Today is St. Andrew’s Day, the National Day for Scotland. On this day, the Saltire flies from official buildings across the land, and Scots ex-pats and descendants the world over recall the homeland with fondness.
It’s also a good day to drink Scottish beer. The beers of Scotland are historically more malt-based and less hoppy than their English cousins, although they are just as prone to a wide spectrum of nuance, variation, and subtle surprise. The Scots also preserve an ancient tradition of brewing with herbs other indigenous adjuncts. Looking for a good one? Try these recommendations:
Old Engine Oil (strong dark ale, 6% ABV), and its strongder, darker cousins, the Ola Dubh line. These are aged in Highland Park whisky barrels of 12, 16, 30, or even 40-year vingates (the whisky, not the beer). These are full-forced intense brews that are to be respected — and loved.
Williams Brothers Brewery:
Personal favorites of The Editors here at PermsPick’s, this creative brewery has a line of historically-inspired ales that trace their native roots back thousands of years. Fraoch (Heather Ale) is their flagship brew; equally delicious are the Grozet (Gooseberry & wheat), Ebulum (Elderberry), Kelpie (Seaweed Stout) and Alba (Pine).
Their St. Andrew’s Ale is a great example of the classic Scottish Ale: malt-forward and easy-going; the Twisted Thistle is a wonderful north-of-the-border take on the English IPA style.