THE team at Fixed Wheel Brewery are celebrating after their namesake stout was awarded the Champion Winter Beer of Britain by real ale fans.

The Long Lane brewery's 'Blackheath Stout' was judged to be the best winter beer in the country by CAMRA judges at the Great British Beer Festival Winter in Birmingham.

Scott Povey, who owns Fixed Wheel Brewery alongside his partner Sharon, said: "I'm just really shocked. It's amazing news for us, fantastic! Blackheath Stout is the first beer we brewed, and is named after where we're based. We're really pleased to see it get the recognition it deserves - we'll probably have to brew it a bit more now! Thank you to all the judges for voting for us."

The festival, held for the first time in the West Midlands, is expected to attract hundreds of real ale fans from across the UK to showcase the best traditional winter brews in the country.

The award followed a year of local tasting panels and regional heats.

Sarah Newson, a judge on the panel said of the stout: “It’s particularly well-balanced, slightly sweet but full bodied but with a satisfying finish. A winner on many levels.”

Gary Timmins, CAMRA’s National Director responsible for the competition, added: “Congratulations to Fixed Wheel for winning the Champion Winter Beer of Britain award, which is one of the highest accolades in the beer world.

“I would like to thank all the judges for their hard work and commend the brewers on the high quality of beers tasted. It was a very close competition and a well deserved win!”

Fixed Wheel was not the only Black Country brewery to find national success in Birmingham, with Fownes Brewery, based in Brierley Hill, winning silver in the Champion Porter of Britain for their King Korvak Saga porter.

The Great British Beer Festival Winter runs until Saturday, February 8 at the New Bingley Hall in Birmingham.