Horbury businesswoman says cheers for beer accolade

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A Horbury businesswoman will be raising a glass in celebration after being named Educator of the Year at the Imbibe Personality of the Year Awards held in London.

Annabel Smith picked up the accolade for her educational work in the beer industry, part of which has been through her own training and events company, BeerBelle.

Ms Smith, who is a member of The British Guild of Beer Writers, is a veteran of the industry, having previously held roles as a long term licensee in Yorkshire and as training manager at Diageo GB and The Cask Marque Trust. She was one of the first qualified beer sommeliers in the UK and is a founder member of Dea Latis, a group set up to make beer more appealing to women. Over the past two years, Ms Smith has undertaken a number of educational projects, most prominently with the industry wide ‘There’s a Beer for That’ campaign. She still acts as a training consultant for Cask Marque and heads up a team of nationwide trainers for them.

In an unusual twist, the judges awarded the educator accolade to two nominees, the other being Myles Cunliffe, from the Mixology Group.

Chris Losh, editor of Imbibe magazine, said: “Our first winner has made the journey from pub landlady to beer expert, and has a long-established track-record of making beer accessible for all. Whether as an educator or a regular guest on both radio and TV, she continues to use her passion, enthusiasm, and down to earth approach to inspire others. I was both delighted and stunned that the Imbibe judges had chosen to recognise a beer educator for another year running.”