A BRAINTREE brewery's award-winning bitter has been named the second best in the country according to industry experts.

Bishop Nick scooped the Champion Beer of Britain award on Wednesday, August 8, at the Great British Beer Festival at London's Olympia.

The East Street brewery's ale Ridley's Rite won silver in the hotly contested bitters category and went on to win silver overall in the awards, judged by Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) experts.

Ridley's Rite also won silver at the Champion Beers of East Anglia competition last year.

Neilton Ridley, whose family have produced ales for 163 years, said: "It is quite a traditional beer and it is heavily based on the old Ridley's IPA recipe.

"I wanted to create an unchallenging bitter. It is by far our best selling beer and it makes up round about 50 per cent of the beer sales."

Bishop Nick was established in Felsted in 2011 before moving to expanded premises in Braintree in 2013.

Mr Ridley collected the awards on behalf of his small team of seven during the ceremony at the event in London.

He said “It is very rewarding to receive recognition for our beers by the industry and I’m proud of my team who work with passion to create them.

"The fact that the panel ‘blind taste’ the beers is particularly gratifying because it eliminates any prejudice from the competition and we know the beers stand up.”

The name Bishop Nick comes from one of the family's most notable ancestors, Bishop Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London, who was burnt at the stake by Queen Mary in 1555 for his religious beliefs.

Mr Ridley said: "We are beginning to pick up awards but we are still growing.

"There is a lot of choice out there for drinkers now. As a sector it is going through a slight decline but we are seeing it become more difficult for the big guns and more focus on craft breweries."

Visit www.bishopnick.com.