Swannay success at national awards

Orkney-based craft beer maker Swannay Brewery has claimed more awards at a national beer competition.

The brewery came away with four awards - two gold and two bronze - from the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA)’s annual UK-wide competition.

The gold-medal winning Swannay beers were 3.9% 'Banyan' in the Cask Session IPA section, and 6.0% 'Orkney Blast' in the Cask category. 'Orkney Blast' also took bronze in the overall cask judging, with 'Muckle IPA' also winning bronze in the Keg Imperial IPA section.

After regional heats across the UK, the national competition is a true test of some of the best beers from SIBA members all over the country. Judged as part of the BeerX conference by chosen industry professionals, winning beers are recognised as excellent examples of their style.

The sweet and hoppy Orkney Blast is one of Swannay Brewery’s most established beers and has been a core offering since 2007. It can be found in cask and bottle around select outlets in Scotland and the UK. Banyan and Muckle are more modern styles from the brewery's Mutiny range. Banyan is Swannay’s fastest growing volume beer, and Muckle is an IPA styled on the bitter hop bombs from America’s West Coast. In the same competition last year, Muckle claimed the overall top prize.

The latest awards take Swannay’s haul of national and international accolades to over 150 since brewing started in 2006. Lewis Hill, general manager at Swannay Brewery, congratulated the dedicated Swannay team on the latest awards. “We’ve been in the midst of a major building project for over a year now and to win such awards at this time is testament to our focus on making world class beer, no matter what. We cannot wait to continue to build on our successes in our upgraded brewery.”

Swannay Brewery was founded in 2004 by longstanding and decorated brewer Rob Hill. Repurposing a disused cheese factory on the northwesterly tip of Orkney’s mainland, the brewery’s overarching focus from day one has been the quality of its beer.

Still an independent family business, Rob, son Lewis, and a further team of four are currently upgrading the old cow sheds into a landmark brewery with tasting room and full visitor experience. The current project consists of a £1m+ spend on buildings plus new plant & machinery and is supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Scottish Government and Clydesdale Bank funding and borrowing. Production capacity will more than double and sustainable measures will be implemented to reduce the brewery's carbon footprint.

The Promoting Orkney project has been part financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Orkney LEADER 2014-2020

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