Jan 25th is Robbie Burns day, a time when the definition of "Scottish" stretches to include 3rd generation Scots Immigrants, utility-kilt enthusiasts, and pretty much anybody who's ever seen Braveheart. It is a time of drinking fiery liquor, eating cuisine that seems, as Mike Myers once said, based on a dare, like intestines stuffed with more intestines, or the Scotch Egg (which is worse for your health than a close range shotgun blast), and it's also a time for Scotch Beer.
Despite my Gaelic roots, I'm not Scottish, although I have read several collections of the comic strip The Broons and I've always had a deep-seated desire to travel back through time and kick Dr. Samuel Johnson very hard in his fat gouty shins.
As such, I won't be partaking of any particular libation this eve, but I have stocked the cupboard with a few choice brews for the weekend. If you're doing a last-minute shop, these should all be available at your local BCLDB, and if you're going the private route, feel free to get a recommendation, as these aren't the only kilty brews out there (a wee Heavy'd be nice).
Innis and Gunn is a go-to gift beer that I enjoy giving to people who've no experience of craft brews. It's delicious, and small enough that you could just have the one for a quick toast.
Fraoch (which cannot be pronounced without heaving up a gob of phlegm) is a golden heather-infused ale, and should remind us all that the vaunted hop is nearly modern in terms of its use as an additive for beer. The heather imparts a slight floral nature, but there's next to no aftertaste: it's as sweet as a lowland milkmaid.
Granville Island's Scottish Ale is your typical malt-forward Scots Ale. It is as deep brown as a pair of tweed trousers and'll have you rolling your rrr's in to time at all, ye ken?
Not pictured: Saltspring has a Heather Ale, which is light and airy, a wee, sleekit cowerin' timorous thing of a brew. Well worth tracking it down.