A WIRRAL brewery has claimed the top accolade after entering its latest cask beer in a North-West competition.

Birkenhead-based Peerless Brewing Company’s Peerless Pale was hailed the champion standard bitter for the region with a gold award at the Society of Independent Brewers' North West Region beer competition – a leading beer industry contest.

The triumph comes just in time to celebrate the fourth birthday of the fast growing Pool Street brewery.

Held at the SIBA North West Beer Festival at Hawkshead Brewery in Staveley, Cumbria, the contest judged more than 40 entries for the standard bitters class (less than 4%abv strength) from some of the region's top breweries.

The winning beer, which was only launched in January, will now be judged at the SIBA National Beer Competition in Sheffield next March.

Celebrating the win, Peerless' managing director Steve Briscoe said: "This is yet more terrific recognition from our peers that we are brewing top class cask ale.

"It is the fourth consecutive year that we have won at the contest, so this is another very happy birthday for Peerless.

"With are especially delighted to win with a beer that is less than a year old.

"The standard bitters class is the most fiercely fought with beers from many top award-winning brewers such as Cumbria's own Coniston and Hawkshead.

"In fact Peerless Pale was inspired by Hawkshead’s Windermere Pale, a brew which we much admire, so we are particularly pleased to win in Cumbria."

Peerless Jinja Ninja also saw success to claim silver for the Speciality Bottled Beers.

Steve Briscoe added: "Jinja Ninja already has a great track record of awards, but it is wonderful to win another.

"We have had an excellent fourth year and these awards will give a further boost to our plans for growth in our fifth year."