Orkney's two breweries, the Orkney Brewery and the Swannay Brewery, have claimed a combined total of eight awards, including five golds, at the prestigious Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) Scotland Independent Beer Awards, held in Glasgow last night (6 November).
Dark Island Reserve from the Orkney Brewery The Orkney Brewery’s speciality Dark Island Reserve was voted Overall Champion of the cask competition, after earlier winning gold in its category at the event.
Taking gold in the Cask British Dark Beers (up to 4.4%) section of the competition was the brewery’s Red MacGregor, while its Raven Ale secured the top spot in the Bottle/Can British Bitter (up to 4.4%) category. Raven also took a bronze in the Cask British Bitter section.
Meanwhile, Orkney Brewery’s Skull Splitter ale won a silver in the Cask Strong Beers (6.5% and over) category of the competition.
Craig Steven, commercial manager for the Orkney Brewery, was on hand to collect the awards.
He said: “This has been a remarkable night for the Orkney Brewery, with these awards particularly welcome given the quality and experience of all the independent brewers present. Our success, which is down to the hard work of all of our team, also comes at a great time as we celebrate 30 years of the Orkney Brewery."
The brewery’s managing director, Norman Sinclair, added: “With the Reserve, we create a stronger bespoke brew of Dark Island, which after a long and gentle fermentation is finished in oak casks that once held mature Scotch malt whisky. We believe it to be a genuine best in class in this style, something that’s been recognised by no less than seven gold medals in just over a year at various competitions. This latest success is hugely welcome and we’re extremely proud that this premium product continues to fly the flag so well for Orkney.”
Muckle from the Swannay Brewery Swannay Brewery claimed two golds of its own at the event. It took top spot in the Bottle/Can Imperial IPA category for its Muckle, part of its Mutinty range of beers. The brewery also won gold for its Magnus Blonde in the Bottle/Can Session Lager + Pilsner section. It continues a successful year for the team at Swannay, following on from the 'Champion Beer of Scotland' win for its Orkney IPA at the CAMRA Scottish Real Ale Festival earlier this year.
Judged by brewers and beer experts, the SIBA awards are very much seen as the ‘brewers’ choice’ in the industry. Visit the official website to see the full list of winners.