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.

These beers were all blind tasted by an expert judging panel of over 30 expert tasters.

The results reveal a list of 19 of the highest rated beers in Scotland, judged purely on appearance, flavour and taste – according to leading industry experts.

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 Pilsner category for Electric Cafe and a Silver Medal for their Lost Monster.

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, said: “ALDI have been title sponsors of the Scottish Beer Awards since its beginnings five 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.

The 2020 Scottish Beer Awards 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 Alesz

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

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About The Author

Rosalind Erskine

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

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