Bellfield Brewery Highlights of 2023
This year has been an amazing one for Bellfield Brewery and with Christmas and the New Year just around the corner, we’d like to thank all of our customers, suppliers, fellow brewers, partners, investors, friends and family for their unstinting support: we literally couldn’t have done it without you!.
We’ve asked the team for their top picks of 2023 and wanted to round up the year by sharing some of our highlights.
The year started with a bang: our Mega City IPA - a hazy, fruity hoppy New England style IPA with a beautiful creamy head thanks to the addition of oats, was launched into our range in January, with a label colourful enough to banish the January blues.
February saw us hit the road when six of the team went to the Netherlands for a series of Meet the Brewer events in some of the most iconic “brown” bars in five Dutch cities. We were treated like brewing royalty though it took a couple of weeks to recover from the hospitality we were shown!
We also launched our Vienna Secession Lager - a malt-forward refreshing lager brewed with Vienna malt that delivers typical and traditional bready and toasty notes, balanced with floral, spicy hops.
March is always International Women's Day beer time: this year the women of Bellfield brewed an aromatic and fruity saison with sea buckthorn, a super fruit that grows just down the coast from us. Anna Orr, Sales and Marketing manager, said “I absolutely loved working on our IWD beer this year. It was fantastic getting to brew, do the various tastings and then launch the beer in our Taproom and other local bars. Wild Shore Saison then went on to win at the Scottish Beer Awards (Bronze, Best Session Beer). Read about Wild Shore Saison here.
The Hidden Door festival in early June was a particular highlight for Elliot Lamb, our Sales Director. Situated in the A-listed old Scottish Widows building our beers were pouring in all 6 of their bars. Elliot said, “It was incredible working so closely with a like-minded organisation like Hidden Door and fantastic exposure for our brand, getting our beer in the hands of their 10,000+ attendees. This has paved the way for Bellfield’s ongoing partnership with the festival for their 10th birthday in 2024.”
The Edinburgh Food Festival in July was our fifth time at this wonderful event that features some of Scotland’s best street food traders alongside a producers market and live cooking demos. The Food Fest is Bruce Combe - Operations Manager - personal favourite for the fantastic line up of beers we had on the bar.
July also featured the launch of our first ever sour beer - Square Gose - a beautiful, juicy passion fruit sour, launched alongside our first gluten free, hazy American style wheat beer, Weiss City - both launched as draught beers and closely followed by Joppa Juice, a juice bomb of a double dry hopped IPA, perfect for enjoying down at the beach.
August saw us enter the madness that is Edinburgh during the Festival and this year - together with our friends at Soundhouse - we ran our own venue at the Fringe. The Rose Theatre, Venue 76, featured gigs from world class Scotland based musicians and attracted plenty of sell-outs and great reviews. It certainly tested our team who were simultaneously running our busy tap room and beer garden.
We launched our second no/low alcohol beer in collaboration with the Edinburgh Art Festival and the charity Waverley Care. Fire Island, an American red IPA, named after a famous Edinburgh nightclub (where the Village People once performed!) saw 10p from every can sold, donated to Waverley, Scotland’s HIV and Hepatitis C charity, to support their life changing services. Read more in our blog about it.
In September Vienna Secession Lager and Lucky Spence won top awards at the prestigious SIBA Indie Beer Scotland Awards, bring home Gold for ‘Session Lager in Keg’ and Gold for ‘Cask Session Pale Ale’ respectively.
But mid September’s Scottish Beer Awards 2023 were the absolute career highlights for many of our team including Gregor Zielinski (Taproom Manager) and Marie Brown (Director). Nominated for no less than 14 awards, winning Scottish Brewery of the Year 2023 topped off an extraordinary year for us! It’s a testament to the talent of our brewing team, the discipline of our back office team, the tenacity of our sales and marketing team and the first-rate hospitality of our Taproom team: we couldn’t be more proud to win this award! (the video taken by the Stewart Brewing table, of the Bellfield team leaping up from the table when we won the award, is Alistair Brown, our CEOs highlight of 2023!).
It has been 8 years since Alistair and Giselle founded the business in December 2015 - after Alistair was diagnosed Coeliac - with a mission to produce award winning beers that were 100% vegan and certified gluten-free. It was therefore quite a moment for the chair of the judges at the Scottish Beer Awards to comment that it was an easy choice to recognise Bellfield as Brewery of the Year due to the consistently high performance of our beers across the blind tastings for all categories.
In saying Bellfield “have a strong link with community and people, which is the very ethos that beer is based on” the judges certainly captured what we are all about.
Thank you for your support during 2023 and we wish you and yours a very happy festive season.
Cheers, Team Bellfield
Also in Lastest News from Bellfield
If you’re looking for a perfect festive venue for your Christmas party, team drinks or get-together with friends and family, the Bellfield Taproom and Beer garden has you covered.
Edinburgh’s Bellfield Brewery won four awards at last week's Scottish Beer Awards, winning three medals in the taste awards and the ultimate prize of the night, “Scottish Brewery of the Year”, sponsored by Aldi.
Bellfield’s Vienna Secession Lager won gold for “Best Amber or Dark Beer”, their Craft Lager won silver for “Best Lager” and Wild Shore Saison won bronze (out of 27 finalists!) for “Best Session Beer”.