Scottish Beer Awards: Edinburgh brewers among this year's big winners

Four breweries from Edinburgh scooped major awards last night (27 September) at the third annual Scottish Beer Awards.

Edinburgh breweries won big at this year's Scottish Beer Awards. Picture: Gerardo Jaconelli

Nearly 400 guests from across the UK brewing industry gathered to hear news on award winners following an extensive judging process which has been running since February.

Edinburgh’s Stewart Brewing were presented with the ultimate award of the night, Scottish Brewery of the Year, after a phenomenal year of growth in turnover, exports and product development. 

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While the Edinburgh Beer Factory took home the Beer Destination of the Year and Breakthrough Brewery of the Year awards, while Barney’s - which is based at Summerhall - took home the Product Development Team of the Year award and three taste medals.

Stewart Brewing celebrating their Brewery of the Year win. Picture: Gerardo Jaconelli

Innis and Gunn, which originated in the capital, were the other big winner on the night, taking the titles in the Excellence in Marketing and Emerging Brewer of the Year - won by brewer Jonathan Robinson - categories. They also took home the gold medal for Best Session Beer.

Robinson, known as Digger to the industry, was praised by the judging panel for his passion and commitment to the sector and specifically towards his role as a young brewer in a rapidly growing business.

Founder Dougal Sharp also narrowly lost out to Scott Williams of Williams Brothers Brewing Co. in the Master Brewer of the Year category.

Lothian brewery Eyeball Brewing took home the silver medal in the Lager or Pilsner category for their Eyeball Yellow.

Hilary Jones, chair of the judging panel commented; “Now in its third year, the Scottish Beer Awards is an eagerly awaited celebration firmly fixed in the UK brewing calendar. With a proven record of inclusivity and collaboration across the whole sector, these awards are truly representative of an exciting industry making first class products.

“To see so many breweries, both large and small, triumph this evening is hugely encouraging and a sign of the growing success of Scottish companies in the world of brewing.”

The awards were presented for both business performance and taste, with nearly 300 Scottish beers presented into the blind tasting competition conducted by drinks production company Cara Technology.

Fierce Beer from Aberdeen, were the big winners in the hotly contended taste categories, taking home a total of four gold medals and one silver medal.

While 2017 champions and fellow Aberdeenshire brewing giants BrewDog enjoyed further success this year winning a total of six medals across the IPA, Barrel Aged, Stout and Amplified Beers categories.

The surprise winner of the night was in the Beer of the Year category, with the award going to Belhaven’s Grapefruit IPA. 

This year’s competition saw the introduction of a new category, created in collaboration with headline sponsors, ALDI to recognise emerging talent.

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