A Heriot-Watt graduate has been named as the first ever female Brewer of the Year by the British Guild of Beer Writers.
Sara Barton of Brewster’s Brewery in Lincolnshire said she was “…really pleased and somewhat surprised” when her name was announced at the Guild of Beer Writer’s dinner, although her hard work and determination was recognised by the awards panel.
A graduate of Heriot-Watt’s MSc Brewing & Distilling course, Sara set up Brewster’s in 1998 and the beer has been flowing ever since. She’s a great example of what vision and ideas mixed with study and experience can achieve.
“I think that coming to Heriot-Watt Brewing School was one of the best career decisions I made. I look back fondly on my time at Heriot-Watt and how it brought me into the brewing industry.” – Sara Barton
Since her graduation, Heriot-Watt has moved from the city centre to it’s current location on a purpose-built campus in the west of Edinburgh. “I was there in the days of Chambers Street and look enviously at the brewing facilities that are available now. I remember doing my research project on a small 2 litre lab fermenter rather than a pilot brewing kit! I still come across some of my class mates from the MSc and BSc and see them from time to time at industry events.”
Brewster’s brews a wide range of award-winning core beers, as well two themed ranges of cask ales.
As well as running a brewery and producing some award-winning beers, Sara has been busy working with other women brewers having set up Project Venus in 2011 to collaborate on new brews and showcase the best of female brewing in the UK and Eire. Project Venus has now produced 8 beers from participating breweries around the UK.