Five medals for island craft brewer

AN Orkney-based brewer has picked up an impressive haul of five medals at this year’s International Brewing and Cider Awards.

Highland Brewing Company pulled in three gold medals, one silver and one bronze at the event, which was contested by 943 beers from 52 different countries judged by a 43-strong panel of judges all of whom work as brewers or cider makers.

Highland Brewing Company
Highland Brewing Company

Gold medals for the Highland Brewing Company were awarded to Sneaky Wee Orkney Stout in the Dark Beer 3.8% – 4.7% ABV category; Island Hopping in the Cask Ale 3.9% – 4.3% ABV category; and Pale Ale in the Cask Ale 4.4% – 4.8% ABV category.

Highland Brewing Co. Oat Stout was awarded a silver medal in the Dark Beer 4.8% – 5.7% ABV category, while Light Munro achieved bronze medal status in the Cask Ale 2.9% – 3.8% ABV category.

This year’s competition saw medals presented to brewers and cider makers from 23 countries across a broad spectrum of producers from regional microbrewers to multi-national companies.

Rob Hill, owner of the Highland Brewing Company, said the firm had gone into the competition without expectations, however the medals make “all the sweat and effort worthwhile”. “It’s a good wee result for a tiny wee business,” said Hill.

Highland Brewing Company, which operates with a total of seven staff, previously picked up a championship trophy in 2011, however this year represents its largest medal haul.

The top championship trophy winner at this year’s event was the Deschutes Brewery from Oregan, USA.

Ruth Evans, director of competition organiser Brewing Technology Services, said the contest’s international reach shows that it is now well established in the “global brewing and cider making community”.

“The fact that we again received beers and ciders from producers all over the world, including several first-time entrants, shows how they value the International Brewing and Cider Awards as a forum where they are able to benchmark their products internationally,” said Evans.

Bill Taylor, chair of the judging panel for this year’s event, said judges were pleased to see a wide range of beer styles picking up prizes.

“One of the strengths of the International Brewing and Cider Awards is its capacity to embrace real diversity, thanks to its broad, style-based categories which mean there is a place for every beer and cider,” he said.