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Jersey's Liberation Group in Brewer of the Year final

23 February 10 15:12 GMT

A Channel Island brewery has reached the Regional Brewer of the Year final for the first time in its history.

The Liberation Group, which took over Jersey Brewery in 2008 is the UK's most southerly brewer.

It will compete against four other finalists in April, including Cornwall's St Austell Brewery which currently holds the title.

The group owns 67 pubs and restaurants in the Channel Islands - 43 in Jersey, 22 in Guernsey and two in Alderney.

Jersey Brewery, which was established in about 1870, continued to brew beer during World War I and throughout the German occupation in World War II.

'Highest accolade'

Liberation's chief executive Mark Crowther described the awards as the "Oscars" of the pub world.

"Winning a Publican Award is one of the highest possible accolades and to be shortlisted alongside brewing giants like Fullers and St Austell Brewery is an achievement in itself," he said.

The other finalists are Wells and Young's in Bedford and Hook Norton in Oxfordshire.

The awards were first set up in 1992 by the Publican, a weekly magazine produced for the licensed trade.

Last May the brewery launched Liberation Ale, a cask-conditioned real ale which was named Champion Beer at Jersey's CAMRA beer festival.

It is due to be exported to the UK later this year.

The finals will be held on 21 April in London.

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