The shortlisting process has begun for the fifteenth Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards, with 21 of the county’s best artisan food and drink products announced as finalists. They will now compete for Gold, Silver, and Bronze in their respective categories.
J Sweeney Accountants have joined sponsors Heygates and Daily Bread to support the three artisan producer categories: Artisan Local Drink, Artisan Local Product and Artisan Local Vegetarian/Vegan Product. The artisan classification includes products from companies that make a high-quality or distinctive product in small quantities, usually by hand or using traditional methods.
Park Inn by Radisson Northampton, new associate sponsors, hosted the Artisan Local Drink judging. The judges were amazed by the range of drinks available in the county, when asked to shortlist to between three and five products could not reduce the number of finalists to less than seven.
”I’m delighted about getting through to the finals as this was our apprentice brewer Josh’s first solo recipe for us. It was supposed to be a one-off but it’s proven so popular it has been added to our permanent range of real ales. To have a new recipe performing as well as our traditional recipes gives us security for the future of Phipps.”
The judges at Northampton Active for the Artisan Local Product shortlisting were wowed by the international influence and wide range of products that had been shortlisted, while Eat Curious, last year’s winner of Artisan Local Vegetarian/Vegan Product, provided a scenic venue at Horton for judging this year’s entries.
Rachel Mallows MBE DL, Awards Director, said:
“Across all three categories, judges reported it was such a hard decision and could not meet my maximum five shortlist. Not only were the products and drinks wide ranging but every judging session had feedback about the exceptional taste. We were so pleased that entries in each category were at least 30% new producers to the awards.”
The finalists for Artisan Local Drink of the Year, sponsored by J Sweeney Accountants are: Bearly Organised – Paw Another Light Session Mead; Mee Farmers – 100% Blueberry Juice; Phipps Northampton Brewery Co Ltd – Phipps Foundry Mild; Silverstone Distillery – Club 80 Navy Strength Gin; Three Hills Brewing – Heidrun session NEIPA; Wild & Furrow – oat drink; Winwick Hall Bruce Green Limited – Winwick Hall Methode Champenoise.
The finalists in the Artisan Local Product of the Year, sponsored by Heygates are: Duston Village Bakery – Steak Pasty; Friars Farm – Lemon Curd; Hamm Tun Fine Foods – Shoetown Blue; Made by the Beekeeper – New Lodge Vineyard Chilli Honey; F.F Tee Bakery – Northampton Cheesecake; The Boughton Estate – Boughton Estate Homemade Honey; Your Cool – coffee ice-cream.
Finalists for the Artisan Local Vegetarian/Vegan Product of the Year, sponsored by Daily Bread are: Dovely Bakery – Rose Cottage Multi Seed Loaf; Hamm Tun Fine Foods – Northamptonshire Blue; Mill House at the Old Stable Yard Tearoom – Strawberry & Rose Cake; Shoots & Spores – Fresh Oyster Mushrooms; Sophisticake Creations – Carrot, Parsnip & Pecan Cake; The Tollemache Arms – Harrington Wild Garlic Butter; Urban Microgreens – Salad Mix.
The winners and runners-up in each category will be decided by a second stage judging process and winners will be announced on August 4 at The Daily Bread.