A  south Norfolk brewery is toasting success after it created an award-winning ale that has twice impressed judges.

Grain Brewery in Alburgh has made history in The Society of Independent Brewers' Independent Beer Awards, taking home overall champion gold in the east region keg competition with its Slate Smoked Porter.

It follows the brewery taking the top spot with the same beer at the society's in cask awards last September.

The brewery's Slate Smoked Porter impressed judges again in the industry awards, held at the Legra Taproom & Kitchen in Leigh-on-Sea.

Phil Halls, owner/director of Grain Brewery, was on hand to accept the award.

"I am absolutely gobsmacked that we’ve won and I’m especially pleased because this exact same beer won the cask competition back in September, so it’s a double win and I think that might be a first anywhere in the UK," Mr Halls said.

"It’s a beer we’ve been brewing for about seven or eight years and one which we keep changing and tweaking to keep further improving it."

Diss Mercury: Beer connoisseurs sampling the beersBeer connoisseurs sampling the beers (Image: Submitted)

Mr Halls owed the success to a secret ingredient.

He said: "The secret ingredient really is the smoked malt that we bring over from Bamberg.

"The rest of it is Norfolk barley, but that smoked malt just gives it that extra edge that other beers don’t have - plus the hard, chalky Norfolk water which is great for brewing dark beers."

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The prestigious awards, run by the Society of Independent Brewers, were judged by brewers and beer experts and are seen very much as the brewers’ choice awards in the industry. 

Diss Mercury: The beer being surveyedThe beer being surveyed (Image: Submitted)

Buster Grant, from the society and Batemans Brewery and who presented the awards, said:  “Massive congratulations to Grain Brewery on taking home the overall gold for a second time.

"It's a very difficult thing to brew a beer which works so brilliantly when served on cask and keg, two very different ways of drinking beer, and something which I have never seen before in a SIBA competition."

Diss Mercury: Beaming smiles as the award is presentedBeaming smiles as the award is presented (Image: Submitted)Diss Mercury: Beer being meticulously gradedBeer being meticulously graded (Image: Submitted)