Highland businesses in running for awards

Dalwhinnie Distillery is one of several drinks businesses in north Scotland shortlisted in this year’s awards.
Dalwhinnie Distillery is one of several drinks businesses in north Scotland shortlisted in this year’s awards.

Restaurants, breweries and distilleries shortlisted for food and drink gongs

RESTAURANTS, distilleries and breweries across the north of Scotland are in the running for a number of top food and drink awards.
The shortlist for this year’s Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards has been revealed – and licensed trade and drinks industry businesses are well-represented across the 12 categories.
The Best Eatery Award shortlist comprises Bandstand Bar and Restaurant in Nairn, Eilean Dubh Restaurant in Fortrose, Frankie’s Fish and Chip Shop in Shetland, The Bothy in Burghead and The Pier Cafe in Lairg.
Restaurant of the Year will be contested amongst Corrour Station House Restaurant in Fort William, Isle of Eriska Hotel, Kylesku Hotel, Loch Fyne Oyster Bar in Cairndow and the Station Road at The Lovat Loch Ness.
Businesses shortlisted for the Best Drink award include the Ben Nevis Distillery, Cairngorm Brewery, Lerwick Brewery, Highland Cordials, Loch Ness Brewery and Tomintoul Distillery; Tomintoul Distillery is also in the running for the New Product award for its Tomintoul tri-pack, which features 5cl bottles of Tomintoul 10, 16 and 25 year old whiskies.
Other drinks and on-trade businesses shortlisted include Dalwhinnie Distillery, which is up for the Best Marketing Initiative award; Isle of Eriska Hotel and Restaurant and the Ninth Wave Restaurant on Mull which are in the running for the Environment Award; Brewmeister Brewery in Keith which has been shortlisted for both the Export and the Food & Drink Business Growth Awards; and MR C’s Bar in Thurso which has been nominated for the New Business Award.
This year’s finalists were judged by a panel of 14 led by Stephen Rankin, of Gordon & MacPhail, which is the headline sponsor for the awards.
Winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony dinner at the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness on October 24.
Rankin said it was “a genuine pleasure” to chair the judging panel and praised the “extremely high quality submissions” from entrants.
“It was fantastic to review such a diverse range of entries from a brilliant blend of well-established companies to youngsters and new businesses just starting out in the industry,” he said.
“The latter group’s bravery and willingness to take on responsibility has to be admired and recognised.
“I’d like to wish good luck to all the shortlisted finalists and I hope to see them all at the awards dinner and ceremony in October.”