Thank you to all those who entered the first Spruce Rising national competition. 
Watch out for details of Spruce Rising 2023!

The winners of the 2022 competition are:

  • 1st: Ken Barker
  • 2nd: James Sharpe
  • 3rd: Daren Fearson
  • Special Mention Alan Manley

We would like to thank our Sponsor The Malt Miller for the donation of the prizes for 2nd and 3rd place and of course JD and the team at Wild Weather giving the Ken Barker the opportunity to commercially brew his winning Spruce Beer!

As RAB has become closely associated with spruce-picking and experimenting with spruce tips in our beers (largely thanks to our good relationship with the fantastic Wild Weather and their head brewer, JD, who has been nurturing a passion for spruce beer since his home-brewing days), we’re planning to make our annual spruce homebrewing competition, open to all UK homebrewers.

This competition is BJCP-sanctioned, open to any amateur homebrewer and we will be accepting all beer styles – the only condition is that they must use some form of spruce in their production..

The winning beers will not only be excellent examples of their base-styles, but their use of spruce will showcase this unique ingredient and the characteristics it brings, e.g. citrus, pine, resin or even cola.

We think this will help spread the good word about spruce and, importantly, bring opportunities to our club members and the wider brewing community, not least being involved in a BJCP-sanctioned competition, and being involved in the judging and stewarding of a competition.


  • 25th May – Sign up opens to be a competition steward or a judge
  • 28th May – join us for Spruce Picking with Wild Weather and JD’s famous hospitality (details below).
  • 25th May – 2nd August – Competition entries are open – subject to availability (may close earlier if we reach 50 entries)
  • 4th July – 8th August – Entry drop-off window
  • 13-14th August – Judging
  • 14th August – Results Announced

How can you get involved and take part?

  • Join in the spruce-picking Saturday 28th May
  • Take part in the brewing competition – enter via the link below
  • Support with organising, logistics, judging or stewarding – send us a message.
  • Help spread the word in the homebrew community #sprucerising

Spruce Picking at Wild Weather – Saturday 28th May 2022

Well, if the Spruce Rising competition wasn’t incentive enough, this Saturday we are heading out to forage for Spruce with Wild Weather and JD’s famous hospitality (which we believe aids foraging productivity massively). 

We will be picking spruce for Wild Weather’s spruce brew, and picking up plenty of spruce for our own homebrew and with spare for those who cannot make it.

It’s a great day out and – tempting fate – the weather this year is even meant to be good!  Obligatory reminder to bring hats and sun-protection (and check the forecast!).

The Spruce Bus will leave the Weather Station Taproom, at 10.30am and return around 4.30-5.00pm. Please let us know ASAP if you would like a place on the bus.

Otherwise, if you’re making your own way there, please meet at Wild Weather Brewery for 11.30am, when  we’ll be heading into the forest – Benyon’s Enclosure in Englefield Estate.

Wild Weather Brewery – Easter Park, 19, Benyon Rd, Reading, RG7 2PQ