A LAGER named after the Leith-born inventor of pop art is in the running for a top award.
Edinburgh Beer Factory’s Paolozzi – dedicated to artist Eduardo Paolozzi – is up against nine other contenders in the Best Lager or Pilsner category of the first annual Scottish Beer Awards.
And the ambitious company, which only started brewing last August, is also up for Scottish Brewery of the Year.
Bosses said they were “absolutely thrilled” to be ranked alongside industry heavyweights such as Brewdog and Williams Bros.
Marketing assistant Andrew Duncan said: “We are really floored, especially being less than a year old. It’s incredible.”
Run by John Dunsmore, a former chief executive of drinks giant Scottish & Newcastle, the Edinburgh Beer Factory released Paolozzi – its first and so far only beer – onto the market last October.
The Munich-style lager was an immediate hit and has since garnered more than its fair share of industry hype.
Mr Duncan said Eduardo Paolozzi was chosen as an inspiration due to his unique take on life and art – finding the “sublime in the everyday” – and to promote his legacy in his native city.
Mr Duncan added that Paolozzi represented the “true Scotland” – a country of inventiveness, creativity and open-mindedness.
Paolozzi was born in Leith in 1924 and became a celebrated sculptor and artist. He is widely credited with pioneering pop art through his use of imagery taken from popular culture.
For every pint and bottle sold, the Edinburgh Beer Factory makes a donation to the Paolozzi Foundation, which works “to advance the education of the public” and promote “their appreciation of the fine arts”.
Other local breweries in the running for top gongs at the Scottish Beer Awards include Summerhall-based microbrewery Barney’s Beer and Leith’s Pilot brewery.
Judges tasted 154 beers to draw up their shortlists, with winners set to be announced on September 29 at a ceremony at the Corn Exchange.
Categories include Best Speciality Beer, Best Pale Ale, Best IPA, Beer Destination of the Year, Master Brewer of the Year and Scottish Brewery of the Year.
Former Scottish & Newcastle director Hilary Jones, who took part in the judging process, said: “The tasting session was illuminating and with eight beer types and 154 beers, we were really put through our paces.
“The overwhelming consensus from the panel is that the Scottish brewing sector is in terrific health and producing some outstanding beers.”
Joanna Cherry, MP for Edinburgh South West, congratulated Edinburgh Beer Factory on its nomination.
She said: “I am delighted that the Edinburgh Beer Factory has been selected as a finalist in the Scottish Beer Awards 2016. I recently visited the team and was amazed by what they’ve achieved.
“From their delicious Munich-style lager Paolozzi to their innovative marketing, the Edinburgh Beer Factory has embodied everything that the Edinburgh-born pioneer of Pop Art, Eduardo Paolozzi, set out to achieve in his art.
“In reinventing the ‘everyday’ beer style, lager, and applying 21st century Italian technology and Scottish ingenuity, they have created a truly fantastic product.”