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Award with chaser for Alastair.

Byline: By Rhodri Phillips

The Journal's beer columnist Alastair Gilmour has beaten off competition from authors, TV, radio and national-newspaper journalists to win two top awards.

Alastair, 55, a married father of one, was named The British Guild of Beer Writers' Writer of the Year at a ceremony in The Barbican, London, on Wednesday. Earlier in the evening he had become the guild's Regional Writer of the Year.

The two prizes are the latest in a long line of honours for Alastair, who in May last year took the title of regional writer of the year at the Glenfiddich Food and Drink awards. He said: "I was thrilled enough with the regional award. It proves you are doing your job. It shows you are serving your readers better than anybody else.

"To win the overall national award was a shock. It is pleasing to know you are the best in the country and to beat off competition from the nationals, TV and radio."

Alastair submitted 12 pieces, including features on Redburn Brewery, Bardon Mill, Tynedale, and Durham Brewery's award-winning bottled beers. He was praised by the judges for the breadth of subject matter and the way he conveyed his detailed knowledge to his readers.

The Journal's editor Brian Aitken said: "Alastair is a fantastically-talented writer, who is in the enviable position of being able to write about something he loves so much. This is not the first national award he has picked up and I am sure it will not be the last."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 9, 2005
Words:253
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