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21st March 2018


The Orkney Brewery has done the double at a major national beer competition, becoming the only Scottish brewer to take top honours in two different event categories.

The brewery’s speciality Dark Island Reserve and its Dragonhead stout both won gold at the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) National Independent Beer Awards 2018, held in Liverpool last week.

The SIBA National Independent Beer Awards, staged as part of the BeerX event, saw a huge range of beers judged across a number of styles in separate cask, keg and small pack (bottle and can) competitions.

Judged mostly by brewers, experts and beer journalists, the awards are very much seen as a prestigious ‘brewers’ choice’ by the industry.

Dark Island Reserve took the top award in the Cask Champion Speciality Mid to Dark Beers category of the event, while Dragonhead stout won its gold in the Keg Champion Standard Mild Ales & Brown Ales section of the competition.

Craig Steven, Orkney Brewery’s commercial manager, said: “Receiving these awards on behalf of the Orkney Brewery team is a great honour and an incredible testament to our meticulous approach to recipe, brewing methods and ingredient selection. Our brewers are delivering outstanding consistency across all styles, offering a great range of beer for all channels demanding more premium choices.”

“These latest accolades mean we have now picked up 17 awards overall inside 12 months – not a bad haul from one of Scotland’s first independent micro-brewers and great timing as we celebrate our 30th birthday this year.”

Buster Grant, SIBA chairman, added: “Judges had a tough job separating the pack as the standard was extremely high once again. The winners from the SIBA competition are officially the best independent craft beers in the UK, something brewers should be extremely proud of.

More information on SIBA’s Independent Beer Awards is available at


For further information, contact:

Craig Steven, commercial manager,

Sinclair Breweries Ltd.

Tel: 07970 136651



The Orkney Brewery was one of Scotland’s first independent micro–breweries and started brewing in 1988, in what was once an old schoolhouse in Quoyloo, Orkney. Northern Isles values shape our resolute approach to brewing, resulting in world class, award-winning beers.

We brew iconic Scottish ales such as Dark Island, Red MacGregor, Dragonhead and Skull Splitter. In addition, we offer New World Pale Ale Orkney Gold and Dark Island Reserve aged in whisky oak casks. We are also custodians of the Atlas Range of beers, a pioneering variety of flavoursome craft brews, first developed on the west coast of Scotland, that were instantaneously award winning. These beers are distinct to Orkney in recipe and ingredients being New World and International styles.

Managing director Norman Sinclair, whose father was schooled in what is now the Orkney Brewery, took over the tenure of the business in 2006.  He quickly developed a custom-built brew house adjoining the old schoolhouse, creating a 5 Star visitor centre in the process.