Loch Lomond Brewery has been named brewery of the year at the Scottish Beer Awards, held virtually this year, of course.

On screen: Des Clarke presents the Scottish Beer Awards

The award process involved judging 35 breweries and 314 beers, all made in Scotland, which were blind tasted by an expert judging panel of more than 30 experts. The results reveal a list of 19 of the highest rated beers in Scotland, judged purely on appearance, flavour and taste.

The year saw Loch Lomond Brewery treble production with a new brewhouse, manage a detailed rebranding, and build on relationships with UK and online suppliers.

In addition to the main award, it won the excellence in branding award and scooped a gold medal in the pilsner category for Electric Café, and a silver medal in the amplified beer category for Lost Monster.

The gold medal for best lager was won for the first time by Innis & Gunn Lager Beer, now one of the biggest selling lagers in Scotland. In best IPA, Fierce Beer collected one of its four 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, said: “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 products, 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.”

Over 200 people tuned in live to watch the digital broadcast of the awards, sponsored by Aldi, in a show broadcast from Glasgow, and presented by Des Clarke. The event included live interviews with winners in breweries across the country, and guests were able to network via chat functions.

The awards in full

Scottish brewery of the year, sponsored by Aldi
Loch Lomond Brewery

Brewer of the year, sponsored by Close Brewery Rentals
Craig Scotland, Stewart Brewing

Beer destination of the year
West, Glasgow

Best beer bar
Portobello Tap, Edinburgh

Excellence in branding, sponsored by Rankins 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

Beer of the year
Ferry Black Liquorice Porter, Ferry Brewery

Best amber of dark ale
Gold, Ferry Alt, Ferry Brewery; silver; Pavlov’s Dog, Williams Bros Brewing Co; bronze, The J’Ale, Brew Toon
Finalists: Highlander, Fyne Ales; Inveralmond Lia Fail, Innis & Gunn; Rivet Red, 71 Brewing; Vital Spark, Fyne Ales

Best amplified beer, sponsored by Cara Technology
Gold, Black, Ferry Brewery; silver, Lost Monster, Loch Lomond Brewery; bronze, Very Big Moose, Fierce Beer
Finalists: Almond Hill, Ferry Brewery; Auld Toon, 6°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, Innis & Gunn

Best barrel-aged beer
Gold, Barrel-Aged Imperial Café 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 Ages, Tennent Caledonian Breweries; The Original, Innis & Gunn; Uisge Beatha Stout, Spey Valley Brewery; Wolf of Glen Moray, Windswept Brewing

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; Inveralmond Brewery Ossian, Innis & Gunn; 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, Ovetone Brewery; 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, Innis & Gunn; Otis, Williams Bros Brew Co and Aldi; Raspberry Ripple, Brew Toon; Raspberry Sun, Reids Gold Brewing Company; Rubus, Williams Bros Brew 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 Brew Co
Finalists: Black Rain, Loch Lomond Brewery; Double Joker IPA, Williams Brow Brewing Co; D-Up, 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 Co; Hop Pinata, WooHa Brewing Co
Finalists: Anti-Establishment IPA, Aldi; 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, 6°North; Studio 54, Williams Bros Brewing Co; Tin Man, Williams Bros Brewing Co; Tornado, Windswept Brewing Co

Best juicy or hazy beer
Gold, Souther Hemisphere, Overtone Brewing; Late Shift, Fierce Beer; Northern Hemsiphere, Overtone Brewing
Finalists: Citra Ekuanot New England IPA, Cross Borders Brewing Co; Ferry American, Ferry Brewery; Hazy IPA, Stewart Brewing; Lotus Oat Cream NEIPA, Overtone Brewing; Luminous Lights, 71 Brewing; Oatmeal Pale Ale, Cross Borders Brewing Co; Southern Summit, Loch Lomond Brewery; Spey’s Software, Spey Valley Brewery; Yippie IPA, St Andrews Brewing Co; Zoom Time, Loch Lomond Brewery

Best lager
Gold, Lager Beer, Innis & Gunn; 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 Co; 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 Co; Hop 0%, Broughton Ales

Best pale ale, sponsored by Kegstar
Gold, Kai Pai, Stewart Brewing; silver, Winter Sunshine, Spey Valley Brewery; bronze, Masterplans, Stewart Brewing
Finalists: 90 Mile Pale, Overtone Brewing; Cloud Fall, 71 Brewing; Hollyrood, Stewart Brewing; North Sea Harr, Reids Gold Brewing Co; Pale Ale, St Andrews Brewing Co; Peelywally, Winton Brewery; Small Giant, Stewart Brewing; TA, The Organic Laundry, Hidden Lane Brewery; Talking Head, William Bros Brewing Co

Best pilsner
Gold, Electric Café, Loch Lomond Brewery; Bohemian Pilsner, Bellfield Brewery; Fierce Pilsner, Fierce Beer
Finalists: 1814, Spey Valley Brewery; Caesar Augustus, Williams Bros Brewing Co; Pilsner, Cross Borders Brewing Co

Best porter
Gold, Café 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 Co; Sugar Bush, Ferry Brewery; The Shortie, Brewgooder/Ardbeg

Best session beer
Gold, Wanderlust, 6°North; silver, Heffen Heff, Fierce Beer; Heidi-Weisse, WEST Brewery
Finalists: Birds and Bees, Williams Bros Brewing Co; Echelon, 6°North; Green Monkey Wheat, Reids Gold Brewing Co; Hurricane, Windswept Brewing Co; IPA, St Andrews Brewing Co; Jarl, Fyne Ales; Kvltvre, Barney’s Beer; Leith Juice, Campervan Brewery; Omnium, 6°North; Perfect Storm, Williams Bros Brewing Co and Aldi; Session IPA, Stewart Brewing; Wee Braw, Cross Borders Brewing Co

Best sour beer
Gold, BA Hopocrisy, 6°North; Fierce by Nature, Brett IPA, Fierce Beer; bronze, Blood of Nidhoggr, Fierce Beer
Finalists: Exhale, 6°North; Flemish Black, 6°North; Inhale, 6°North; Origins Brewing, Home 3-Year Blend, Fyne Ales; Sour Red Rye, Barney’s Beer; Unfinished Symphony, Drygate Brewing Co; Zest Life, 6°North

Best speciality beer
Gold, Bounty Life It; silver, Maple Pancake, Fierce Beer; bronze, Transient 2 White IPA, Campervan Brewery
Finalists: Belgian Saison, Ferry Brewery; Bombini, 6°North; Brevet, 6°North; Coco Noco, Drygate Brewing Co; Coconut Cookie, Reids Gold Brewing Co; Eskimo Joe, Fierce Beer; Ethiopian Coffee IPA, Overtone Brewing; Great White, Loch Lomond Brewery; Hi-Hefe, Ferry Brewery; Last Sheep Sheared, Hurly Burly Brewery; Origin, 6°North

Best stout
Gold, Orinoco, Drygate Brewing Co; silver, Chokka Blokka, Williams Bros Brewing Co; 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, Tennents Caldeonian Breweries; WEST Black, WEST Brewery; White Russian, Stewart Brewing; Witch Pricker, Windswept Brewing Co

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