Scottish breweries take top trophies

SIBA competition sees brewers from across the country recognised

A clutch of Scottish brewers had reason to celebrate late last year when the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) announced the winners of its Scottish Beer Competition.
The annual contest, organised by the association’s Scottish branch, was judged by a panel of 50 experts at the Drygate Brewery in Glasgow.

• Winners included Edinburgh Beer Factory, seen here collecting an award from Gerald Michaluk.
• Winners included Edinburgh Beer Factory, seen here collecting an award from Gerald Michaluk.

Loch Lomond Brewery took the top award of the competition, picking up the Overall Champion title for its Silkie Stout – which also won the Porters, Stouts, Old Ales, Strong Milds & Strong Brown Ales category.
The brewery’s success wasn’t limited to its stout, however.
The company also scooped the gold award in the Best Bitters & Pale Ales category for its Southern Summit beer, a gold in the Small Pack Strong Bitters & Pale Ales category for Kessog Dark Ale and a gold for its Bravehop Amber IPA in the Small Pack Premium Strong Beers category.
Fyne Ales, the Argyll-based craft brewer, was among the other big winners at the event, taking gold awards in the Standard Bitters & Pale Ales (for Jarl), Premium Strong Beers (for Ragnarok), Champion Small Pack Beers (for Jarl) and Small Pack Standard Bitters & Pale Ales (for Jarl) categories.
Host brewery Drygate also collected gold, winning the Strong Bitters & Pale Ales and Small Pack Standard Lager & Pilsners categories for its Seven Peaks Mosaic IPA and Bearface Lager beers.
‘I’m delighted with this win for the team at Drygate,” said operations director Matt Corden.
“Having launched our brewery just 18 months ago, this is the first time we’ve entered our brews for consideration in the SIBA awards.
“This is a superb collection of awards for our fledgling craft brewery and will further help put Drygate’s fearless beers on the map.”
Other winners included Glasgow-based Jaw Brew, which took the top award in the Standard Mild Ales & Brown Ales category for its Fathom beer; Swannay Brewery, winner of the Premium Bitters & Pale Ales for its Pale Ale; and newly set up craft brewery Edinburgh Beer Factory, which took the gold award in the Small Pack Premium Lager & Pilsner category for its Paolozzi beer.
Gerald Michaluk, chairman of the Scottish region of SIBA, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Scottish brewing and the fact that so many brewers are producing excellent beers is clear from the sheer number of different Scottish breweries winning gold, silver and bronze.
“Scotland has shown it has quality in depth in its brewing industry.
“I was particularly pleased to see new members of SIBA doing very well with, for example, the Edinburgh Beer Factory winning gold in the Premium Lager & Pilsner category with Paolozzi in their very first competition.
“The overall winner was well deserved and hats off to Loch Lomond’s Silkie Stout.”
One of the breweries to secure recognition in several categories was Perthshire-based Inveralmond, picking up either silver or bronze trophies in five separate categories.
Commercial director Bob Hogg said: “It has been another strong result for Inveralmond at this year’s SIBA awards and we’re thrilled to have been recognised in five different categories.
“It’s great to see our Inspiration Series Rascal London Porter and Sunburst picking up three awards and our new 2015 release Fair Maid as well as an customer favourite Lia Fail also bringing in a win.
“It’s been a great success all round.”