Award winners will be chosen by an independently appointed judging panel who will review written entries and carry out a blind tasting.
A BSc graduate from Edinburgh University, Hilary joined Scottish & Newcastle in 1981 and enjoyed a varied career within the global drinks industry including managing the then famous Tyne Brewery in Newcastle, and Theakstons Brewery in Yorkshire. Latterly – before its takeover by Heineken - she was S&N’s Group Technical & Quality Director, looking after brewing quality in seven European countries as well as the Baltika joint venture in Russia.
In 1995, she was elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. In 2005 she became the first woman President of European Brewery Convention, where she led its merger with the trade association, Brewers of Europe.
In ‘retirement’ from the world of corporate brewing she co-manages (with Petra Wetzel) Heidi Beers Ltd in Glasgow, which brews and distributes the WEST family of beer brands. She also sits on the Board of Sikh Sanjog, the Edinburgh-based charity which supports Sikh and other ethnic minority women to integrate into mainstream Scottish society and the employment market.
"Despite a careers quiz taken aged 15 coming up with “Brewer or Distiller” as a recommended path, Anna made her way into the industry later through her experience in e-commerce startups.
Anna is now a buyer for Flavourly.com, sourcing beers for members of the monthly discovery clubs & well stocked online bottle store, from breweries across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.
Anna became an accredited Beer Sommelier in March 2016 and is passionate about seeking out really good beer and sharing her finds
Craig has over 20 years experience in food & drink retail, working in senior management roles with Sainsbury’s, Tesco & Safeway.
Over the last three years, Craig founded Ross & Brown a retail, food & drink consultancy supporting a number of small brewers to improve their domestic opportunities within retail and develop new products in to the market, achieving a breakthrough in the sector, with the Craft Beer Clan of Scotland brand’s first listing into the UK Multiple retail space with Asda.
Craig is now Retail Sales Director for progressive wholesaler, JW Filshill and has a real passion for the food & drink produced in Scotland and in particular the craft drinks sector.
Originally from the Isle of Man, and currently self-employed as BE Inspired providing technical consultancy and training
to the brewing and distilling industries. He graduated with an Honours degree in Chemical Engineering from Birmingham University and an MSc in Malting and Brewing Science from the Birmingham Brewing School under Professor James Hough.
Joining Allied Breweries he worked for 30 years in a variety of roles in engineering, production and packaging before taking the post of Head Brewer at the Alloa Lager Brewery, Scotland in 1985.
On the closure of the Alloa Brewery in 1998, he moved to Joshua Tetley’s Brewery, Leeds, as Head Brewer and Chief Engineer. He joined ICBD, Heriot-Watt University in January 2001 where he was the Course Director for the brewing and distilling undergraduate and postgraduate courses until July 2009. He is a Committee Member and Treasurer of the IBD Scottish Section.
Ruth Evans MBE is CEO for BFBi (Brewing, Food & Beverage Industry Suppliers’ Association, formed in 1907). She has
been with the Association for 16 years, the past 12 as CEO. BFBi is believed to be the only trade association in the world representing an entire value chain into the beverage industry and gives Ruth a unique view across all sectors.
The Association owns and runs the bi-annual International Brewing Awards, the oldest international brewing competition in the world (started in 1888). Cider returned to the Awards in 2011, via The International Cider Awards.
Johnston Carmichael are Scotland’s largest firm of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers, advising over 425 food and drink businesses. They have a wealth of food and drink industry expertise and use this knowledge to help business owners make better business decisions.
Adam leads Johnston Carmichael’s food and drink team, regularly advises brewers across the UK on strategic growth, internationalisation, and funding options. Funding has become increasingly complex in recent years with the explosion of crowd funding and peer to peer lending. Adam is very well connected across, craft beer market, the wider food and drink industry and regularly makes introductions across his network of business leaders, investors and intermediaries to help clients grow.
The Brewers Association of Scotland (TBAS) was formed in in Johnston Carmichael’s Edinburgh office. Johnston Carmichael recently set up the TBAS Hopline, a helpline for brewers for matters relating to Small Brewers Relief, HMRC, Excise Licensing, VAT, Import and Export.
Colin entered the brewing world in the best possible way; tasting a great beer in a pub and asking the company for a job. Colin has worked across the industry in many differing roles of the past 7 years, principally focussed on process, operations, projects management and engineering at WEST, Tennents and C&C.
After being part of the team that set up Drygate then running it as Operations Director, he became an independent consultant in the industry under Maru Projects and is now working with a variety of clients on a diverse range of projects from brewhouse setup and expansions to quality systems and business development. He is now Sales Manager for Crisp Malting Group based in Cheshire.
Andrew is a leading corporate lawyer who has carved a niche representing the Scottish food and drink sector among a number of other sectors.
Andrew has spent the last 16 years specialising in corporate transactional work. He led the team which helped to create The Capital Pub Company plc in 2000 and which, having floated it on AIM in 2007, sold it to Greene King plc in September 2011 for an enterprise value of £93 million.
Andrew also helped to establish Par Equity in 2008. Par Equity has now created and manages a range of innovative investment products and funds, financed by a strong investor syndicate.
Rob has been working in craft beer for three years, at the UK’s fastest growing food & drinks company, BrewDog. Initially covering a range of marketing activity, he soon switched to a graphic design role (that being his background).
Rob sat the Certified Cicerone exam within three weeks of joining BrewDog - he learned loads and was invited to attend numerous taste panels, where he discovered how crucial quality control is to the industry. He’s honoured to continue to work alongside a team of highly trained sensory analysts. In 2015 he went on to sit the Master Cicerone exam, and became the tenth person worldwide to pass and achieve the rank of Master Cicerone.
Most recently he’s been heavily involved in new product development and bringing awesome beer from concept to launch. Rob’s job roles works at a ferocious pace and every day is different. He’s honoured to work with an ever-expanding team of passionate and enthusiastic people, to make incredible beer.
Dawn Maskell is the Director of the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University. Dawn has a PhD from Oxford Brookes University in brewing yeast physiology and an Honours degree in Brewing and Distilling from Heriot-Watt University.
Previously she worked on the valorisation of brewery and distillery co-products. Dawn is a member of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling with a Diploma in Brewing and is an accredited Chartered Scientist. Dawn is also on the Board of Examiners for the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and the programme committee for the 2017 Worldwide Distilled Spirits Convention.
One of Scotland's most renowned licensing lawyers, Stephen has represented brewers, distillers and the licensed trade at licensing board hearings all over the country and his expertise in licensing law is recognised at the highest levels. He has sat on a number of Scottish Government expert groups and gave evidence to Parliament in connection with licensing reforms in 2015 and 2016. He was appointed the Chairman of the Institute of Licensing Scotland in November 2016 and was previously the Chairman of the British Institute of Innkeepers Scotland from 2012 to 2016.
Stephen is recognised in both Chambers and Legal 500, both independent guides to the UK legal market, as a leading expert in licensing, and is also a significant author in this area, having written four books including "Licensing and Gambling Law in Scotland" (2009) and "Local Government Licensing Law in Scotland" (2012), contributes regularly to legal journals and trade publications, and is a sought-after speaker.
Stephen also has close ties to the licensed trade itself. He is a member of CAMRA, the Incorporations of Maltmen and Coopers at Glasgow's Trade House, and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) Scottish region. In addition to this, Stephen was made a trustee of licensed trade charity "The Ben" (The Scottish Licensed Trade Benevolent Society) in April 2015. Stephen was made a partner at law firm TLT LLP in November 2012 and heads up the Scottish licensing team.
He previously worked in the licensed trade itself as a barman in a Partick pub.
After boring her friends by talking about beer too much, Isla decided to write about it instead. She started her Diary of a Beer Girl blog in 2012 and has since also written a beer blog on The Herald website, as well as various freelance articles on her favourite subject.
She then took her passion for beer a step further and joined Lerwick Brewery as Chief Executive, growing the brewery’s presence throughout the UK.
Now working for whisky and gin distillery, Bruichladdich, Isla’s love for beer has only increased and she’s always on the hunt for new and exciting breweries to try.
Industry veteran Chris who joined Bass Brewers 20 years ago went on to Caledonian Brewery before growing Harviestoun Brewery into one of the UK’s leading craft beer producers.
Chris heads up the The Craft Beer Clan which he founded in 2014 with Scottish wholesaler J.W. Filshill. The Craft Beer Clan has quickly established itself as Scotland’s leading domestic & international consolidator / exporter of craft beer & spirits. The Craft Beer Clan represents a growing portfolio of brews from all regions of Scotland & utilises expertise in the market to consolidate for importers, distributors & retailers enabling consumers access to the variety and depth of beer styles from the brewing excellence of Scotland’s craft producers.
Miller who is also a director of parent company J.W. Filshill, has recently formed a new brewing venture in partnership with Scott Williams, founder and brewmaster of Williams Brothers Brewing Co, and international whisky expert, Master of the Quaich Charles PB MacLean.
The Clan Brewing Company recently launched a series of four whisky barrel-aged beers matured in regional single malt casks & exports to China,Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan & Scandinavia.
Chris is also a non-exec of BrewGooder, the new craft beer brand produced in partnership with BrewDog which donates 100% of its profit to clean water projects.
Driven by a passion for all things beer and whisky-related, Sean writes for the Scotsman extensively on both subjects.
He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his beer knowledge.
Ben previously worked for Bairds Malt for 3 years and started out as a Commercial Graduate before taking on a new role at Brewers Select. The Graduate programme at Bairds involved walking fields of barley with our growers, to the storage and logistics involved in managing both barley intake and customer malt sales. During his 3 years with Bairds he developed a unique appreciation for the malting industry, both from a commercial and production perspective. This experience stood him in good stead for a move to Brewers Select, where he was appointed as Sales and Key Account Manager for Scotland & North England. Now he works as both a Brand Ambassador for Bairds Malt in the U.S. and enjoys travelling the UK on behalf of Brewers Select as a Key Account Manager for our craft brewing and distilling customers.
Ryan O’Rorke is the co-founder of Flavourly.com - the UK’s leading craft beer and spirits discovery business.
Over the last few years, Ryan has sourced beers from more than 300 of the best microbreweries from around the world and shipped out more than 1.7 million products to Flavourly's monthly members.
The team at Flavourly believe people should drink craft, and are on a mission to enable every maker to sell and consumer to discover drinks at great value, delivered.
Professor Sir Geoff Palmer OBE was born in Jamaica. After leaving school in London in 1958, he attended evening classes to improve his qualifications. He subsequently entered Leicester, Edinburgh and Heriot Watt Universities where he gained BSc, PhD and DSc degrees, respectively.
Professor Palmer has taught at the Heriot Watt University (ICBD) for about thirty years and has carried out research on cereal grains and malt for about fifty years. He has received many research, academic and community awards and was knighted in 2014 for his contributions to science, charity and human rights.
Jim Rankin is Commercial Director and 6th generation owner of Rankin Brothers & Sons, supplier of corks and closures to the Beers, Wines, Spirits and Foods Packaging industries.
Having been born with a cork in his mouth, he spat it out, albeit temporarily, to make wine with Penfolds in Australia during the late 80’s. While down under, he honed his commercial skills selling encyclopaedia Britannica door to door and later, developed a fine eye for detail working in design with ad agency McCann.
A call to help resuscitate T Top Stopper supply to the Spirits industry, lead to a return to the UK in 1992 and to his appointment as Sales Director to the family business.
As custodian of 4,500 acres of cork forest in Portugal, Jim’s expertise in stopper design and function extends from `acorn to bottle’.
Jim remains fascinated by the myriad brands the company supports; his credo being that the commercial offer remains as relevant today, as is was when the business was founded in 1774.
A keen advocate of work life balance and exponent of the virtue of sedentary sports, Jim has swapped a rowing boat for a bicycle, which he has used to cross America twice.
Peter Ranscombe is a freelance journalist and copywriter. He edits BQ Scotland, a quarterly magazine for entrepreneurs, and writes the wine column and drinks blog for Scottish Field magazine. He previously spent a decade as a journalist at The Scotsman newspaper, where he pioneered the reporting of Scotland’s craft beer producers on the business pages.
Originally from Nairn, near Inverness, Peter holds the level-four diploma from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and has been a judge for the Campaign for Real Ale’s awards. His debut novel, an historical thriller called Hare, was published in 2014 by Knox Robinson Publishing.
Assean Sheikh is a Babson trained, data driven Entrepreneur and the co-founder of Flavourly. Prior to the acquisition of Flavourly, he recruited tens of thousands of consumers into Flavourly, led a £500,000 investment round and developed the core team. He is also active in the Entrepreneurial community, an alumnus of Entrepreneurial Spark, PSYBT, Power of Youth and Scottish Institute for Enterprise.
Prior to Flavourly, Assean founded and piloted Direct Mechanics, an online, alternative approach to car servicing in the UK and has a background in financial services, working for Morgan Stanley.
Pete has worked in the trade since the age of 18 having started with Oddbins. He move into on trade to see the business from the other side, moving back to off trade after securing a position with a local independent beer shop in Edinburgh.
He opened The Beerhive in 2011 as a craft beer specialist and now stocks over 700 beers and 500 wines. In 2015 The Beerhive was named the Scotland’s best beer shop by Off License News.
Bill is Executive Director of Cara Technology Limited, a specialist in beer taste panel development and yeast supply to the global brewing industry. After almost a decade with Tennent’s in Glasgow, Bill joined the Brewing Research Foundation near London, where he spent almost ten years carrying out research into beer technology.
Since establishing Cara Technology in 1995 he has consulted for more than 500 breweries in over 70 countries and has grown the company into a major provider of technical services to breweries throughout the world.
In 2016, the company was awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise, in recognition of its achievements in exporting its products to breweries in more than 170 countries.
Dan has over 32 years’ experience in the brewing industry over three continents. Dan was Brewers Society Scholar 1986 (Msc -British School of Malting & Brewing) and became an MBrew in 1991. Dan has enjoyed a diverse career working in many aspects of the industry.
He worked in the ‘first wave’ of craft brewing in the USA in the late 1980s at The Commonwealth Brewing Company, Boston and The Pacific Northwest Brewing Company, Seattle. Dan spent over 20 years working with Bass/Coors including both Production and Technical Director roles. During this time he represented Coors on the advisory board of ICBD Herriot Watt and Campden BRI. Dan also represented the UK brewing industry on the European Brewing Convention (EBC) 2003-2005. He has also worked in senior positions in Innserve, Micromatic and outside the Industry. Dan is currently General Manger of Brewers Select and Brand Ambassador for Bairds Malt in the USA. He has a wealth of brewing knowledge, specifically contributing to the craft business division.
Graeme left school in Fife at 17 to work in the yeast pilot plant of the former Distillers Company (DCL) in Menstrie, where his interests in fermentation were born. He subsequently graduated with a BSc in Brewing & Biochemistry in 1975 and completed his PhD in Yeast Physiology (1978), both from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. He was awarded DSc by Abertay University in 2004, where he is now Professor of Zymology. Prior to joining Abertay in 1987, he held positions in Denmark (Carlsberg Foundation), New Zealand (Otago University) and Ireland (Dublin City University)
He is a Fellow of The Institute of Brewing and Distilling, and UK representative on The International Commission for Yeasts. His research focuses on understanding and optimising yeast fermentation processes. He has published over 200 articles in journals, books, and conference proceedings and has authored/edited several textbooks, including Yeast Physiology & Biotechnology (1998), Bioethanol (2011), Distilled Spirits (2012) and The Alcohol Textbook (2017).
Graeme also acts as guest lecturer in Brewing and Distilling at the Siebel Institute/World Brewing Academy (Chicago), and convenes The Alcohol Schools (held variously in Montreal, Toulouse, Bangkok etc.). He is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of the Institute of Brewing and the Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists.
Professor Walker acts as consultant for international brewing, distilling, yeast biotechnology and biofuel companies.
He loves real (Scottish) ales!
In 1997 Caroline and her husband founded one of Scotland’s first micro-breweries within their family pub and restaurant, The Fox & Hounds. Caroline’s role was to drive business growth with responsibility for sales, marketing and logistics. Multi award winning, both the pub and brewery were sold in 2012 after winning CAMRA’s Champion Best Bitter of Great Britain with Houston Peter’s Well.
Caroline then joined Scotland Food & Drink, and since January 2017 has been working with The Brewers Association of Scotland (TBAS) to develop and communicate events and opportunities that will help grow both the sector and member breweries.
Andrew Wolffe is a designer and business owner who has worked at the highest level of design consultancy in Scotland for over 30 years, he runs a boutique brand design
agency in central Edinburgh. His well-informed brand thinking and intelligent creative solutions have supported a wide range of businesses from start-up distilleries to international 5 star hotel groups, and from Scotland's last independent stockbroker in Glasgow to a luxury shoemaker in South America.
Andrew is self-appointed Whisky Diplomat for a new Whisky Club venture that he is developing to export and sell Scotch whiskies in Colombia. His qualifications to judge the Beer Awards are based on consumption and a deep understanding of the importance of good design in this exciting sector.