19th April 2022

Cranstons’ Spencer Allison named UK Young Butcher of the Year and Bacon named best in Britain at Smithfield Star Awards

A butcher from Cumbria has been been named ‘Young Butcher of the Year’. Spencer Allison, (age 22), from Cranstons Butcher & Maker picked up the award from the Q Guild of Butchers at Butchers Hall in London last week.

Spencer who was described as having ‘a real passion for both butchery and customer service’ and ‘a bundle of positive energy’ stood out to judges with his glowing testimonials from customers and staff. Spencer was presented with the award by much-loved restaurateur and Michelin star chef Angela Hartnett OBE.

Cranstons, which has food halls and shops across the county, also picked up the award in the Q Guild’s Smithfield Star Awards for best bacon with its Best Dry Cured Back Bacon, in what is widely recognised as the meat trade’s most high profile and challenging product evaluation.

Organised by the Q Guild of Butchers, the prestigious awards which have run for more than 30 years, recognise and reward the UK’s finest craft butchery products including Traditional Pork Sausage, Best Burgers, Gluten-Free Product, Best Bacon, BBQ Product and Black Pudding.

Products are evaluated using a 1, 2 and 3 star rating system by a panel of independent industry judges, with all 3 star products in each category then pitched against each for the category champion Diamond Award.

Described by judges as ‘perfect’ and unanimously scoring ten out of ten from all the panel, Cranstons’ bacon beat six other finalists to secure the top spot and the coveted Diamond Award. Cranstons also made the final shortlist in four other categories with their Topside & Cheddar Burger, Whole Butterflied Chicken with Garlic & Herb Glaze, Black Pudding Links, and Traditional Large Jellied Pork Pie which all achieved three star status – the highest possible rating.

Gordon Wallace, Q Guild Manager said: “Our Young Butcher of the Year Award is a very prestigious accolade. All this year’s entrants were of a very high standard, however Spencer really stood out to the judges, combining both the skills to create a new product with the ability to then market and sell this to customers. We were also delighted to present Cranstons with their award for best bacon which is a fantastic endorsement of their products.”

Spencer Allison of Cranstons who won the Young Butcher of the Year award said: “I’m really happy to have won this very prestigious award, it’s a real privilege, especially considering the competition. I’ve been working in the industry since I was 16 and have worked my way up, developing my skills in various different areas. Moving forwards, I’m passionate about product development and also the customer side of the business.”

Peter Potts of Cranstons, said: “It was great to be back at a Q Guild event again, and to see so many people who are passionate about this industry. We’re really pleased to have the won the award for Best Bacon. We take locally farmed pork and dry cure it traditionally with a salt and sugar rub, a lot of care goes into the whole process. There’s no shrinkage and it has a really fantastic flavour.”

A family run butchers for more than 100 years, Cranstons has four food halls in the region along with two shops in Penrith and Hexham. Cranstons prides itself on its long standing relationships with local farmers and have full control from field to counter. They also deliver nationwide. For more info visit