Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Serving Suggestions: Three Beers For Robbie Burns Day

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.


  1. Fraoch is decent, the bootles look cool.

    how come i've never seen the GIB Scottish Ale?

    also, no McEwans? it's not bad.

  2. No it's not bad, but I would go for a Belhaven instead, seeing as McEwan's is owned by Heineken.


    Heineken...don't like ye!

  3. Fine.

    i'm geussing though, that you have seen the green boxed I&G offering boasting 49 days kegbound in 21 year old scotch barrels. because it's heavenly.

    and you're probably saving it for its own review.

  4. highland cask. it's called highland cask.

  5. Got it, and I will have some once I reach 100 twitter followers.