16 categories have been revealed for the inaugural Scottish Beer Awards, a new national awards programme to promote the achievements of Scottish brewing.

The awards cover both taste and business performance and will be judged by an industry judging panel consisting of some of Scotland’s foremost brewing and beer experts.

Eight categories in the taste section will 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 also be presented.

Brewers have until 2nd May to register their entries before delivering their best brews for the tasting session.

The winners will be chosen at an all-day judging to be held 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 both in the centuries-long tradition of brewing but also in leading the way forward to the future 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.

Hilary Jones added: “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 10th June 2016 and the winners will be announced at a celebration dinner and event on Thursday 29th September taking place at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange.

The awards is being operated by Scottish PR & Events company, KDMedia. To register your entries in the awards, visit www.scottishbeerawards.co.uk.

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

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