Borders brewery racks up magnificent seven successes at first-ever Scottish Beer Awards

Staff at Tweedbank's Tempest Brewing Co celebrating being named best brewery at the inaugural Scottish Beer Awards.
Staff at Tweedbank's Tempest Brewing Co celebrating being named best brewery at the inaugural Scottish Beer Awards.

Tweedbank’s Tempest Brewing Co blew away the competition at the inaugural Scottish Beer Awards, claiming a magnificent seven prizes.

Not only was it named as best Scottish brewery at the awards, sponsored by supermarket chain Aldi and organised by Edinburgh event management firm KD Media, but it also picked up the trophy for best growth business.

On top of that, the brewery, founded in Kelso in April 2010 but based at Tweedbank Industrial Estate since February last year, picked up a further five accolades for its beers.

Brave New World was named as best golden India pale ale, Red Eye Flight as best porter or stout, Old Parochial as best British-style beer and Mexicake as best specialty brew.

As well as those four golds, the company’s 13 employees, including founders Gavin and Annika Meiklejohn, took home a silver award for the Pale Armadillo in the pale ale class from the ceremony, held at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh.

This was the second time in the space of five months that Tempest has been named as the best brewery in the company, having picked up the same accolade at British Institute of Innkeeping Awards for Scotland’s awards in Glasgow in May.

“The past year has been one of huge growth and hard work at the brewery, and we are fortunate to have a passionate and dedicated team that have pushed forward with innovation, growth, and consistent high production quality,” said Annika.

“Overall, the beer being produced in Scotland is of an incredible standard, so to be recognised in so many categories for what we’re producing is a huge honour and achievement that we are humbled by.

“We always try to do things our way, making interesting and creative beers and championing production quality above all else. The team are delighted to receive validation that what we’re doing is the way forward for the Scottish brewing industry.

“We want to thank KD Media and the sponsors of the Scottish Beer Awards for their hard work in organising a fantastic event, and the judges who awarded us such wonderful accolades.

“We intend to take full advantage of the prestige and profile that winning the awards has given us.”

The other firms shortlisted for the title of best Scottish brewery were Aberdeenshire-based Brewdog, Edinburgh Beer Factory, Stirlingshire’s Fallen Brewing and Black Isle Brewing Co, near Inverness.

The other contenders for the title of growth business of the year were Brewdog, Glasgow’s Drygate, Moray’s Keith Brewery and Aberdeenshire’s Six Degrees North.

Annika added: “The top accolade of the night was Scottish brewery of the year.

“Out of all the breweries that entered, it feels incredible to be named the best.

“Everybody on the team works so hard. We’ve always done things our way and never allow ourselves to see any boundaries with what can be done with beer.

“When someone gives you an award like this, it makes you appreciate that people are recognising the work you do.

“People have seen our ethos, our way of doing things, how hard we work, how much we try to be passionate and creative and how dedicated we are to quality, and they think all of that warrants an accolade like brewery of the year.”