Forres craft brewer in line for four Highland awards

Seb Jones – up for four awards.

One of Moray’s four craft breweries has been shortlisted in no fewer than four categories at the Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards.

While Monday’s announcement of businesses in line for prizes is dominated by Scotland’s island communities, the Speyside Craft Brewery, based in Forres, has four nominations while Lossiemouth’s Windswept Brewing Company are also in line for two awards.

Speyside Craft Brewery, launched last year by Seb Jones, has been listed as a contender in the Best Drink, Marketing Initiative, New Business and Young Shining Star awards.

Seb has local competition from Windswept in Best Drink and New Business categories.

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival has been shortlisted for the Best Marketing Initiative, while in the Independent Food and Drink Retailer of the Year will see Royan’s of Elgin given due consideration.

A 15-strong judging panel, chaired by Stephen Rankin the director of UK sales at the Awards’ headline sponsor Gordon & MacPhail, considered the shortlist this year.

Mr Rankin commented: “I was genuinely excited at the prospect of being involved in the judging procedure.

“All the judges agreed that the process of researching, analysing, debating, and selecting a shortlist for each category was incredibly tough due to the quality of the entrants.

“The process demonstrated to me that not only are we blessed with great natural ingredients in the Highlands and Islands, but also with individuals who, through imagination, creativity, determination, passion, skill and foresight turn these ingredients into wonderful products for consumers to enjoy.

“I would like to thank the many companies that entered the Awards and congratulate them all for their submissions. Being shortlisted for a Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Award given the high level of entrants is a truly fantastic accolade.

“I would also like to thank all the judges for their professional approach and the many hours spent studying and reviewing the applications. It demonstrates and maintains the credibility of the awards.”

The Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards, organised by the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Forum and supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), are the region’s most prestigious food and drink awards, celebrating excellence and achievement in the industry and recognising industry players at the top of their game.

The winners of the awards will be announced at an awards ceremony and dinner on 25th October.