The finalists in the first annual Scottish Beer Awards have been announced with 31 breweries and 73 beers progressing in the new national competition.

The awards cover both taste and business performance and were judged last week by a highly experienced judging panel consisting of some of Scotland’s foremost brewing and beer experts.

Of the finalists, Ross-Shire based Black Isle Brewing Co leads the race with the most number of beers in the finals with a total of 8.

Brewdog, Orkney Brewing and Williams Bros are next with 5 beers each in the finals. For a full list of finalists visit www.scottishbeerawards.co.uk/finalists.

Five breweries will also fight it out for the top prize, Scottish Brewery of the Year. Black Isle Brewing Co, Brewdog, Edinburgh Beer Factory, Fallen and Tempest Brewing Co have been selected following the strict judging process.

154 Scottish beers were tasted by 19 judges and were marked according to a range of tasting standards, adjudicated by the international sensory management consultancy, FlavorActiV. Just under half of all the entered beers have been selected in the taste categories as finalists.

In addition 55 written entries covering breweries business performance were debated in a session which was chaired by former S&N Director, Hilary Jones. She commented: “The judging day was a fantastic experience and I was incredibly impressed by the high standard of written entries. The tasting session was illuminating and with 8 beer types and 154 beers, we were really put through our paces.

“The overwhelming consensus from the panel is that the Scottish brewing sector is in terrific health and producing some outstanding beers.”

Finalists are now being sent a digital marketing package to enable personalised branding of winning beers to take place.

Gold medal winners will be announced at a celebration dinner and event on Thursday 29 September taking place at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange with presentations also taking place for Silver Medal and Bronze Medal positions.

• Tickets cost £120.00+VAT per person or £950.00+VAT for a table of 8, for full details visit www.scottishbeerawards.co.uk.

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