CAMRA crowns ale champions

Kelburn and Stewart Brewing take top beer awards

• Kelburn brewery won the Champion Beer of Scotland award for Dark Moor.

By Gillian McKenzie

KELBURN Brewing Company and Stewart Brewing took the top awards at this year’s Scottish Real Ale Festival, organised by CAMRA.

Dark Moor, a 4.5% ABV “dark fruity ale with undertones of liquorice and blackcurrant” from Barrhead’s Kelburn Brewing Company, was named Champion Beer of Scotland for 2014 at the event in Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange earlier this month; while Stewart Brewing’s 6.4% ABV Radical Road took the award for Champion Bottle Conditioned Beer in Scotland.
Ayr Brewing Company’s Rabbie’s Porter was runner-up to Kelburn in the Champion Beer of Scotland, with Fyne Ales’ Jarl in third place.
Kelburn’s win at the four-day Scottish Real Ale Festival, which featured more than 150 beers from 70 breweries and attracted 3000 visitors, comes after Dark Moor achieved success in CAMRA’s Champion Winter Beer of Britain 2013, taking the gold award in the old ale/strong mild class and bronze in the competition overall.
It’s the second time Kelburn Brewing Company has picked up the Champion Beer of Scotland title, after its Cart Blanche beer took the accolade back in 2006.
Derek Moore, who set up the family-run brewery in 2002 and has doubled its capacity in the last two years, told SLTN it was a “real honour” to take the top award for a second time.
“We’re delighted to win this again, especially given the growing number of breweries we’re competing against,” said Moore.
Scottish Real Ale Festival spokesman Graeme Watt hailed the success of this year’s event.
“We’re expanding every year,” he told SLTN.
“It is a great experience for consumers and we’re always trying to build on that.”