A popular Edinburgh brewery and one of Scotland's best known brewers were two of the big winners at the third annual Scottish Beer Awards in the capital on Thursday (27 September) night.

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.

While Scott Williams of Williams Brothers Brewing Co. was named Master Brewer of the Year narrowly beating out Dougal Sharp of Innis and Gunn and Andrew Fulton of the Orkney Brewery.

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.

• READ MORE: In Pictures: The winners of the Scottish Gin Awards 

The Winners of the Scottish Beer Awards:

(All pictures by Gerardo Jaconelli for The Scottish Gin Awards – @gerardojac on Instagram)

Scottish Brewery of the Year

(Sponsored by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Company)

WINNER: Stewart Brewing

Finalists: Eden Mill, Edinburgh Beer Factory, Fierce Beer, The Innis & Gunn Brewing Company

Master Brewer of the Year

WINNER: Scott Williams, Williams Brothers Brewing Co.

Finalists: Andrew Fulton, The Orkney Brewery, Dougal Sharp, The Innis & Gunn Brewing Company

Breakthrough Brewery

WINNER: Edinburgh Beer Factory

Finalists: Bellfield Brewery, Brew Toon, Dalrannoch Brewing Co., Merchant City Brewing Company, Redcastle Brewery, Up Front Brewing

Emerging Brewer of the Year

(Sponsored by ALDI)

WINNER: Jonathan Robinson (Digger), The Innis & Gunn Brewing Company

Finalists: Adam Gray, Merchant City Brewing Co., Thomas Willis, Redcastle Brewery

Growth Business of the Year

(Sponsored by Rankin Brothers & Sons)

WINNER: Stewart Brewing

Finalists: Bellfield Brewery, Fierce Beer, St Andrews Brewing Company, The Innis & Gunn Brewing Company

Innovation of the Year

(Sponsored by Kegstar)

WINNER: Fyne Ales for Origins Brewing

Finalists: Bute Brew Co. for Thorough Bread Beer and the Circular Economy, Eyeball Brewing for Innovative Product Range, The Innis & Gunn Brewing Company for Barrels into Beer, Williams Brothers Brewing Co. for Innovative Bottle Design

Exporter of the Year

WINNER: Belhaven Brewery

Finalists: Black Isle Brewing Co., Fierce Beer, The Innis & Gunn Brewing Company, WooHa Brewing Company

Excellence in Marketing

WINNER: The Innis & Gunn Brewing Company

Finalists: Cross Borders Brewing Company, Fierce Beer, Merchant City Brewing Co., Stewart Brewing, Tempest Brewing Co., Williams Brothers Brewing Co.

Product Development Team of the Year

WINNER: Barney’s Beer

Finalists: Cromarty Brewing Co., Dead End Brew Machine, Edinburgh Beer Factory, Tempest Brewing Co., The Innis & Gunn Brewing Company

Beer Bar of the Year

WINNER: six°north, Glasgow

Finalists: Barney’s Beer, Black Isle Brewing Co., Brew Toon, Old Worthy Brewing Co., Shilling Brewing Company, St Andrews Brewing Company, The Innis & Gunn Brewing Company, Williams Brothers Brewing Co.

Beer Destination of the Year

WINNER: Edinburgh Beer Factory

Finalists: Born in the Borders, Fyne Ales, The Orkney Brewery, Stewart Brewing, Tennent’s Wellpark Brewery

Beer Event of the Year

WINNER: Fyne Ales for FyneFest

Finalists: BrewDog for Collabfest, Drygate Brewing Co., West End Beer Festival, Up Front Brewing, Out of Town Brewing, Dead End Brew Machine & Gallus for Beer Makes Glasgow Festival, six°north for Midsummer Beer Happening, Tempest Brewing Co. for Springfest & Oktoberfest, Windswept Brewing Co. for Moktoberfest

TASTE AWARDS:

Best Porter

(Sponsored by Barr Printer)

GOLD MEDAL: Fierce Beer – Dirty Sanchez

SILVER MEDAL: Tempest Brewing Co. – Red Eye Flight

BRONZE MEDAL: Top Out Brewery – Smoked Porter

Best Amber or Dark Ale

GOLD MEDAL: Spey Valley Brewery – Spey’s Hopper

SILVER MEDAL: Windswept Brewing Co. – Wolf

BRONZE MEDAL: Fyne Ales – Vital Spark

Best IPA

(Sponsored by Bairds Malt & Brewers Select)

GOLD MEDAL: BrewDog – King of Eights

SILVER MEDAL: Fierce Beer – Split Shift

BRONZE MEDAL: BrewDog – Hazy Jane

Best Pale Ale

GOLD MEDAL: Eden Mill – Three Pistons

SILVER MEDAL: Barney’s Beer – Cloudburst

BRONZE MEDAL: Stewart Brewing – Cascadian East

Best Session Beer

GOLD MEDAL: The Innis & Gunn Brewing Company – Session IPA

SILVER MEDAL: Barney’s Beer – Glory Days

BRONZE MEDAL: Tempest Brewing Co. – Vermont Sessions

Best Lager or Pilsner

GOLD MEDAL: Tennent Caledonian Breweries – Tennent’s Gluten Free Lager

SILVER MEDAL: Eyeball Brewing – Eyeball Yellow

BRONZE MEDAL: Brew Toon – Weekend Hooker

Best British Style Ale

(Sponsored by Wolffe)

GOLD MEDAL: Fyne Ales – Maverick

SILVER MEDAL: Belhaven Brewery – 80 Shilling

BRONZE MEDAL: Inveralmond Brewery – Ossian

Best Stout

GOLD MEDAL: Drygate Brewing Co. – Orinoco Breakfast Stout

SILVER MEDAL: BrewDog – Jet Black Heart

BRONZE MEDAL: Williams Bros Brewing Co. – Profanity Stout

Best Amplified Beer

(Sponsored by Cara Technology)

GOLD MEDAL: Fierce Beer – Very Big Moose

SILVER MEDAL: BrewDog – Pulp Patriot

BRONZE MEDAL: Barney’s Beer – Marshmallow Milk Stout

Best Sour Beer

GOLD MEDAL: Fierce Beer – Tangerine Tart

SILVER MEDAL: Stewart Brewing/BrewDog – Corpse Reviver

BRONZE MEDAL: Fyne Ales – Origins Brewing – Expedition

Best Fruit Forward

(Sponsored by Foodies Magazine)

GOLD MEDAL: Belhaven Brewery – Twisted Grapefruit IPA

SILVER MEDAL: Williams Bros Brewing Co., Exclusively for ALDI – Rubus

BRONZE MEDAL: Dead End Brew Machine – Death III

Best Barrel Aged Beer

GOLD MEDAL: Fierce Beer – BA Very Big Moose

SILVER MEDAL: BrewDog – Dog G

BRONZE MEDAL: Windswept Brewing Co. – BEAR

Beer of the Year

WINNER: Belhaven Brewery – Twisted Grapefruit IPA

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.”

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

The Emerging Brewer of the Year Award was presented to Jonathan Robinson of Innis & Gunn who 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.

Graham Nicolson, group buying director, ALDI Scotland, commented: “We’re hugely proud to have been headline sponsors of the Scottish Beer Awards since 2016 and privileged to work with so many of the breweries recognised at the awards this evening. The popularity of Scottish beer continues to grow, and we are pleased to be a part of such an exciting time for the Scottish brewing sector.

“The quality of beer being produced in Scotland continues to be second to none and the industry offers some exceptional career prospects for young people. We extend our congratulations to the winner of the emerging brewer award and wish Jonathan from Innis & Gunn every success in his future career.”

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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