Students chase prestigious Belgium beer trophy

Published: 15 March 2012 at 11:24

Oakham Ales roll out the barrel to help Anglia Ruskin team ahead of final

Two Anglia Ruskin University students are swapping the lecture hall for a brewery as they aim to win a prestigious international business competition.

Paula Albinana (BA Business Management) and Alena Linhartova (BA International Business Strategy) have won through to the final of the AB Inbev Best Beer Competition in Belgium on April 3.

The competition is to design a concept and brand for a new beer, but Paula and Alena plan to steal a march on their rivals by arriving at AB Inbev’s headquarters in Leuven with a barrel of CB, their new beer.

Oakham Ales, based in Peterborough, have been so impressed by the concept and recipe for CB that they will be brewing 25 barrels this Friday [16 March].  The students have already secured distribution deals for the beer across Cambridge, including with local CAMRA Pub of the Year The Cambridge Blue.

Production Director at Oakham Ales, John Bryan, said:

“We’re delighted to brew Alena and Paula’s entry for the Best Beer Competition.  We’ve worked closely with them to translate their idea into a real beer with a distinctive flavour and character.”

CB is a low ABV ale (2.8%) with hints of peach and passion fruit designed specifically to attract young female drinkers to the ale category.  However, the subtle fruit flavour is achieved by combining specific hops, rather than any additional flavouring.

Paula, who is from Ontinyent, near Valencia, in Spain, said:

“Traditional ale has a masculine image but light, sweet and fruity flavours can be created that are very appealing to women.
“We’re using a New Zealand hop called Pacific Jade, which on its own tastes a little like Orangina, but when brewed together with a hop from the United States, called Galaxy, it produces a peach and passion fruit flavour.
“We think there’s definitely a gap in the market for this kind of beer, which is a proper real ale but with a very low alcohol content.  I think it will appeal not only to women but also students who like to have a drink but don’t want to be hungover in their lectures the next morning!”

Tim Froggett, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Anglia Ruskin, said:

“I’m delighted with what Alena and Paula have achieved because they have taken this from a theoretical competition to an actual product, which is being brewed and then sold in Cambridge pubs.
“It’s a great concept and it’s lovely that there’s the link to Cambridge through the name and the logo.  The students have done really well so far and hopefully the judges in Belgium will love the beer when they get the chance to taste it next month.”