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Scottish Beer Awards

Brewers pass the taste test as best beers honoured

Sonja Mitchell: prize for best non-alcoholic beer

A lochside brewery, fruit-flavoured ales and the country’s first non-alcoholic producer all featured among the winners in this year’s Scottish Beer Awards.

The 5th annual Scottish Beer Awards drew entries from 35 breweries and 314 brands which were blind-tasted by a judging panel of more than 30 expert tasters.

The results reveal 19 of the highest-rated beers in Scotland, judged purely on appearance, flavour and taste.

Loch Lomond Brewery was named Scottish Brewery of the Year after it trebled production, managed a detailed rebranding and built relationship with UK and online suppliers.

It also won the Excellence in Branding Competition, Best Pilsner Gold Medal for Electric Cafe and Silver in Amplified for Lost Monster.

Ferry Brewery, a small family-owned business in South Queensferry won Beer of the Year for Ferry Black, its liquorice porter.

Non and low alcohol beers featured for the first time, and the gold medal was awarded to Scotland’s first alcohol-free brewing company Jump Ship Brewing for its Yardarm lager.

Sonja Mitchell brewed the beer from her own recipe. It is gluten-free, vegan and lower in calories than standard beers.

A keen sailor, beer-lover and mother of three, she decided to ‘jump ship’ from her marketing job to launch the business last year. A crowdfunding campaign, supported by RBS BackHerBusiness, reached its target in only six days, raising £15,000.

Innis lager ad landscape

Innis & Gunn’s cheeky advertising encouraging drinkers to choose local brands

The Gold medal for Best Lager was won for the first time by Innis & Gunn Lager Beer, now one of the biggest selling lagers in Scotland.   

BrewDog, one of Scotland’s biggest brewers and a past winner, did not enter this year’s competition.

Hilary Jones, chair of the judging panel, commented: “Like most businesses, especially those involved with the hospitality sector, it has been a deeply difficult year for breweries.

“The great news is that despite multiple obstacles thrown their way in 2020, many Scottish breweries, more than just survived – they adapted and innovated. They have shown resilience, looked after their staff, and continued to produce high quality product despite a rapidly changing business market. 

“The Scottish Beer Awards has shown us once again the strength, skills and great people at the heart of our brewing sector and we are delighted to reward the best of them with deserved recognition and medals in advance of the all-important Christmas sales period.”

Graham Nicolson, group buying director, of Awards sponsor ALDI Scotland, commented: “The quality and diversity of Scottish beer continues to be applauded.  Congratulations to all the winners and we look forward to continuing our hard work together in 2021.” 

Over 200 people tuned in live to watch the digital broadcast of the awards winners in a special show broadcast from Glasgow, presented by comedian Des Clarke.

THE 2020 WINNERS IN FULL

Business Awards

2020 Scottish Brewery of the Year

Loch Lomond Brewery

Brewer of the Year

Craig Scotland, Stewart Brewing

Beer Destination of the Year

West Brewery Glasgow

Best Beer Bar

Portobello Tap, Portobello. Cross Borders Brewing

Excellence in Branding

Loch Lomond Brewery

Product Development Team of the Year

Windswept Brewing

Sales Team of the Year

71 Brewing

Taste Awards

BEER OF THE YEAR

Ferry Black Liquorice Porter 8% ABV, The Ferry Brewery

BEST AMBER OR DARK ALE

GOLD: Ferry Alt; The Ferry Brewery

SILVER: Pavlov’s Dog; Williams Bros Brewing Co

BRONZE: The J’Ale; Brew Toon


BEST AMPLIFIED BEER

GOLD Black; The Ferry Brewery

SILVER Lost Monster; Loch Lomond Brewery

BRONZE Very Big Moose, Fierce Beer.

BEST BARREL-AGED BEER

GOLD Barrel-Aged Imperial Cafe Racer; Fierce Beer

SILVER Bourbon Barrel-Aged Very Big Moose; Fierce Beer

BRONZE Nightmare of Cake; Drygate Brewing Co


BEST BRITISH-STYLE ALE

GOLD Fraoch; Williams Bros Brewing Co

SILVER Wolf; Windswept Brewing Co

BRONZE Belhaven Scottish Ale; Belhaven Brewery

BEST FRUITED SOUR BEER

GOLD Sour to the People; Brew Toon

SILVER  Trinitone (Raspberry) Blast; Drygate Brewing Co

BRONZE Origins Brewing – Acres; Fyne Ales

BEST FRUIT-FORWARD BEER

GOLD Raspberry Carronade; Brew Toon

SILVER Cranachan Killer; Fierce Beer

BRONZE Mango Unchained; Brew Toon


BEST IMPERIAL OR DOUBLE IPA

GOLD Fancy Juice; Fierce Beer

SILVER Big Yin; Overtone Brewing

BRONZE Sapien; Williams Bros Brewing Co


BEST IPA SPONSORED BY BREWERS SELECT

GOLD Split Shift; Fierce Beer

SILVER India Pale Ale; Cross Borders Brewing Company

BRONZE Hop Pinata; WooHa Brewing Company

BEST JUICY OR HAZY BEER

GOLD Southern Hemisphere; Overtone Brewing

SILVER Late Shift; Fierce Beer

BRONZE Northern Hemisphere; Overtone Brewing

BEST LAGER

GOLD Lager Beer; The Innis and Gunn Brewing Company

SILVER Craft Lager; Williams Bros Brewing Co

BRONZE Tennents Gluten Free Beer; Tennent Caledonian Breweries

BEST LOW OR NO ALCOHOL BEER

GOLD Yardarm Lager; Jump Ship Brewing

SILVER NIX; WEST Brewery

BRONZE Low; Barney’s Beer

BEST PALE ALE SPONSORED BY KEGSTAR

GOLD Kai Pai; Stewart Brewing

SILVER Winter Sunshine; Spey Valley Brewery

BRONZE Masterplan; Stewart Brewing

BEST PILSNER

GOLD Electric Café; Loch Lomond Brewery

SILVER Bohemian Pilsner; Bellfield Brewery

BRONZE Fierce Pilsner; Fierce Beer

BEST PORTER

GOLD Cafe Racer; Fierce Beer

SILVER Dirty Sanchez; Fierce Beer

BRONZE Leith Porter; Campervan Brewery

BEST SESSION BEER

GOLD Wanderlust; six°north

SILVER Heffen Heff; Fierce Beer

BRONZE Heidi-Weisse; WEST Brewery

BEST SOUR BEER

GOLD BA Hopocrisy; six°north

SILVER Fierce by Nature: Brett IPA; Fierce Beer

BRONZE Blood of Nidhoggr; Fierce Beer

Finalists

BEST SPECIALITY BEER

GOLD Bounty Like It; Reids Gold Brewing Company

SILVER Maple Pancake; Fierce Beer

BRONZE Transient 2 White IPA; Campervan Brewery

Finalists

BEST STOUT

GOLD Orinoco; Drygate Brewing Co

SILVER Chokka Blokka; Williams Bros Brewing Co

BRONZE Stout Keith; Keith Brewery



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