The national competition for the brewing sector in Scotland will take place in Glasgow this year for the first time in the event’s five-year history.

The Scottish Beer Awards will take place in September at The Old Fruitmarket in the Merchant City for the annual event which recognises the nation’s best beers and brewers.

The 2020 competition is now open for entry and has unveiled a refreshed line-up of business categories to include the recognition of sustainable business practices in brewing.  In the popular blind tasting competition, which last year assessed almost 300 beers, a new category for Best Low or No Alcohol Beer has also been included for the first time.

As part of the changes, the popular Beer Matters conference and trade show connected to the awards also finds a new home and will be staged as part of Drink Scotland, a new destination business trade show for brewing, distilling and soft drinks which will take place in Edinburgh in March 2021.

The Scottish Beer Awards is sponsored by ALDI for a fifth year as part of their long-term commitment to Scottish beers and brewing.  Graham Nicolson, Group Buying Director, ALDI Scotland commented.

“It is encouraging to see the continued growth of the beer industry in Scotland and we believe that the quality of beer being produced in the country is second to none.  Our popular Scottish beer festivals provide us with excellent opportunities to cultivate long-term partnerships with many award-winning and up-and-coming breweries, allowing us to champion the outstanding beers that are being made by breweries across the country. 

“We are delighted to support the Scottish Beer Awards as headline sponsors for the 5th consecutive year and encourage breweries large and small to take part in what has become a highly respected competition.”

The judging panel is now preparing to meet in a few months’ time to assess the brewing industry’s best businesses and teams.  The panel will again be chaired by Hilary Jones, the former president of the European Brewery Convention and former Group Technical & Quality Director at S&N.  She commented,

“Now in its fifth year, the Scottish Beer Awards has really made its mark on the brewing industry in Scotland, becoming a respected and fair competition that provides breweries large and small with positive reputation advantages and business growth potential.   I am very honoured to chair the panel again this year and to welcome the many new judges.  We look forward to meeting in a few months’ time to assess the written entries and to blind taste the products entered by breweries from across the country.”

Full details including the category line-up, entry guide and terms and conditions are available here and entrants have until Thursday 23rd April to prepare and submit their work for consideration. 

This year’s winners will be announced at the Scottish Beer Awards celebration and dinner which takes place at The Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow on Wednesday 16th September 2020.  The awards will again support The BEN, the Benevolent Society of the Licensed Trade of Scotland.

For details on available sponsorship opportunities, please contact

Judging Panel

Fiona Bain, Consultant
Tim Blades, Account Manager, New Wave Distribution
Fergus Clark, Consultant
Christie Clinton, Buying Director, ALDI
Iain Davies, Raw Materials Manager, Bairds Malt & Brewers Select
Ruth Evans, CEO, BFBi
Rob Gilmour, Senior Buyer, Flavourly
Daivd Hannah, Area Sales Manager, Muntons
Adam Hardie, Partner & Head of Food & Drink, Johnston Carmichael
Ian Herok, Director, Still Brewing Company
Colin Johnston, Craft Brewing & Distilling Sales Manager, Crisp Malting
Hilary Jones, Non Executive Director, WEST and Chair of the Judging Panel
Deb Kennedy, Leadership and Management Support Consultant
Niall Kennedy, Director, Wee Beer Shop
Andrew Ley, Partner, Addleshaw Goddard
Keith Lugton, Group Liquid Development Manager, C&C Group
Rob Mackay, Creative Director, Drygate Brewing Co
Dr Dawn Maskell, Director, International Centre for Brewing & Distilling, Heriot Watt University
Isla Mercer, Diary of a Beer Girl
Christopher Miller, Director, Craft Beer Clan
Sean Murphy, Food & Drink Writer, The Scotsman
Sir Geoff Palmer OBE, Professor, International Centre for Brewing & Distilling, Heriot Watt University
David Reid, Director, Because Brands Matter
Pete Sherry, Owner, The Beer Hive
Shannon Sherry, Marketing Manager, New Wave Distribution
Ali Stewart, CEO, Flavourly
Rachel Sutherland, Assistant Professor, International Centre for Brewing & Distilling, Heriot Watt University
Dan Unwin, General Manager, Brewers Select
Graeme Walker, Professor of Zymology, Abertay University
Marc Watson, Head Distiller & Distillery Manager, John Crabbie & Co
Caroline Wengel, Business Development Manager, The Brewers Association of Scotland
Dominic P Wright, Director Oude & Gruit

Business Categories

Scottish Brewery of the Year – Sponsored by Aldi
Brewer of the Year – Sponsored by Close Brothers Brewery Rentals
NEW - Excellence in Sustainability
NEW - Excellence in Branding – Sponsored by Rankin Brothers & Sons.
Product Development Team of the Year – Sponsored by Muntons
NEW - Sales Team of the Year
Best Beer Destination
Best Beer Event
Best Beer Bar

Taste Categories 

Best Lager
Best Pilsner
Best Pale Ale – Sponsored by Kegstar
Best IPA – Sponsored by Brewers Select
Best Session Beer
Best British Style Ale
Best Amber or Dark Ale
Best Porter
Best Stout
Best Amplified Beer - Sponsored by Cara Technology
Best Sour Beer
Best Fruit Forward
Best Barrel Aged Beer
Best Juicy or Hazy Beer
Best Speciality Beer
NEW - Best Low or No Alcohol Beer