Raise the Bar

Raise the Bar

The platform for untapped talent.

We are Beer
Raise the Bar 2023 sponsored by:

We Are Beer

Our festivals began as a showcase for some of the world’s most exciting breweries, all brought together in one place for beer lovers to enjoy. Since the first event in London in 2013, the family has grown to include Bristol Craft Beer Festival, and our newest festival Manchester Craft Beer Festival. Each festival brings its own unique line-up of beers, music and food to thousands of people over one weekend. This year, we expect to see 30,000 people through the doors across our 3 festivals.

Since the very beginning, we’ve worked with emerging breweries to spread the word about their amazing beers. From Beavertown to Verdant, we’ve worked hard to be a platform for talented brewers all over the world, and today, many established craft breweries approach us to help them launch their products into new markets through our festivals.

Since it’s conception 2018 Raise The Bar has been a platform to help launch Burnt Mill, Turning Point, Pastore, Beak, Drop Project and many other fantastic young brewers.

Raise The Bar is back, and we want you.


Raise the Bar is a national and international competition looking for the best new breweries in the UK and beyond. You send us your beer samples, our panel of expert judges will taste them, and we choose four winners. These four winners will go on to pour alongside the industry’s best at, Bristol, Manchester and London Craft Beer Festivals. We’re sure you’ll agree, this is a great opportunity.

But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what previous Raise the Bar winners had to say about their experiences…

Turning Point

We're always super proud to showcase our beers, but to get the call that we'd won was something else entirely! We were following the Instagram posts of the judges quite closely so knew there was some tough competition.

Send beer you're proud of. It's also clear that the competition was based on quality of style, not just sending the most heavily hopped IPA or sweetest stout. The judges were clearly looking for something more refined and balanced. If you've made a great table beer, lager... be confident in your brewing and send those.


Winning Raise the Bar was a massive boost for Pastore, in getting our brand and beers out in front of knowledgeable drinkers in some of the country's biggest craft cities, and in making us part of the craft beer conversation. And as if that wasn't enough, it was a such a pleasure getting to know the WeAreBeer team.

The Judges

How to Enter

1. Be a brewery that has brewed commercially for less than five years.*

*(Originally this was three years but what with the COVID years, we’ve extended this to five.)

2. Fill out the entry form (click the button below), and we'll provide an address to send the beers to.

3. The panel of judges will taste the beers.

4. Four breweries will be invited to attend all three of our festivals, and be a press and social media feature for each event.

The closing date for entries is 13 April 2023.

Entries are now closed

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Raise the Bar

Raise the Bar

The platform for untapped talent.

We are Beer
Raise the Bar 2023 sponsored by:


We’re looking for new breweries with something extraordinary to offer. The UK's brewing sector is becoming more and more crowded, but we want this to be a platform and shine a light on those who are at the start of something incredible.

This year, we’ve changed the criteria to allow breweries to enter who have been brewing commercially for less than five years. Previously, this used to be 3 years but when we consider those covid years, it made sense to extend the parameters.

Additionally, for the first time, we’ve opened up a spot to international brewers that have been brewing for 5 years or less. With the criteria that they will be able to send beer for judging, send beer for the festivals and attend the events in person.

When you enter, we want you to tell us a bit about yourself and your vision, send us beers that really tell your story, and you could be pouring your beers at three of the country's best craft beer festivals this summer.

In 2022, we sold a total of over twenty thousand tickets across our three festivals, all of whom are crazy about discovering the next big thing. This year, we’re expecting to exceed thirty thousand people. That’s thirty thousand potential customers, drinking your beer, and telling everyone they know about it.

Vault City

The exposure to all the areas of the UK where we would never have been able to reach by ourselves at such an early stage. It was also amazing to be able to mix with other brewers who could give us tonnes of great advice.

Jenn Merrick

Former head brewer at Beavertown and founder of community brewing project, Earth Station, Jenn is now managing director at Big Smoke Brew Co. Jenn brings a wealth of expertise and industry experience to the table.



We Are Beer founder and all-round craft beer expert.


Joanne Love

Joanne Love is the assistant events manager for BarthHaas X, a Certified Cicerone®, podcast host and beer educator. She is honoured to support upcoming breweries to spread the word to new markets and help their businesses thrive.


Jonny Garrett

Jonny Garrett is the founder of Youtube’s Craft Beer Channel, staff writer at Good Beer Hunting and author of three books, with this most recent titled ‘A Year in Beer’. He won British Beer Writer of the Year in 2019 and most recently won Best Beer Broadcaster in 2021.



Jaega is the head brewer at Wild Card Brewery and won Brewer of the Year in 2018. She is a beer sommelier and international beer judge. Jaega is also a presenter at BBC Food Programme, The Wine Show, and most recently presented alongside James Blunt on Beer Masters.


Melissa Boyes

Melissa has worked for Vulcan Inspection Services for many years helping customers keep their plant & machinery safe and compliant. She enjoys getting out to visit craft breweries in her role and in her spare time loves getting out with her camera and trying to combine the two activities (although she’s also partial to a craft gin or vodka).