Events General

Scottish National Homebrew Competition 2021 – Results!

Remote judging in progress

We had 78 entries from across Scotland and the UK, and the judges were impressed with the standard of beers across the board. Best In Show ultimately went to Tom Furniss for his Old Ale, “Private Old Ale”, brewed in a period farmhouse copper and aged in an oak cask with Brett. Thanks to everyone who entered and congratulations to all the winners – full results can be seen here.

Thanks also goes to our judges who adapted superbly to remote judging over Zoom, and to all our sponsors for providing fantastic prizes.

Finally, a special thanks to the SCB committee and especially Competition Secretary James Collin for making it all happen.

Individual scores for your entries can be viewed online at the competition site, and judges comments are now available. Contact if you have any queries.

Events General

Scottish National Homebrew Competition Update

– Competition to go ahead with remote judging

– Amended entry requirements for socially distanced competition

Thank you all for the very enthusiastic response to the inaugural Scottish National Homebrew Competition – we sold out in a few hours which was great to see.

When we launched the competition back in the heady days of Summer we were optimistic that we would be able to hold a live judging and results event in early 2021. However as time has gone on it’s become increasingly clear that this optimism was slightly misplaced! 

We’re determined that the competition will still go ahead, however to ensure that we do not fall foul of changing restrictions, judging will now be held remotely using Edinburgh based judges, with entries safely distributed  to each judge locally from the shipping location. 

To account for the reduced number of judges and the additional time required for remote judging, we now expect the judging to take place over a series of weekends (although individual tables will each be judged in a single session). We will no longer have an in person awards event and results will be announced online towards the end of February.

The deadline for editing your entries will be 31st December 2020. If for any reason you are no longer able to enter please get in touch and we will arrange a refund – there are plenty of people who would be keen to take your place!

The two key changes for entry are as follows – 

– To enable remote judging to take place we now require four bottles per entry. Two for the initial judging round and two for the best in show if your beer wins its table.

– We will not be running drop off sites in Edinburgh – all entries will need to be posted to the shipping location by midday on the 21st January 2021.

The shipping window will open on the 8th January 2021. For those who haven’t shipped to a competition before Royal Mail / Parcelforce will accept bottles of beer – paying in advance online and dropping off at your local post office is often the cheapest option. Please take note of the packaging instructions on the competition website.

For those from further afield who have volunteered to judge and were planning to travel to Edinburgh, we are very grateful but unfortunately we will not be able to use you this year. Conversely if you would like to judge and are based in or around Edinburgh please get in touch or register via the competition website.

Finally, the People’s Choice mini competition will be postponed until later in 2021 when hopefully we will be able to safely hold meet-ups again. A few more months of aging for your Imperial Stouts can only be a good thing!

If you have questions please contact the organisers via the competition website or


Announcing the first Scottish National Homebrew Competition

Scottish Craft Brewers are pleased to announce the first Scottish National Homebrew Competition to be held in January 2021.
Having organised successful BJCP judged club competitions for many years, we are now looking to expand the scope and scale of the competition.

There are 100 entries available, and participants will initially be limited to two entries. The first entry will be £6, with subsequent entries £4. General entry registration will at the end of August, keep an eye on the site and our Facebook group for further details.

There will be a 24 hour presale for paid up members of Scottish Craft Brewers, who will be contacted by email.

Entries, including the membership pre-sale, will be allocated on a first come, first served basis on receipt of payment via Paypal. If you have not paid for your entries, your place in the competition is not reserved.

All BJCP 2015 categories will be eligible for entry; beers will be grouped in tables of complementary styles for judging. The groupings will be decided based on entries received. Although you will be able to edit your entries in the lead up to the competition, the sooner the final styles are confirmed, the easier it will be for us to organise.

The winner of each table will go forward to the Best in Show competition.

Scores and written feedback will be provided to all entrants after the competition.

Entry requirements
We require three unmarked bottles, minimum of 330ml each, in either brown glass or brown PET with plain caps. The competition organisers may disqualify entries that do not meet these requirements.

Postal entries will be accepted 1 week before the competition date. There will also be drop off locations within Edinburgh confirmed in due course.

Judging will take place at the end of January 2021 in Edinburgh, provisionally the weekend of 30th / 31st. Judging will take place on the Saturday and there will be a results event open to the public at an Edinburgh venue on the Sunday.

Registration will also be open for judging and stewarding. As we are keen to get BJCP qualified judges in attendance, a contribution towards expenses will be available for those travelling from outside the central belt. Lunch will be provided on the judging day.

People’s Choice 2021
The People’s Choice 2021 will be a separate free-to-enter competition, judged by attendees at the results event. You do not need to register via the competition site, just bring three unmarked bottles of your beer along to the results day where they will be processed to be judged by other attendees.

The category for People’s Choice 2021 is 20C Imperial Stout, as voted for by members of the Scottish Craft Brewers Facebook page.
(Imperial Stout is also eligible as a category in the main competition, however this must be registered as an entry via the competition site.)

Covid 19
We are acutely aware of the ongoing Covid 19 situation and potential restrictions that may still be in place in early 2021. We will endeavour to ensure that any changes to the competition format as a result of these restrictions is communicated to participants at the earliest opportunity.


Wee Heavy – 2020 Winning Recipe

Wee Bit O Coal – Wee Heavy

Gordon Nicol’s Wee Heavy took gold in the Scottish category at the 2020 Competition, going on to come second in Best In Show. He’s kindly shared his recipe below.

23L Batch

OG 1.078
FG 1.018
IBU 30
7.91% ABV


85.4% Pale Two Row
3.7% Melanoidin
3.7% Aromatic
3.7% Pale Chocolate
3.7% Dark Crystal 80L


80g Fuggles (4.5% AA) @60min


Nottingham Ale Yeast


Mash at 65C for 75 minutes

Boil time 60 minutes


English IPA – 2020 Best In Show Recipe

English IPA – EIPA

Harry Kirkham’s English IPA took gold in the English category at the 2020 Competition, going on to win Best In Show. He’s kindly shared his recipe below.

19L Batch

OG 1.059
FG 1.015
IBU 60
5.75% ABV


45% Simpsons Golden Promise Finest Pale Ale Malt
44.5% Simpsons Best Pale Ale Malt
3.5% Simpsons Caramalt
3.5% Simpsons Light Crystal Malt
3.5% Simpsons Dextrin Malt


25g Challenger (8.5% AA) @60min
25g Bramling Cross (6.5% AA) @15 min
25g Challenger (8.5% AA) 30 min Whirlpool@ 75C
50g Bramling Cross (6.5% AA) 30 min Whirlpool@ 75C
30g First Gold (7.5% AA) 30 min Whirlpool@ 75C
35g Challenger (8.5% AA) Dry Hop 5 Days
25g Bramling Cross (6.5% AA) Dry Hop 5 Days
20g First Gold (7.5% AA) Dry Hop 5 Days

Target Water Profile

Ca Mg Na Cl SO HCO
75 5 10 50 150 0


Omega OYL-016 British Ale VIII Yeast


Mash at 67C for 60 minutes

Boil time 60 minutes

Fermented for 14 days @ 19C


American Porter – 2020 Winning Recipe

American Porter – Mountaineer Porter

Paul Willis’ American Porter took gold in the Dark Beer category at the 2020 Competition. He’s kindly shared his recipe below.

23L Batch

OG 1.058
FG 1.022
IBU 38
4.8% ABV


88% Maris Otter (6 EBC)
5% Carared (45 EBC)
4.5% Black Malt (1300 EBC)
2.5% Chocolate Malt (1000 EBC)


20g Aurora (8.3% AAU) @60min
20g Aurora (8.3% AAU) @30 min
20g Aurora (8.3% AAU) @15 min
40g Aurora (8.3% AAU) @Whirlpool


SafAle s-04


Mash at 68 degrees C for 60 minutes

Boil time 60 minutes

Add Whirlfloc @ 15 min

Fermented for 7-10 days


Scottish Craft Brewers Competition 2020 – Results

Main Judging – Bellfield Brewery Taproom

The results are in!

We had 35 entries in 6 categories from across Scotland and beyond, and the judges tasted some fantastic beers over the weekend. Thanks to everyone who entered and congratulations to all the winners!

Thanks also goes to the Bellfield Brewery Taproom in Abbeyhill for hosting the main judging, the Campervan Brewery Taproom for hosting the People’s Choice and Prizegiving event, and all the judges who helped out over the weekend.

Finally, a special thanks to SCB President James Collin for once again organising a great competition.

Individual scores for your entries can be viewed online at the competition site, and judges comments are now available. Contact if you have any queries.

Harry Kirkham – Best In Show

Best in Show is judged between the first placed entries from categories 1-5

1st: Harry Kirkham, Scottish Craft Brewers, EIPA (12C English IPA)

2nd: Gordon Nicol, Scottish Craft Brewers, Wee Bit O’ Coal (17C Wee Heavy)

3rd: Mark Sanderson, London Amateur Brewers, One Be, Or Not One Be (2A International Pale Lager)

1. English
12C English IPA

1st: Harry Kirkham, EIPA (Scottish Craft Brewers)

2nd: Paul Willis, Opus IPA

3rd: Tom Gardner, IPA (Scottish Craft Brewers)

2. American
18B American Pale Ale

1st:  Mark Watson, Number 1 APA (Scottish Craft Brewers)

2nd: Ian Cosier,  Freshly Squeezed (London Amateur Brewers)

3rd: John Livingstone, American Pale Ale ( Scottish Craft Brewers )

Honourable Mention: Callum Bracher, Hoppily Ever Aftert

3. Scottish
17C Wee Heavy

1st: Gordon Nicol, Wee Bit O Coal (Scottish Craft Brewers)

2nd:  Malcolm Cruickshank, Wee Heavy (Scottish Craft Brewers) 3

4. Dark
20A American Porter

1st: Paul Willis, Mountaineer Porter

2nd: Gordon Nicol, Muddy Creek Porter (Scottish Craft Brewers)

3rd:  John Livingstone, American Porter (Scottish Craft Brewers)

5. European
2A International Pale Lager

1st: Mark Sanderson, One Be, Or Not One Be (London Amateur Brewers)

2nd:  Gordon Nicol, Lager 02 (Scottish Craft Brewers)

3rd: Thomas Corry, Ks15 – Lager

People’s Choice Judging – Campervan Brewery Taproom

6. People’s Choice
22A Double IPA

1st: Bryan Spence, Bens Fumin V1

2nd: Stuart Betts, Co-Brewer: Jamie Skitt, Big Beard DIPA (Black Country Brew Club)

3rd: Harry Kirkham, Dua DIPA (Scottish Craft Brewers)


2020 Scottish Craft Brewers Competition – Registration Now Open!

Registration is now live for the annual Scottish Craft Brewers Competition, taking place over the weekend of 25th-26th January 2020.

This year we have six categories, with the People’s Choice having been chosen by public vote on our Facebook Group.

1. English
12C English IPA
2. American
18B American Pale Ale
3. Scottish 
17C Wee Heavy
4. Dark
20A American Porter
5. Continental
2A International Pale Lager
6. People’s Choice
22A Double IPA

Style guidelines can be found here:

Categories 1 – 5 will be judged by the panel on the Saturday. The winning entries in each of these categories will go forward to the final judging for the Best in Show award.

People’s Choice entries are judged at an open judging session on Sunday, followed by the prize giving ceremony. All are welcome to attend and join in with the judging. Venues and times for the Sunday session will be confirmed soon!

Please register you account and entries early so we have an idea of numbers, and good luck!

Any queries please use the contact forms on the Competition Website. Good luck!


80/- 2019 Winning Recipe

Gordon King’s 80/- “Wee Dancer” took first place in the Scottish Category at the 2019 Competition. He’s shared his recipe below.

80/- Wee Dancer

OG 1.049
FG  1.012
23.15 IBU


89.7% Crisp Clear Choice Ale Malt
4.9% Crisp Light Crystal
3.9% Crisp Dark Crystal
1.6% Carafa Special III


23.15 IBU East Kent Goldings @70 mins


Crossmyloof Real Ale Yeast


Single infusion mash at 66C for 60 mins

Boil for 70 mins

Ferment at 18C

Carbonated to 2 volumes


Catharina Sour – 2019 People’s Choice Recipe

Harry Kirkham’s Catharina Sour with Pink Guava was the winner of the 2019 People’s Choice. The recipe is below.

Pink Guava Catharina Sour

OG 1.052 (before fruit addition)
FG 1.008


50% Simpsons Pilsner Malt
50% Simpsons Wheat Malt
2kg Pink Guava Puree (in Fermenter)


20g Magnum Dry Hop 7 Days

Boil Additions

0.5 Protofloc Tablets @10mins


White Labs WLP090 San Diego Super Yeast
6no. Swansons L.Plantarum Tablets, crushed and added to warm water.

Water Profile

Ca 65, Mg 8, Na 50, CL 96, SO4 15


This is a fermenter soured beer. Other souring methods should work too!

Mash at 67C for 90 mins

Boil for 60 mins. Do NOT add any hops to the wort

Co-pitch the Yeast and L.Plantarum tablets into the fermenter.

Ferment at 20C

Monitor the pH until it reaches circa 4.00 or your preferred level of sourness. This should take around 7-10 days – you can add more tablets or up the temperature by a few degrees if it seems to have stalled.

Once the desired pH is reached, dry hop to kill off the L.Plantarum and stop further souring. Add the fruit puree to the fermenter.

Allow the fruit puree to ferment out, c.5 days, and package to 3.0 vol.