A host of Scottish food and drink businesses are celebrating wins at The 2018 Scottish Rural Awards last night (Thursday 22 March).
The Artisan Food and Artisan Drink categories were highly competitive with finalists from across the country competing for a place on the podium.
Taking top spot in the Artisan Food category was Perthshire business Wild Hearth Bakery. This wood fired artisan bakery is dedicated to the world of natural sourdough. The bakery houses a 9.6-ton oven fired exclusively with sustainable wood and they are Andrew Fairlie’s bread supplier for his two star Michelin restaurant at Gleneagles.
Runner-up in the Artisan Food category was Nairn business The Really Garlicky Company. They have built up a reputation for the best premium quality garlic and they now sell their products nationwide through a major supermarket.
Taking home a Highly Commended award was Stewart Tower Dairy; their ice cream is produced on a Perthshire farm from ‘cow to cone’ using renewable energy, they also bring children onto the farm to educate them in responsible farming.
In the Artisan Drink category, winners Buck and Birch Ltd were praised for their use of unconventional ingredients. The judges praised their Aelder Elixir liqueur, made using wild Scottish elderberries. It is stocked in establishments such as The Three Chimney’s, Scottish Malt Whisky Society and Tom Kitchin’s restaurants.
Landing runner-up spot in the Artisan Drink category was Isle of Harris Distillery, the first legal distillery on the Isle of Harris, which only employs local residents and uses locally sourced seaweed as a botanical. One of the smallest distilleries in Speyside took home a Highly Commended award, Avva Scottish Gin, who were congratulated for their attention to detail, commitment to small batch distillation and local provenance.
The Scottish Rural Awards are the ultimate benchmark of success in Scotland’s countryside, highlighting the enterprise, skill and innovation of those who live and work in rural areas.
Last night’s event, held at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, is the culmination of a fourth year of partnership between Scottish Field and the Scottish Countryside Alliance to host the awards, in association with the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS). The awards are backed by category sponsors including Barclays, Chiene + Tait and HW Energy.