Scottish Beer Awards

New scheme to celebrate best of Scottish beer

Kirsten Scottish beer awards

The inaugural Scottish Beer Awards will include 16 categories acknowledging taste and business performance.

They will be judged by a judging panel consisting of some of Scotland’s foremost brewing and beer experts.

Eight categories in the taste section cover all beer types and will include Lager of the Year and IPA of the Year.

The business of brewing will also be recognised with eight awards in a section for business performance including Innovation, packaging and product development.

Two special awards, Master Brewer of the Year and the ultimate award, Scottish Brewery of the Year will be presented.

Brewers have until 2 May to register their entries before delivering their best brews for the tasting session.  The winners will be chosen at an all-day judging session in Edinburgh at the end of May which will be chaired by former S&N Director, Hilary Jones.

She said: “The Scottish Beer Awards will allow us to showcase the best of Scottish brewing on an annual basis. In gathering to celebrate our achievements we hope to unite the entire industry, large and small brewers alike, in a new and positive way.

“Scotland has an enviable position in the centuries-long tradition of brewing, but also in leading the way forward with new breweries emerging and some fantastic products hitting the shelves.

“These awards give us an opportunity to promote the best of Scottish beer while also recognising and celebrating in the success of the business of brewing.  It’s a tough industry to run and increasingly competitive but our finalists and winners will be given a marketing edge as they continue to grow sales at home and abroad.”

The categories have been designed with the consumer in mind.  They are simple, clear to understand and will appeal to the majority of the Scottish brewing market.

Ms Jones continued: “The business categories are intended to recognise important contributions by companies, old and new, towards the Scottish brewing industry as a whole. Finalists and winners stand to gain opportunity for great PR as well as potential new business from national and international customers.

“I encourage all brewing companies to come forward and enter their achievements and take advantage of the fantastic marketing and business growth potential which could result.”

The beer tastings will be carried out using a recognised judging process, hosted and managed by the leading sensory management company FlavorActiV, which delivers professional training services and tools to beverage producers and industry experts around the world, and also provides the world’s only GMP-quality flavour standards.

Finalists and winners will be presented with a custom made trophy and digital marketing package to enable personalised branding of winning beers to take place.

The finalists will be announced on the 10 June and the winners at a celebration dinner and event on 29 September at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange.

The awards programme is operated by Scottish PR & Events company, KDMedia.  To register entries visit

The categories in full:

Best Lager or Pilsner

Best Amber or Dark Lager

Best Pale Ale

Best IPA

Best British Style Ale

Best Amber or Dark Ale

Best Porter or Stout

Best Speciality Beer

Innovation of the Year

Beer Destination of the Year

Product Development Team of the Year

Exporter of the Year

Excellence in Marketing

Growth Business of the Year

Master Brewer of the Year

Scottish Brewery of the Year

The judging panel:

Alex Speers, Professor, Heriot Watt University

Alan Barclay

Andrew Ley, Partner, HBJ Gateley

Andrew Wolffe, Director, Wolffe Design

Bill Simpson, Executive Director, Cara Technology

Brian Eaton, Treasurer, IBD Scotland

Dave Stewart, MD, DM Stewart Ltd

Hilary Jones, Chair of the Judging Panel.

Ian Herok, Director, Still Brewing Company

Ruth Evans, CEO, BFBI

Sir Geoff Palmer MBE,Professor, Heriot Watt University

Tony McGrath, formerly S&N and Saltire Inns

Colin Johnston, Brewing Consultant, Maru Projects

Sean Murphy, Food & Drink Journalist

Dawn Maskell, Assistant Professor, Heriot Watt University

Judge moderator: Evelyne Canterranne, Global Sensory Manager, FlavorActiV

All awards articles in Daily Business require a fee. Details here 

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