Beer Rant

Right, that’s it. I’ve had enough. Every time I talk to people about Scottish beer, they tell me it’s s*it. I serve people in bars all the time waxing lyrical about Czech beer, English beer and American micro breweries (by the way, all these countries make ridiculously good beer). But when I drop in that Scotland makes some awesome beers, people look at me funny and tell me that Tennent’s is the only thing we make here.

Black Isle

Firstly, Tennent’s is just a basic lager. It is a thirst quencher and if it is served right (cold and fizzy), it does the job. Sometimes, you don’t want a taste explosion Hefeweizen. You just want a cold and fizzy lager at a reasonable price. It is easily better than Carlsberg, Carling, Beck’s and Grolsch. It’s not as good as Budvar, Peroni, or a very nice Pilsner, but it’s not s*it. A lot of the time, the pub you drink in influences the beer. If they serve it in a frosted glass and they manage their kegs and lines properly, Tennent’s is grand.

Secondly, Scotland makes superb beer. The list of beers is never ending. Whether it is pilsner: Haviestoun’s Schiehallion, lager: West Brewery’s St Mungo’s, porter/stout: Orkney Dark Isle or our experimental whisky cask aged stuff: Innis & Gunn and Arran beers.

Thirdly, Scotland makes excellent whisky. To make whisky, the first step is to make beer. I assumed that the beer or wash wasnt very good, but I stand corrected after visiting Balblair recently. Their wash, if it had been chilled and filtered, would have tasted absolutely superb. Like a really nice wheat beer.

For anyone that says Scotland make s*it beers, take yourself on a long trip. Say for argument’s sake you are based in London. Fly to Glasgow. In Glasgow, visit the West Brewery. From Glasgow, head to the Isle of Arran. Enjoy the peaceful splendour of the Island. Drink the whisky and enjoy the beer. From there, get a ferry to Campbeltown and drive up to Glencoe. Do some extreme sports and then visit the Atlas brewery(which is attached to a climbing wall, lots of fun). Drink in the Clachaig Inn that night (One of the best pubs in Scotland). Eat an awesome venison burger and drink one of their hilariously named beers while listening to some chest beating, drum thumping folk music.

From Glencoe, head up North to the Black Isle. Black Isle Blonde is one of my favourite beers (maybe try and catch an Inverness Cale Thistle game while you are up that end of the country). After that, head up to the dramatic splendour that is Orkney and enjoy some of their finest liquid (as well as seeing neolithic stones, the Italian chapel, ancient tombs and all the other amazing stuff). At the end of that trip, you will discover that Scotland makes awesome beer, awesome whisky, awesome food and you will have an awesome holiday. Maybe go in the summer though, we don’t make awesome weather!

Chris