Winners of the second Scottish Beer Awards announced

The best beers brewed in Scotland have been revealed following the second annual Scottish Beer Awards, which took place at an event in the capital.

Published 29th Sep 2017
Updated 20 th Sep 2023

Over 350 guests from across the brewing industry gathered from around the country to watch on as hosts Catriona Shearer and Hardeep Singh Kholi announced who had been crowned the best after a wide ranging competition which has been running since March of this year.

The most eagerly awaited pronouncement was that of Scottish Brewery of the Year, which saw the award presented to Brewdog, who were praised by the judges for a "monumental year of business".

Scottish beer

Brewdog picked up the Brewery of the Year Award. Picture: Rob MacDougall

The Ellon-based beer giants fought off tough competition from four other breweries for the title after persuading the panel of their success in launching a second US-based brewery.

The winners of the 11 coveted taste categories saw some of the country's best breweries go head to head at a judging event that saw 266 beers tasted blind by one of the largest and most experienced judging panels in the history of beer competitions in the UK.

Tempest Brewing Co from Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders stormed the taste categories again this year claiming 5 medals.

Three Gold medals in the Amplified, Lager and IPA categories and silver medal positions in Best Amplified Beer and Best IPA.

Innis & Gunn scored both Gold and Silver medal positions in Best Barrel Aged Beer for I & G Rum Finish and I & G Original respectively.

They also collected awards in the business categories winning Excellence in Marketing and Exporter of the Year.

Other gold winners included newcomer The Ferry Brewery for Ferry Stout, Fallen Brewing for Grapevine in the popular Pale Ale category and Drygate for their mango infused beer, Disco Forklift.

Spey Valley Brewery received a Gold medal in Best British Style Ale for David’s Not So Bitter, while Stewart Brewing, whose Co-Founder Steve Stewart was also awarded Master Brewer of the Year, picked up the Gold for They’re Coming to Get Rhu Barbara in the new Sours category.

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Aberdeen’s Fierce Beer, which launched in 2016, was awarded Breakthrough Brewery of the Year and also picked up the gold medal in Best Porter for Café Racer which went on to win the judges prize for Beer of the Year.

Their Aberdeenshire neighbours BrewDog collected two silver medals for Elvis Juice and Jet-Black Heart.

It was an evening which united the whole brewing industry in a positive way and there was unanimous support and a standing ovation when one of the industry’s greatest legends, Professor Sir Geoff Palmer OBE, collected the honour of Lifetime Achievement Award presented by his former student, Dr Dawn Maskell of Heriot Watt University.

"We unite in our congratulations of our winners and celebrate the success of the whole of Scottish brewing. I hope all our winners find future success with their medals and show the world how brilliant we are in Scotland at making great beer.”

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Graham Nicolson, Group Buying Director, ALDI Scotland, said: “The quality of beer produced in Scotland is exceptional and we would like to congratulate everyone involved in this celebration of Scotland’s amazing brewing industry.

"We’re hugely proud to sponsor the Scottish Beer Awards for the second year running and to have worked with so many of the breweries recognised at these awards.

"The popularity of Scottish beer shows no signs of slowing down and we’re looking forward to seeing what’s next for the sector in Scotland.”

The Winners in Full:

Scottish Brewery of the Year: 


Beer of the Year: 

Fierce Beer - Café Racer

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Lifetime Achievement Award: 

Professor Sir Geoff Palmer OBE

Breakthrough Brewery: 

Fierce Beer

Best Amber or Dark Ale:

GOLD: I&G Maple & Thistle 150 (Innis & Gunn Brewing Company)

SILVER: Ferry Witches (The Ferry Brewery)

BRONZE: Red Rye (Barneys Beer)

Best Amplified Beer: 

GOLD: In The Dark We Live - Dark Fruits (Tempest Brewing Co.)

SILVER: Marmalade on Rye (Tempest Brewing Co.)

BRONZE: Mill & Hills (Fyne Ales)

Best Barrel Aged Beer:

GOLD: I&G Rum Finish (Innis & Gunn Brewing Company)

SILVER: I&G Original (Innis & Gunn Brewing Company)

BRONZE: Anniversary (Cromarty Brewing)

Best British Style Ale:

GOLD: David’s Not So Bitter (Spey Valley Brewery)

SILVER: Highlander (Fyne Ales)

BRONZE: Scottish Ale (Belhaven Brewery)

Best Fruit Forward Beer:

GOLD: Disco Forklift Truck Drygate Brewing Company

SILVER: Elvis Juice BrewDog

BRONZE: 23 Trees Black Isle Brewing Co.

Best IPA:

GOLD: Tempest Soma IPA (Tempest Brewing Co.)

SILVER: Brave New World (Tempest Brewing Co.)

BRONZE: Ishmael Up (Front Brewing)

Best Lager or Pilsner

GOLD: Modern Helles (Tempest Brewing Co.)

SILVER: Saaziness (Loch Ness Brewery)

BRONZE: Caesar Augustus (Williams Bros. Brewing Co.)

Best Pale Ale:

GOLD: Grapevine (Fallen Brewing)

SILVER: Birds & Bees (Williams Bros. Brewing Co.)

BRONZE: Pale (Cross Borders Brewing Company)

Best Porter

GOLD: Café Racer Fierce Beer

SILVER: Rigor Portis Dead End Brew Machine

BRONZE: Fathom Jaw Brew

Best Sour Beer:

GOLD: They’re Coming to Get Rhu Barbara (Stewart Brewing)

SILVER: Spring:Rhubarb & Citrus Sour (Tempest, Pilot, Fallen & Cromarty Breweries)

BRONZE: Black Flag Brewing Gose (Black Isle Brewing Co.)

Best Stout:

GOLD: Ferry Stout (The Ferry Brewery)

SILVER: Jet Black Heart (BrewDog)

BRONZE: Oatmeal Stout (St Andrews Brewing Company)

Beer Bar of the Year:

St Andrews Brewing Company

Beer Destination of the Year:

Fyne Ales

Excellence in Marketing:


Innis & Gunn Brewing Company

Exporter of the Year:

Innis & Gunn Brewing Company

Growth Business of the Year:

Edinburgh Beer Factory

Innovation of the Year:


Master Brewer of the Year:

Steve Stewart, Stewart Brewing

Product Development Team of the Year:

Stewart Brewing

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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