The 5th annual Scottish Beer Awards results

beer glass

beer glassSCOTLAND’S BEST BEERS OF 2020 REVEALED

The national awards programme for Scottish brewing has revealed the names of the best beers brewed in Scotland this year as part of its annual competition.

The 5th annual Scottish Beer Awards, sponsored by Aldi, has released its list of winning beers following a wide ranging competition which involved 35 breweries and 314 beers, all made in Scotland, which were blind tasted by an expert judging panel of over 30 expert tasters.

The ultimate award of the competition, Scottish Brewery of the Year, went to Loch Lomond Brewery, after a year in which they trebled production with a new brewery, managed a detailed rebranding and built relationship with UK and online suppliers. In addition, they won the Excellence in Branding competition and scooped a Gold Medal in the Amplified Beer category for Lost Monster and a Silver Medal for their Pilsner, Electric Café.

The Gold medal for Best Lager was won for the first time by Innis & Gunn Lager Beer, its first ever product and now one of the biggest selling Lagers in Scotland. In Best IPA, Fierce Beer collected one of its 4 Gold Medals for Split Shift. But it was a small family owned brewery in South Queensferry which won Beer of the Year. Ferry Brewery won the award for the highest scoring beer in the competition for Ferry Black, its Liquorice Porter with a punchy ABV of 8%.

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.”

Sponsors of the competition, Aldi who in their fifth year as headline sponsor, vowed to continue their support to enable brewers to make the most of medals after a difficult year. Graham Nicolson, Group Buying Director, ALDI Scotland, commented:

“ALDI have been title sponsors of the Scottish Beer Awards since its beginnings 5 years ago and we are pleased to be working with so many of the brewers who have been recognised in this year’s competition. It has been a difficult year, but we are proud to have been able to support Scottish breweries by working in partnership with them to progress sales and satisfy growing demand from our valued customers.

“The quality and diversity of Scottish beer continues to be applauded and we are delighted to offer our customers a growing range of interesting and popular beers at all our Scottish stores. 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 Des Clarke. The event included live interviews with winners in breweries across the country and guests were able to network via specially designed chat functions.

The event concluded a challenging year for the competition when the business panel had to assess written entries and make decisions as a panel via Zoom. In the taste competition, judges were invited to taste in pairs in series of live socially distanced sessions which were compliant with the COVID guidance for hospitality.

scottish beer awards

THE 2020 WINNERS IN FULL

Business Awards

2020 Scottish Brewery of the Year sponsored by ALDI
Loch Lomond Brewery

Brewer of the Year sponsored by Close Brothers Brewery Rentals
Craig Scotland, Stewart Brewing

Beer Destination of the Year
West Brewery Glasgow

Best Beer Bar
Portobello Tap, Portobello. Cross Borders Brewing.

Excellence in Branding sponsored by Rankin Brothers & Sons
Loch Lomond Brewery

Product Development Team of the Year sponsored by Muntons
Windswept Brewing

Sales Team of the Year sponsored by The Brewers Association of Scotland
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

Finalists
Highlander; Fyne Ales
Inveralmond Brewery Lia Fail; The Innis and Gunn Brewing Company
Rivet Red; 71 Brewing
Vital Spark; Fyne Ales

BEST AMPLIFIED BEER SPONSORED BY CARA TECHNOLOGY

GOLD Black; The Ferry Brewery
SILVER Lost Monster; Loch Lomond Brewery
BRONZE Very Big Moose, Fierce Beer.

Finalists:
AlmondHill; The Ferry Brewery
Auld Toon; six°north
Big Joe; Overtone Brewing
Immovable Object; Drygate Brewing Co
Jim’s Treble; Williams Bros Brewing Co
Marshmallow Milk Stout; Barney’s Beer
Old Jock Scotch Ale; Broughton Ales
VP04; The Innis and Gunn Brewing Company

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

Finalists
Lost in Leith 1 Barley Wine; Campervan Brewery
Lost in Leith 2 Raspberry Baltic Porter; Campervan Brewery
Lost in Leith 3 Irish Coffee Baltic Porter; Campervan Brewery
Ol’ Seamus; Barney’s Beer
Origins Brewing – Elegy; Fyne Ales
Origins Brewing – Expedition II; Fyne Ales
Over the sea to Skye; Cuillin Brewery
Tennents Whisky Oak Aged; Tennent Caledonian Breweries
The Original; The Innis and Gunn Brewing Company
Uisge Beatha Stout; Spey Valley Brewery
Wolf of Glen Moray; Windswept Brewing Co

BEST BRITISH-STYLE ALE

GOLD Fraoch; Williams Bros Brewing Co
SILVER Wolf; Windswept Brewing Co
BRONZE Belhaven Scottish Ale; Belhaven Brewery

Finalists:
Blonde; Windswept Brewing Co
Edinburgh Gold; Stewart Brewing
G40; WEST Brewery
Inveralmond Brewery Ossian; The Innis and Gunn Brewing Company
Maverick; Fyne Ales
Stewart’s 80/-; Stewart Brewing

BEST FRUITED SOUR BEER

GOLD Sour to the People; Brew Toon
SILVER Trinitone (Raspberry) Blast; Drygate Brewing Co
BRONZE Origins Brewing – Acres; Fyne Ales

Finalists
Blueberry And Pomegranate Sour; Overtone Brewing
Caught By The Fuzz; 71 Brewing
Cherry Crush; Brew Toon
Fierce By Nature: Wild Bramble Sour; Fierce Beer
Jam Slam; 71 Brewing
Mimosa; Campervan Brewery
Mirabelle Plum And Ginger Gose; Overtone Brewing
Oh Ya Bassa; Winton Brewery
Trinitone (Grapefruit) Blast; Drygate Brewing Co

BEST FRUIT-FORWARD BEER

GOLD Raspberry Carronade; Brew Toon
SILVER Cranachan Killer; Fierce Beer
BRONZE Mango Unchained; Brew Toon

Finalists
Big Blue ; Stewart Brewing
Disco Forklift Truck; Drygate Brewing Co
Hoppy Botanist; Campervan Brewery
Mangoes on the Run; The Innis and Gunn Brewing Company
Otis; Williams Bros Brewing Co and ALDI
Raspberry Ripple; Brew Toon
Raspberry Sun; Reids Gold Brewing Company
Rubus; Williams Bros Brewing Co and ALDI
Stooty Fruity; Winton Brewery
Wit Man!; Overtone Brewing

BEST IMPERIAL OR DOUBLE IPA

GOLD Fancy Juice; Fierce Beer
SILVER Big Yin; Overtone Brewing
BRONZE Sapien; Williams Bros Brewing Co

Finalists
Black Rain; Loch Lomond Brewery
Double Joker IPA; Williams Bros Brewing Co
D-Up; The Ferry Brewery
Unstoppable Force; Drygate 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

Finalists
Anti-Establishment IPA; ALDI UK
Big Sur West Coast IPA; Overtone Brewing
Bravehop; Loch Lomond Brewery
Gladeye IPA; Drygate Brewing Co
Hare of the Dog; Hurly Burly Brewery
Hip Pop; Stewart Brewing
Hopo 6.2 IPA; Broughton Ales
Hothead IPA; Stewart Brewing
Klute; Williams Bros Brewing Co and ALDI
Pale Keith; Keith Brewery
Radical Road; Stewart Brewing
Roubaix; six°north
Studio 54; Williams Bros Brewing Co
Tin Man; Williams Bros Brewing Co
Tornado; Windswept Brewing Co

BEST JUICY OR HAZY BEER

GOLD Southern Hemisphere; Overtone Brewing
SILVER Late Shift; Fierce Beer
BRONZE Northern Hemisphere; Overtone Brewing

Finalists
Citra Ekuanot New England IPA; Cross Borders Brewing Company
Ferry American; The Ferry Brewery
Hazy IPA; Stewart Brewing
Lotus Oat Cream NEIPA; Overtone Brewing
Luminous Lights ; 71 Brewing
Oatmeal Pale Ale; Cross Borders Brewing Company
Southern Summit; Loch Lomond Brewery
Spey’s Software ; Spey Valley Brewery
Yippie IPA; St Andrews Brewing Company
Zoom Time; Loch Lomond Brewery

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

Finalists
Bearface Lager; Drygate Brewing Co
Craft Lager; Bellfield Brewery
Franz; Stewart Brewing
Grape and Grain; Reids Gold Brewing Company
Hopo Blonde Gluten Free Lager; Broughton Ales
Munich Red; WEST Brewery
St Mungo; WEST Brewery
Stewart’s Lager; Stewart Brewing
Tennents Lager; Tennent Caledonian Breweries
Tennents Light Lager; Tennent Caledonian Breweries
WEST 4; WEST Brewery

BEST LOW OR NO ALCOHOL BEER

GOLD Yardarm Lager; Jump Ship Brewing
SILVER NIX; WEST Brewery
BRONZE Low; Barney’s Beer

Finalists
Designated Driver; Reids Gold Brewing Company
Hop 0%; Broughton Ales

BEST PALE ALE SPONSORED BY KEGSTAR

GOLD Kai Pai; Stewart Brewing
SILVER Winter Sunshine; Spey Valley Brewery
BRONZE Masterplan; Stewart Brewing

Finalists
90 Mile Pale; Overtone Brewing
Cloud Fall; 71 Brewing
Hollyrood; Stewart Brewing
North Sea Haar; Reids Gold Brewing Company
Pale Ale ; St Andrews Brewing Company
Peelywally; Winton Brewery
Small Giant; Stewart Brewing
Southern Summit; Loch Lomond Brewery
TA; The Organic Laundry-Hidden Lane Brewery
Talking Head; Williams Bros Brewing Co

BEST PILSNER

GOLD Electric Café; Loch Lomond Brewery
SILVER Bohemian Pilsner; Bellfield Brewery
BRONZE Fierce Pilsner; Fierce Beer

Finalists
1814; Spey Valley Brewery
Caesar Augustus; Williams Bros Brewing Co
Pilsner; Cross Borders Brewing Company

BEST PORTER

GOLD Cafe Racer; Fierce Beer
SILVER Dirty Sanchez; Fierce Beer
BRONZE Leith Porter; Campervan Brewery

Finalists:
Coffee Porter; Windswept Brewing Co
Glasgow Porter; Out of Town Brewing
Midnight Sun; Williams Bros Brewing Co
Rauch n Roll; WooHa Brewing Company
Sugar Bush; The Ferry Brewery
The Shortie; Brewgooder / Ardberg

BEST SESSION BEER

GOLD Wanderlust; six°north
SILVER Heffen Heff; Fierce Beer
BRONZE Heidi-Weisse; WEST Brewery

Finalists
Birds & Bees; Williams Bros Brewing Co
Echelon ; six°north
Green Monkey Wheat; Reids Gold Brewing Company
Hurricane; Windswept Brewing Co
IPA; St Andrews Brewing Company
Jarl; Fyne Ales
Kvltvre; Barney’s Beer
Leith Juice; Campervan Brewery
Omnium; six°north
Perfect Storm; Williams Bros Brewing Co and ALDI
Session IPA; Stewart Brewing
Wee Braw; Cross Borders Brewing Company

BEST SOUR BEER

GOLD BA Hopocrisy; six°north
SILVER Fierce by Nature: Brett IPA; Fierce Beer
BRONZE Blood of Nidhoggr; Fierce Beer

Finalists
Exhale; six°north
Flemish Black; six°north
Inhale; six°north
Origins Brewing – Home 3-Year Blend 2018; Fyne Ales
Sour Red Rye; Barney’s Beer
Unfinished Symphony; Drygate Brewing Co
Zest Life; six°north

BEST SPECIALITY BEER

GOLD Bounty Like It; Reids Gold Brewing Company
SILVER Maple Pancake; Fierce Beer
BRONZE Transient 2 White IPA; Campervan Brewery

Finalists
Belgian Saison; The Ferry Brewery
Bombini; six°north
Brevet; six°north
Coco Noco; Drygate Brewing Co
Coconut Cookie; Reids Gold Brewing Company
Eskimo Joe; Fierce Beer
Ethiopian Coffee IPA; Overtone Brewing
Great White; Loch Lomond Brewery
Hi-Hefe; The Ferry Brewery
Last Sheep Sheared; Hurly Burly Brewery
Origin; six°north

BEST STOUT

GOLD Orinoco; Drygate Brewing Co
SILVER Chokka Blokka; Williams Bros Brewing Co
BRONZE Stout Keith; Keith Brewery

Finalists
Cauld Reekie; Stewart Brewing
Dark Nite; Brew Toon
March of the Penguins; Williams Bros Brewing Co
Moose Mousse; Fierce Beer
Silkie Stout; Loch Lomond Brewery
Spey Stout; Spey Valley Brewery
Stout Jock: Black Thistle Malt Stout; Broughton Ales
Tennents Export Stout; Tennent Caledonian Breweries
WEST Black; WEST Brewery
White Russian; Stewart Brewing
Witch Pricker; Windswept Brewing Co

Well done everyone!

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