking it through to the national awards this week.

Said Ian Burgess: ‘After 30 years of brewing, this is my first ‘individual’ award and it is a tremendous honour and achievement after only 6 months of taking on my very own brew house. I accept this award as part of an amazing team surrounding me and I hope together we will have more awards to come and enjoy seeing customers across the South East of England enjoying WJ King’s traditional hand crafted ales.’

“Kings Old Ale is a multiple award winning dark brown Old Ale with an intense dry, coffee and slightly smoky aroma. There is a delicious and satisfying mouthfeel of silky viscosity before the taste of coffee and molasses covers your tastebuds. The aftertaste of liquorice from the malt and slight spice from the relatively light use of hops complements the preceding flavours very well and forms the perfect end to this beautiful beer.

Nigel Lambe, Chief Executive of WJ King, who together with Head Brewer Ian Burgess, bought the brewery in June last year, said: “We are excited to be winning awards so soon after taking on the brewery. Ian is a true master of brewing, so we are really lucky to be working with him and plan to bring out many more innovative and popular beers, like our Brighton Best, Horsham Best and Red River.”

With a 200 year tradition of brewing some of the most respected and enjoyed Sussex ales, WJ King has evolved into a new style of micro brewery, using only the finest natural and local ingredients and traditional brewing techniques to produce the finest quality local ales.

The brewery recently opened a Brewery shop at its Horsham address in Foundry Lane, selling a range of beers from single bottles up to 70 pint casks. It is open 9am-5pm on weekdays and 10 – 2 on Saturday, and their beers can also be bought online at www.kingbeer.co.uk.