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August 2, 2010 07:24 - August Highland Games & Festivals

August is probably the ideal month for Highland Games, so there’s plenty to choose from. And if you just happen to be a world traveler, you might attend games in the Switzerland, Germany, Australia, or Scotland…

If you can find one near you, go and get a dose of Scottishness…just look at all those colorful kilts, stuff yourself on Scottish goodies, and listen to those pipes a-skirlin’!

  • July 24 to August 2, Dungloe, Ireland ~ Mary From Dungloe International Festival
  • July 29 to August 1, Fochabers, Scotland ~ Speyfest
  • July 29 to August 1, Tignish, Prince Edward Island, Canada ~ Tignish Irish Folk Festival
  • July 30 to August 1, East Durham, New York ~ Blackthorne’s Highland Bagpipe Competition and Irish Festival
  • July 30 to August 1, Dayton, Ohio ~ Dayton Celtic Festival
  • July 30 to August 1, North Plains, Oregon ~ The Fairieworlds Festival
  • July 30 to August 1, Fehraltorf, Switzerland ~ Highland Games
  • July 30 to August 1, Abington, Virginia ~ Virginia Highlands Festival - Celtic Weekend
  • July 31 to August 1, Callander, Scotland ~ Callander Highland Games

    Courtesy Callander Highland Games

  • July 31 to August 1, Enumclaw, Washington ~ Pacific Northwest Scottish Highland Games and Clan Gathering
  • July 31 to August 2, Cahersiveen, Ireland ~ Cahersiveen Festival of Music and the Arts
  • August 1, Morar, Scotland ~ Maiiaig & Morar Highland Games
  • August 2 to 6, Goderich, Ontario, Canada ~ The Goderich Celtic College
  • August 4, Killin, Scotland ~ Killin International Highland Games
  • August 4, Pierrefonds, Quebec, Canada ~ Montreal Highland Games
  • August 4, Portree, Scotland ~ Isle of Skye Highland Games

    One happy piper
    courtesy Isle of Skye Highland Games

  • August 5 to 7, Balve, Germany ~ Irish Folk & Celtic Music Festival
  • August 5 to 7, Sion, Switzerland ~ Guinness Irish Festival
  • August 5 to 8, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada ~ Festival of the Tartans
  • August 6 to 7, Livonia, Michigan ~ St. Andrew’s Society of Detroit Highland Games
  • August 6 to 8, Dublin, Ohio ~ Dublin Irish Festival
  • August 6 to 8, Eldon, Prince Edward Island, Canada ~ Caledonia Club of PEI Highland Games. This club held the first Highland Games in Canada in 1864.
  • August 6 to 8, Goderich, Ontario, Canada ~ Celtic Roots Festival
  • August 6 to 8, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada ~ Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival
  • August 6 to 15, Lorient, France ~ Festival Interceltique de Lorient
  • August 6 to 28, Edinburgh, Scotland ~ Edinburgh Military Tattoo
  • August 7, Aboyne, Scotland ~ Aboyne Highland Games
  • August 7, Anchorage, Alaska ~ Galway Days of G. Street
  • August 7, Dundonald, Scotland ~ Dundonald Games
  • August 7, Iona, Nova Scotia, Canada ~ Highland Village Day

    Virtual Museum Ceilidh exhibit courtesy Highland Village Days

  • August 7, Newtonmore, Scotland ~ Newtonmore Highland Games
  • August 7, North Berwick, Scotland ~ North Berwlck International Highland Games
  • August 7, North Riverside, Illinois ~ Scottish Home PIcnic
  • August 7, Spokane, Washington ~ Spokane Highland Games
  • August 7 to 8, Salinas, California ~ Monterey Highland Games and Celtic Festival
  • August 8, Bridge of Allan, Scotland ~Bridge of Allan Highland Games
  • August 8 to 14, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada ~ Pavilion of Scotland
  • August 9, Syracuse, New York ~ Central New York Scottish Games
  • August 9 to 10, Manheim, Pennsylvania ~ Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire Scottish Weekend
  • August 12, Ballater, Scotland ~ Ballater Highland Games
  • August 13 to 14, Aberfeldy, Scotland ~ Aberfeldy Show and Games
  • August 13 to 14, Charlotte, North Carolina ~ Charlotte Summer Irish Festival
  • August 13 to 14, Wildwood, New Jersey ~ Irish Summerfest
  • August 13 to 15, Butte, Montana ~ An Rí Rá Montana Irish Festival
  • August 13 to 15, Fergus, Ontario, Canada ~ Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games
  • August 13 to 15, Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada ~ Brimstone Head Folk Festival
  • August 13 to 15, La Crosse, Wisconsin ~ Irish Fest La Crosse
  • August 13 to 15, Pictou, Nova Scotia, Canada ~ The Hector Festival
  • August 13 to 15, St. Paul, Minnesota ~ Minnesota Irish Heritage Fair
  • August 13 to 16, Killington, Vermont ~ The Pipers’ Gathering
  • August 14, Alexandria, Virginia ~ Irish Fest
  • August 14, Dumfries, Scotland ~ The Border Gathering
  • August 14, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada ~ Edmonton Celtic Festival
  • August 14, Langley, Washington ~ Whidbey Island Highland Games
  • August 14, Liverpool, New York ~ Central New York Scottish Games and Celtic Festival
  • August 14, Madras, Oregon ~ The High Desert Celtic Festival
  • August 14, Nethy Bridge, Scotland ~ Abernethy Highland Games

    Massed Bands courtesy Nethy Bridge Highland Games

  • August 14, Springfield, Massachusetts ~ Irish Music Festival
  • August 14, Windsor, Ontario, Canada ~ Rose City/Feis Balie Na Ros
  • August 14 to 15, Highland Ranch, Colorado ~ Colorado Scottish Festival and Rocky Mountain Highland Games
  • August 15, Perth, Scotland ~ Perth Highland Games

    Massed Bands courtesy Perth Highland Games

  • August 16 to 18, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada ~ Saskatoon Highland Games
  • August 16 to 22, Cavan, Ireland ~ Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann
  • August 19 to 22 Milwaukee, Wisconsin ~ Milwaukee Irish Fest
  • August 20, Glenisla, Scotland ~ Glenisla Highland Games
  • August 20 to 21, Jackson, Wyoming ~ Jackson Hole Scottish Festival
  • August 20 to 21, Sychroy, Czech Republic ~ Sychroy Highland Games

    Montage courtesy Sychroy Highland Games

  • August 20 to 22, Winston, Oregon ~ Oregon Highland Games
  • August 21, Almonte, Ontario, Canada ~ North Lanark Highland Games
  • August 21, Amherst, New York ~ Amherst Museum Scottish Festival and Highland Games
  • August 21, Brunswick, Maine ~ Maine Highland Games
  • August 21, Helmsdale, Scotland ~ Helmsdale Highland Games
  • August 21, Nairn, Scotland ~ Nairn Highland Games
  • August 21, Rothesay, Scotland ~ Bute Highland Games
  • August 21 to 22, Hunter Mountain, New York ~ International Celtic Festival
  • August 21 to 22, Sterling, New York ~ Sterling Celtic Rock Festival
  • August 22, Crieff, Scotland ~ Crieff Highland Gathering
  • August 22, Toukley, New South Wales, Australia ~ Gathering of the Clans
  • August 24, Olympia, Washington ~ Peninsula Pipes and Drums of Gig Harbor
  • August 26, Oban, Scotland ~ The Argyllshire Gathering and The Oban Games
  • August 26 to 28, Dunoon, Scotland ~ Cowal Highland Gathering

    This site has British Pathe Newsreels of their Highland Games from 1924 to 1960.

  • August 27 to 28, Wellsvile, Utah ~ Cache Valley Celtic Festival and Highland Games
  • August 27 to 29, Buffalo, New York Buffalo Irish Festival
  • August 27 to 29, Cortland, New York ~ Cortland Celtic Festival
  • August 27 to 29, Peoria, Illinois ~ Erin Feis
  • August 27 to 29, St. Ursen, Switzerland ~ Swiss Championship Highland Games. Again this year they’ve produced a unique poster.

    2010 poster courtesy
    Swiss Championship
    Highland Games

  • August 28, Birnam, Scotland ~ Birnam Highland Games
  • August 28, Galesburg, Michigan ~ Kalamazoo Scottish Festival
  • August 28, High River, Alberta, Canada ~ Foothills Highland Games
  • August 28, Huntington, New York ~ Long Island Scottish Games - Old Westbury Gardens
  • August 28, Jamestown, New York ~ Jamestown Regional Celtic Festival and Gathering of the Clans
  • August 28, Kirkmichael, Scotland ~ Strathardle Highland Games
  • August 28, Quechee, Vermont ~ Quechee Scottish Festival
  • August 28 to 29, Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio ~ Celtic Feis
  • August 29, Crawley, England ~ Crawley Irish Festival
  • August 29 to 30, Rapid City, South Dakota ~ Black Hills Gathering of the Clans
  • August 30, Altamont, New York ~ Capital District Scottish Games
  • August 30, Carlisle, Pennsylvania ~ McLain Highland Festival

For more detailed information about the listed events, go to

Coming tomorrow, more Scottish beer…

August 3, 2010 07:30 - Scottish Beer ~ Part VIII Clockwork, Colonsay, Cuillin Breweries

Today the beers of Scotland continue. As I prepared yesterday's listing of August Highland Events, when I came across a town where any of the breweries are located, I had to stop and wonder if the local brewery would have a pavilion at their village games.

Clockwork Beer Company, located in Glasgow, this is an old-fashioned pub, opened in 1997, where all the beer brewed is consumed on-premise. This type of operation is called a brewpub and is the only one in Glasgow.

  • Clockwork Lager
  • Red Alt
  • Amber Ale
  • Hazy Days Ginger

Colonsay Brewery, Isle of Colonsay, managed by the island mailman, brewed by a pair of innovators who perform many tasks on the isle

  • Colonsay 80
  • Colonsay IPA
  • Colonsay Lager

Cuillin Brewery , Sligachan, Isle of Skye, begun in 2004 in the old public bar at the Sligachan Hotel

Cuillin Mountains courtesy Wikipedia

  • Black Face Stout

    Black Face Stout
    courtesy Cuillin Brewery

  • Eagle Ale

    Eagle Ale courtesy
    Cuillin Brewery

  • Pinnacle Ale

    Pinnacle Ale
    courtesy Cuillin Brewery

  • Skye Ale, their flagship brew

    Skye Ale courtesy
    Cuillin Brewery

Tomorrow the breweries of Deeside, Devon, and Edinburgh will be featured…

August 4, 2010 07:34 - Scottish Beer ~ Part IX, Deeside, Devon, Edinburgh, and Far North Breweries

Deeside Brewery, established in 2005 as Hillside Brewery, the brewery is now located in Lumphanan, Aberdeenshire, near the River Dee.

Pictland Logo courtesy Deeside Brewery

Shirley’s Logo courtesy Deeside Brewery

Regular Brews

  • Brude, blonde ale with grapefruit, elderflower, and citrus.

    Brude Ale courtesy Deeside Brewery

  • Macbeth, signature golden ale.

    MacBeth Golden Ale courtesy Deeside Brewery

  • Nechtan, pale ale with orange, grapefruit, and lemon.

    Nechtan Pale Ale courtesy Deeside Brewery

  • Talorcan Stout, with a velvety chocolate flavor.

    Talorcan Stout courtesy Deeside Brewery

Seasonal Brews

  • Alban Arthan, Scotch ale for winter with hints of sherry and Dundee cake.

    Alban Arthan courtesy Deeside Brewery

  • Beltane Ale, to welcome spring.

    Beltane Ale courtesy Deeside Brewery

  • Broichan, an 80 Shilling autumn ale with hints of coffee and dark chocolate.

    Broichan courtesy Deeside Brewery

  • Lulach Ale, a pale summer brew with hints of fruit and nuts.

    Lulach Ale courtesy Deeside Brewery

Devon Ales, in the Mansfield Arms, Sauchie by Alloa, Clackmannanshire. Founded in 1992 in a family hostelry.

  • Devon Original, cask conditioned.
  • Devon Pride, 90 Shilling, cask conditioned.
  • Devon Thick Black Stout
  • Chopper’s Choice, to memorialize the local butcher, John Dick.

Edinburgh Brewery

  • Edinburgh Pale Ale, an 1826 golden cask conditioned ale. The label bears a view of the Salisbury Crags, which are part of Arthur’s Seat.

    Salisbury Crags courtesy Wikipedia

    The water from around Arthur’s Seat has been of outstanding brewing quality for generations.

    Edinburgh Pale Ale Draft courtesy Edinburgh Brewery

Far North Brewery in Reay, Caithness, brewed it’s first beer as Far North Brewery in 2000, after many years of serving their craft-brewed ale to customers at the Melvich Hotel in Sutherland.

Far North Brewery Logo courtesy Scottish Brewing

The product line includes

  • Real McKay, their regular house beer
  • Caithness Gold

Tomorrow the Fyfe, Fyne, and Glenfinnan Breweries…

August 5, 2010 12:30 - Scottish Breweries ~ Part XI, Fyfe, Fyne Ales, and Glenfinnan Breweries

Fyfe Brewing Company , Kirkcaldy, Fife, this is the first brewery in Fife for over 70 years.

Fyfe Brewery logo courtesy Fyfe Brewery

A husband and wife team opened the brewery in 1995, above the Harbour Bar, where most of their ales are served. The brewery was originally a sail works.

Harbour Bar & Fyfe Brewery
courtesy Fyfe Brewery

  • Fyfe Fyre, their flagship ale, a blonde ale with hints of citrus.
  • Greengo, a light bitter ale brewed with New Zealand Green Bullet hops.
  • JPS, a Pilsner in the continental style.
  • Rope of Sand, a thirst quenching bitter.
  • Weiss Squad, a powerful bitter wheat beer.

Fyne Ales, founded in 2001 in a milking parlor at Achaunan, Cairndow in Argyll, on St. Andrew’s Day.

Milking Parlour courtesy Fyne Brewery

The brewery overlooks Glen Fyne and Loch Fyne.

Glen Fyne and Loch courtesy Fyne Brewery

  • Avalanche Ale, with a hint of grapefruit.

    Avalanche courtesy Fyne Brewery

  • Highlander Ale, with a citrus aroma.

    Highlander Ale courtesy Fyne Brewery

  • Holly Daze Ale, an antidote to Christmas spices, available from Advent to Epiphany.

    Holly Daze Ale courtesy Fyne Brewery

  • Innishail Ale with a citrus floral aroma and a taste of honey and grapefruit.

    Innishail Ale courtesy Fyne Brewery

  • Maverick Ale, a mahogany red ale with a robust, fruity flavor.

    Maverick Ale courtesy Fyne Brewery

  • Piper’s Ale, a bitter pale ale.

    Piper’s Ale courtesy Fyne Brewery

  • Somerled, a summer special with a hint of vanilla, brewed to refresh.

    Somerled courtesy Fyne Brewery

  • Vital Spark, a very dark ale with a reddish glow.

    Vital Spark courtesy Fyne Brewery

Glenfinnan Brewery, established in 2005 by three local retired teachers on the north end of Lochy Shiel, at the foot of Glenfinnan.

Glenfinnan courtesy Glenfinnan Brewery

Featured on the labels, the monument commemorating The Jacobite Rebellion stands nearby.

Glenfinnan courtesy Glenfinnan Brewery

Opening day ceremonies included a Piping In ceremony

Opening Day Piping In courtesy Glenfinnan Brewery

  • A’Chaid Fhear, meaning the first one, a bottle conditioned ale.

    A’Chaid Fhear courtesy Glenfinnan Brewery

  • Glenfinnan Dark, brewed at year’s end for more malt and less bitterness, for the winter taste buds.

    Dark Ale courtesy Glenfinnan Brewery

  • Glenfinnan Gold, a golden ale for summer, commemorating the 4,000 pounds of gold that disappeared near Glenfinnan during the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion.

    Glenfinnan Gold courtesy Glenfinnan Brewery

  • The Standard Ale, commemorating the raising of the Jacobite Standard by Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745.

    The Standard courtesy Glenfinnan Brewery

Coming tomorrow, Harviestoun and Hebrides Breweries…

August 6, 2010 07:52 - Scottish Beer ~ Part XII, Harviestoun & Hebridean Breweries

Harviestoun Brewery, Alva, Clackmannanshire, founded in 1985, in s 200 year old stone barn

Harviestoun Brewery
courtesy Harviestoun Brewery

Regular Ales

  • Bitter & Twisted, a blonde bitter named by the founder’s wife, to describe her husband

    Bitter & Twisted
    courtesy Harviestoun Brewery

  • Haggis Hunter, a tawny bitter which blends pale and crystal malts.

  • Old Engine Oil, described as a strong and dark but wickedly, wickedly smooth English porter. A delicious "after dinner" dark ale.

    Old Engine Oil
    courtesy Harviestoun Brewery

  • Ptarmigan Premium Ale, an English Pale Ale

    Ptarmigan courtesy
    Harviestoun Brewery

  • Schiehallion, a cask conditioned lager.

Special Brews, including the Old Dubh series, which translates as Black Oil. This is Old Engine Oil Ale aged in malt whisky casks from Highland Park Distillery. The numbers on the beers indicate the number of years Highland Park whisky was aged in the casks, thus imparting more whisky taste. Beyond the oil and cocoa of Old Engine Oil, the whisky casks add a faint smoke and heathery peat to the Old Dubh beers.

  • Old Dubh 12

    Old Dubh 12 courtesy
    Harviestoun Brewery

  • Old Dubh 16

    Old Dubh 16 courtesy
    Harviestoun Brewery

  • Old Dubh 18

    Old Dubh 18 courtesy
    Harviestoun Brewery

  • Old Dubh 30

    Old Dubh 30 courtesy
    Harviestoun Brewery

  • Old Dubh 40

Hebridean Brewing Company, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, founded in 2002, this is the only brewery in the Outer Hebrides producing cask conditioned ales.

Logo courtesy Hebridean Brewery

The words Companaiah grudaiah nan innse-gall is somehow integrated with The Hebrides, as innse gall is an ancient name for the Outer Hebrides and translates as island of the strangers.

And they feature poetry ~

From the lonely shieling

of the misty isle.

Mountains divide us

and a waist of seas.

Yet still the blood is strong

the heart is Highland

and in my dreams

I behold the Hebrides.

  • Clansman, a golden bitter, brewed to make you want more.

    Clansman courtesy
    Hebridean Brewery

  • Islander Strong Premium Ale, a deep ruby red as complex as the Hebrides themselves

    Islander courtesy
    Hebridean Brewery

  • Celtic Black, a dark porter style with a bite and a caramel after taste.

    Celtic Black courtesy
    Hebridean Brewery

  • Berserker Export IPA, based on 150 year old recipes, light but very strong, to commemorate the Berserker warriors that are a vital part of Hebrides history.

    Berserker courtesy
    Hebridean Brewery

    Before a battle these mighty warriors would work themselves into a frenzy, or berserkergang. Dressed in wild animal skins, preferably bear or wolf, they would howl and bite their shields to instill fear in their foes. Their name is derived from either Bear-Sark, relating to the bear skin, or Bare- Sark, relating to their casting aside their armor while in a frenzied state. Thus comes our modern English word, berserk. Depicted is a Berserker rook chewing his shield. He is part of the Lewis Chessman Hoard, discovered in 1831 at the head of Uig Bay on the Isle of Lewis.

    Berserker Rook
    courtesy Hebridean Brewery

Monday will feature Highlands and Houston Breweries...

August 9, 2010 08:30 - The Good Ship Hector

Today an important Highland event opens. The historical significance is a highlight for Canada. So, the beer of Scotland, will be set aside for a day, while homage is paid where due.

On the northern shore of Nova Scotia, lie a town of only 3,800 people. Though small in size, Pictou rises big in Canadian history, particularly this week. For on this site in 1773, the Hector land onshore at the site of Pictou.

The Highlanders were fleeing Scotland due to the Highland Clearances and Pictou became the receiving point for many an immigrant, thus the town‘s slogan, "The Birthplace of New Scotland".

The Hector left Scotland around July 1, 1773, with 170 Highlanders on board. Their hopes ran high. For they had a promise of free passage, a year of free provisions, and a farm. There were 23 families and 25 single men.

Hector/Pictou flyer courtesy Wikipedia

The new settlers were described as poor, illiterate crofters and artisans who spoke only Garlic. One exception was the school teacher, William McKenzie who also spoke English. Many were from the Isle of Skye.

The Hector was old and in poor condition. A gale off Newfoundland delayed the voyage by 14 days. After 11 weeks at sea and the loss of 18 children to dysentery and small pox, the immigrants reached shore.

The provisions never arrived and they hurriedly built protection from the coming winter. Though their lives were severe, they did survive and establish a new life. Today, the town motto is "As constant as the northern star."

This week Pictou celebrates the landing of the Good Ship Hector. After an 8 year struggle, in a replica of the Hector was launched in 2000. Each year, during the Hector Festival, the landing is reenacted and visitors can tour the ship.

Ship Hector Replica courtesy Wikipedia

A tartan was created for the Hector, her survivors, and the founders of Pictou. It now plays an important role in this week’s celebration.

Ship Hector Commemorative Tartan WR2597

Tomorrow, the breweries of Highland and Houston will be featured in the series on Scottish beer…

August 10, 2010 13:18 - Scottish Beer ~ Part XIII, Highland and Houston Breweries

Highland Brewing Company, Birsay, Orkney, founded in 2006, the brewery is in the old creamery named Swannay Farmhouse Cheddar on Swannay Farms.

Highland Brewery building
courtesy Highland Brewery

  • Christmas Light, a festive light ale.

    Christmas Light
    courtesy Highland Brewery

  • Dark Munro, a mild dark ale.

    Dark Munro
    courtesy Highland Brewery

  • Old Norway, a deep amber barley wine.

    Old Norway
    courtesy Highland Brewery

  • Orkney Best, a pale golden ale.

    Orkney Best
    courtesy Highland Brewery

  • Orkney Blast, a strong pale bitter, named for the local newspaper published for the World War II forces, with the paper’s masthead appearing on the neck label.

    Orkney Blast
    courtesy Highland Brewery

  • Orkney IPA

    Orkney IPA
    courtesy Highland Brewery

  • Orkney Porter

    Orkney Porter
    courtesy Highland Brewery

  • Scapa Special, a pale ale.

    Scapa Special
    courtesy Highland Brewery

  • St. Magnus, an ale with a touch of chocolate malt.

    St. Magnus
    courtesy Highland Brewery

Houston Brewing Company, Houston, Renfrewshire, founded in 1997 in a disused cellar in The Fox and Hounds. Their brews are sold on draft with one bottle ale.

Houston Brewery building
courtesy Houston Brewery

Cask Conditioned

  • Black & Tan, available year round, a mix of stout and pale ales.

    Black & Tan
    courtesy Houston Brewery

  • Blonde Bombshell

    Blonde Bombshell
    courtesy Houston Brewery

  • Killellan Bitter, Killellan is the historic name for Houston.

    Killellan Bitter
    courtesy Houston Brewery

  • Peter’s Well, golden bitter, Houston’s flagship ale.

    Peter‘s Well
    courtesy Houston Brewery

  • Tartan Terror, described as "cheeky".

    Tartan Terror
    courtesy Houston Brewery

  • Texas, a ruby ale, named perhaps due to Houston, Texas?

    courtesy Houston Brewery

  • Warlock Stout, described as dark and spellbinding.

    Warlock Stout
    courtesy Houston Brewery

Bottled Ale

  • Crystal Ale

    Crystal Ale
    courtesy Houston Brewery

Monthly Specials

  • January, Cheekie Wee Beastie, a light chestnut ale.

    Cheekie Wee Beastie
    courtesy Houston Brewery

  • February, Horny Wee Devil, a red ale.

    Horny Wee Devil
    courtesy Houston Brewery

  • March, Auld Copperheid, a copper beer.

    Auld Copperheid
    courtesy Houston Brewery

  • April, Hunny Bunny, made with honey.

    Hunny Bunny
    courtesy Houston Brewery

  • May, Big Lusty May, like Mae West, platinum and full bodied.

    Big Lusty May
    courtesy Houston Brewery

  • June, Helga’s Big Jugs, strong and blonde.

    Helga’s Big Jugs
    courtesy Houston Brewery

  • July, Rambo the Mighty Midge, a wee bronze bitter with a bite.

    Rambo the Mighty Midge
    courtesy Houston Brewery

  • August, Marilyn’s Draught, a burnished gold ale.

    Marilyn‘s Draught
    courtesy Houston Brewery

  • September, Auld Humdinger, a crisp red bitter.

    Auld Humdinger
    courtesy Houston Brewery

  • October, Spellbinder, a dark, rich silky smooth ale.

    courtesy Houston Brewery

  • November, Top Totty, a tantalizing tasty tipple.

    Top Totty
    courtesy Houston Brewery

  • December, Jock Frost, a pale ale; and Santa’s Wee Helper, a tawny bitter.

    Jock Frost
    courtesy Houston Brewery

    Santa’s Wee Helper
    courtesy Houston Brewery

August 11, 2010 13:26 - Scottish Beer ~ Part XIV, Innis & Gunn and Inveralmond Breweries

Innis & Gunn, Edinburgh, founded in 2003

Innis & Gunn logo courtesy Scottish Brewing

The brewery specializes is beer aged in casks, but not just any old casks. They use oak barrels from Kentucky used to mature bourbon and others to age Navy rum, thus adding a sweet, spicy character to the beer. The casks are only used once. The beer are only sold bottled.

  • Oak Aged Beer, the flagship ale.
  • Cask Strength Oak Aged Beer, a stronger version.
  • IPA, similar to 19th century IPA, but aged in oak casks with fresh hops.
  • Rum Cask Oak Aged Beer, a deep red beer.

    Rum Cask Beer courtesy Innis & Gunn

Inveralmond Brewery, Perth

Logo courtesy Inveralmond Brewery

In 1966, the last brewery in Perth closed its doors. In 1997 Inveralmond brought brewing back to Perth, where the waters run crystal clear, giving a fresh, pure flavor to their beers. The brewery decided to use Celtic imagery in naming and bottling their beer, thus each has a story of it’s own to honor the local heritage. Three collections are available ~ Classic, Specialty, and Seasonal.

Classic Beer Collection

  • Independence

    Independence courtesy Inveralmond Brewery

  • Lia Fail, Gaelic for ‘Stone of Destiny’, upon which the kings of Scotland have been crowned since 1296.

    Lia Fail courtesy Inveralmond Brewery

  • Ossian, son of Fingal, a legendary warrior from the 3rd century. His gravestone is near Perth in the ‘Sma Glen.

    Ossian courtesy Inveralmond Brewery

  • Sunburst Pilsner, honoring the Czech Republic as the developers of pilsner beer, available only in July and August.

    Sunburst Pilsner courtesy Everywhere Magazine

  • Thrappledouser, thrapple being Scots for throat, a golden copper ale.

    Thrappledouser courtesy Inveralmond Brewery

Specialty Beer Collection

  • Brown Ale, a version of Tyne Brewery’s famous beer, ‘The Dog’.

    Brown Ale courtesy Inveralmond Brewery

  • Export Pale Ale, originally brewed at a higher strength to survive overseas shipment, available in September and October.

    Export Pale Ale courtesy Inveralmond Brewery

  • Pale Ale, a milder export ale, available in May and June.

    Pale Ale courtesy Inveralmond Brewery

  • Tayside Amber, reflecting the colors of autumn, with a hint of pear and black currant, available in January and February. Tayside is a maritime area on the east coast of Scotland, including Perth.

    Tayside Amber courtesy Inveralmond Brewery

  • XXX, 80/-, available in March and April.

    XXX courtesy Inveralmond Brewery


  • Inkie Pinkie, Scottish for light beer or small beer, from the Stirlingshire area near the end of the 1700’s, available from June to September.

    Inkie Pinkie courtesy Inveralmond Brewery

  • Santa’s Swallie, following the Northern European tradition of special Christmas beers, with a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon, available in December.

    Santa’s Swallie courtesy Inveralmond Brewery

  • That’s the Spirit, an amber 80/-, available for Halloween.

    That’s the Spirit courtesy Inveralmond Brewery

Coming tomorrow, Islay Ales Brewery…

August 12, 2010 07:29 - Scottish Beer ~ Part XIV, Islay Ales

Islay Ales, Bridgend, Isle of Islay, founded in 2005.

Islay is the most southerly of the Inner Hebrides, where the Gulf Stream tempers the climate, as seen in this field of Blue Bells, a flower long favored by the Scots.

Blue Bells courtesy Islay Gallery

An ancient name for the island is Banrìgh nan Eilean, meaning The Queen of the Hebrides.

Partially due to the waters, Islay is also home to seven distilleries. Though Islay Ales is the only brewery on the island with a motto reflecting the malt used in both beer and whisky. Leann an Ile, meaning Ales for the Isle of Malts, is the motto.

Logo courtesy Islay Ales

The brewery founders set about to produce a hand crafted, high quality cask and bottle conditioned beer, commonly called real ale.

  • Angus Og
    There are three famous Angus Og characters, one from a popular Scottish cartoon and two from Islay ~ Aonghas Og of Islay, Lord of Islay at the time of Robert the Bruch, c. 1300 and Aonghas Og, bastard son of John of Islay, Earl of Ross and Lord of the Isles, died in 1490.

    Angus Og courtesy Islay Ales

  • Ardnave, a dry, thirst-quenching ale.

    Ardnave courtesy Islay Ales

    Ardnave Point is a rock and dune promontory on the northwest shore of Islay.

    Ardnave Point courtesy Islay Ales

  • Black Rock, a darker reddish brown ale with a softer, nuttier flavor.

    Black Rock courtesy Islay Ales

  • Dun Hogs Head, a dark dry stout with a fruity edge.

    Dun Hogs Head courtesy Islay Ales

  • Finlaggan, a mild brown ale with a fresh, fruity flavor.

    Finlaggan courtesy Islay Ales

    It’s name honors Finlaggan as the seat of the Lord of the Isles and Clan Donald from the 12th to the 16th centuries.

    Loch Finlaggan courtesy Wikipedia

  • Nerabus, a deep ruby winter warmer with a hint of citrus and spice.

    Nerabus courtesy Islay Ales

    The name honors the village of Nerabus on the western shore of Islay, in Argus and Bute.

    Nerabus courtesy Geograph

  • Saligo, a golden summer ale, with a hint of lemon and grapefruit.

    Saligo courtesy Isla Ales

    Named to honor Saligo Bay on the west coast of Islay.

    Saligo Bay courtesy Everywhere Magazine

Coming tomorrow, Isle of Arran & Isle of Skye Breweries…

August 13, 2010 06:35 - Scottish Beer ~ Part XV, Isle of Arran and Isle of Skye Breweries

Isle of Arran Brewery
Arran is Scotland’s most southerly, accessible island, only an hour’s drive from Glasgow. It’s also the largest island in the Firth of Clyde. The 19th century ‘Clearances’ greatly reduced the population of the island, also ending the Gaelic way of life on the island.

Ah! Wae's me.
I hear the Duke of Hamilton's
Crofters are a' gaun away,
man and mother's son,
frae the Isle o' Arran.
Pity on us!
James Hogg, Scottish poet and novelist

  • ab Blonde, premium with zest and freshness.

    ab Blonde courtesy Isle of Arran Brewery

  • Ale, a pale amber ale.

    Ale courtesy Isle of Arran Brewery

  • Blonde, subtle pale golden beer

    Blonde courtesy Isle of Arran Brewery

  • Clyde Puffer, a deep black stout. The Clyde Puffer an historic small steamboat used to transport cargo to and from the Hebrides. They were popularized in the Neil Munro short stories about The Vital Spark.

    Clyde Puffer Moonlight courtesy Ian Combe at Tripod

    Clyde Puffer courtesy Isle of Arran Brewery

  • Dark, a traditional ‘Scottish Heavy’.

    Dark courtesy Isle of Arran Brewery

  • Fireside, with a hint of ginger.

    Fireside courtesy Isle of Arran Brewery

  • Milestone, a dark, bottle conditioned amber brew.

    Milestone courtesy Isle of Arran Brewery

  • Red Squirrel, with a portion of the proceeds helping to conserve the red squirrels on the island.

    Red Squirrel courtesy Isle of Arran Brewery

  • Sunset, a mid-amber summer ale.

    Sunset courtesy Isle of Arran Brewery

Isle of Skye Brewery, Uig, Isle of Skye, founded in 1995, this was the first commercial brewery in Skye and the Western Isles.

Brewery courtesy Isle of Skye Brewery

Cask Ales

  • Black Cuillin, a dark brew with Scottish oatmeal, which lends a slight stout bitterness, and Scottish heather honey. World renowned mountains on the Isle of Skye.

    Black Cuillin courtesy Scottish Partnership

  • Blaven, the strongest regular ale, Bla Bheinn, the blue mountain.

    Blaven courtesy Scottish Partnership

  • Hebridean Gold, brewed with porridge oats for a smoothly unique ale.

    Hebridean Gold courtesy Scottish Partnership

  • Red Cuillin, their flagship ale, named to commemorate the Cuillin Hill on the Isle.

    Red Cuillin courtesy Scottish Partnership

  • Young Pretender, a golden ale, to commemorate the 250th anniversary when the Jacobite Risings ended.

    Young Pretender courtesy Scottish Partnership

Seasonal Cask Ales

  • Cuillin Beast their strongest ale, known in the U.S. as Wee Beast.

    Cuillin Beast courtesy Isle of Skye Brewery

  • Lord of the Ales, a light golden ale, originally "Two Rings", celebrating the wedding of the owner and brewer.

    Lord of the Ales courtesy Isle of Skye Brewery

  • Oyster Stout, to remember the start of oyster season in September and the seasonal stout brewed for the celebration.

    Oyster Stout courtesy Isle of Skye Brewery

  • Skye’s Grand, commemorating the 1,000th Skye brew in 2005.

    Skye’s Grand courtesy Isle of Skye Brewery

  • Skyelight, a summer brew with plenty of fruit.

    Skyelight courtesy Isle of Skye Brewery

Regular Bottled Ales

  • Black Cuillin
  • Hebridean Gold
  • Red Cuillin

Seasonal Bottle Ales

  • Blaven
  • Cuillin Beast
  • Oyster Stout
  • Skyelight

House Ales ~ for specific pubs

  • Ale an Donan
  • Applecross
  • Ben Nevis Ale
  • Beinn Eighe
  • Castle Gait
  • Five Sisters
  • Flora MacDonald’s
  • MacNab’s
  • Quiraing
  • The Reeling Duck
  • Rockvilla

They can also produce specials for wedding, anniversaries, and birthdays.

Coming Monday, Kelburn, The Lade Inn, and McEwan’s Breweries…

August 16, 2010 08:37 - Scottish Beer ~ Part XVI, Kelburn and The Lade Inn Breweries

Kelburn Brewing Company, Barrhead, near Glasgow, brewing since 2002.

Logo courtesy Kelburn Brewery

Permanent Range

  • Cart Blanche, named for the White Cart Water in Paisley, a golden, full-bodied ale. Great with cheese, mussels, and pizza.

    Cart Blanche courtesy Kelburn Brewery

    The July 22, 2009 blog tells a bit more about the River Cart.

  • Dark Moor, smooth, dark, and dangerous, with after tones of licquorice and black currant.

    Dark Moor courtesy Kelburn Brewery

  • Goldihops, as the name states golden and hoppy.

    Goldihops courtesy Kelburn Brewery

  • Misty Law, a dry amber ale.

    Misty Law courtesy Kelburn Brewery

    Law is a hill, especially one which is rounded in shape. Misty Law is a favorite climbing hill in Renfrewshire.

    Misty Law courtesy Geograph

  • Red Smiddy, named after a local blacksmith, complex in character.

    Red Smiddy courtesy Kelburn Brewery

Seasonal Range

  • Ca’ Canny, a dark ale with a fusion of coffee and chocolate.

    Ca Canny courtesy Kelburn Brewery

    Ca’ Canny is a Scots word from around 1900. Originally is meant to drive gently. Its use has evolved into to go cautiously, quietly, gently, carefully, or warily. A particular usage refers to a work slow-down to express discontent.

  • Keltic, a golden bitter.

    Keltic courtesy Kelburn Brewery

  • Kracker, a German marzen ale.

    Kracker courtesy Kelburn Brewery

    Craicker, originally a boaster, is now proudly claimed by U.S. citizens of Georgia, even though it was originally used derogatorily about the Highland immigrants.

  • Pivo Estivo, pale and dry, with citrus.

    Pivo Estivo courtesy Kelburn Brewery

  • Tartan Army, straw colored ale with a biscuity background and the zest of the Tartan Army.

    Tartan Army courtesy Kelburn Brewery

The Lade Inn, located within The Trossachs National Park near Kilmahog, Callander in Perthshire, with their brewing done off-premise to lessen detrimental impact to the park surroundings.

The Lade Inn courtesy The Trossachs Bird of Prey Trail

Situated at the foot of Ben Ledi, in the village of Kilmahog just north of Callander, the Lade Inn started life back in 1935. Alie & Sheana Maclaurin, who were sisters, created an all women business and obtained a feu property in the Millar's Meadow, hired an architect for their building, and began The Wayside Tearoom.

The MacLaurin Sisters courtesy The Lade Inn

Ben Ledi is well known through Sir Walter Scott’s poem The Lady of the Lake. At one time, Beltane rites were held on the summit. An over zealous minister reported Ben Ledi to mean ‘hill of God’, which is from le dia. Actually it was a corruption of Beinn Leitir, which translates as ‘the hill of the slope’, describing the long south slope used to access the summit.

The pass, named Bealach nan Corp, was used as an old coffin road from Glen Finlas to St. Brides’s chapel near Loch Lubnaig. Bealach nan Corp means the Pass of the Dead.

Ben Ledi courtesy The Lade Inn

I suspect the building on the right is The Lade Inn.

House Ales served at the Lade Inn

  • The Chase, a ruby red beer with only natural ingredients. Named to honor a stanza in Sir Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake.

    The Chase courtesy The Lade Inn

    The Lady Of The Lake

    A moment gazed adown the dale,
    A moment snuffed the tainted gale, A moment listened to the cry,
    That thickened as the chase drew nigh;

    The chase begins with the hunter chasing the Stag along a route from Callander, past the Lade Inn to Loch Katrine, from The Lady of the Lake, by Sir Walter Scott, published 200 years ago.

  • LadeBack, a well balanced amber ale.

    LadeBack courtesy The Lade Inn

  • LadeOut, a dark ale with chocolate and licorice.

    LadeOut courtesy The Lade Inn

  • WayLade, a creamy blonde bitter.

    WayLade courtesy The Lade Inn

Tomorrow, the breweries of MacEwan, Madcap, and Moulin…

August 17, 2010 10:32 - Scottish Beer ~ Part XVII, McEwans, Madcap, and Moulin Breweries

McEwans Brewery, Edinburgh, began as The Fountain Brewery in 1856, then merged with William Younger’s Brewery in 1931, under the name Scottish Brewers. In 1960 Scottish & Newcastle was formed from a new merger with Newcastle Breweries. In 2005, the McEwan’s keg beer was transferred to Calendonian Brewery and the can beer began brewing by Dunston Brewery in England.

The Laughing Cavalier, by Frans Hals, became the basis of McEwan’s logo.

The Laughing Cavalier courtesy Wikipedia

Logo courtesy McEwans Brewery

"/- " is an old writing convention for shillings, named after the original duty per barrel.

  • McEwan's 60/-, a dark mild, light ale.

  • McEwan's 70/-, a heavy bitter.

  • McEwan's 80/-, a strong export bitter.

  • McEwan's Lager, relaunched in 2008 as McEwan’s Lager Cold.

  • McEwan's Export, a strong, caramelized dark beer.

  • McEwan's India Pale Ale

  • McEwan's Champion Ale, a rich, dark, slightly sweet beer not dissimilar in style to stout or porter.

  • McEwan's Scotch Ale

    McEwans Scotch Ale courtesy McEwans Brewery

  • McEwan's Best Scotch

Madcap Brewery, founded in 2009, brews bottle conditioned beer in Annan. The name Madcap is derived from the company’s full name, Maddison Craft Ale Producers. One of two breweries in Dumfries and Galloway, where there were 91 female brewers in 1716 in Dumfries alone. In 1845 through the turn of the century, there were seven breweries.

Heritage Range, reproducing classic beer styles

  • Barley Wine
  • Imperial Stout
  • Indian Pale Ale
  • Old Ale

Contemporary Range, available only in bottles, using manly new varieties of hops and malts.

  • Cherry Madness, using aged Sour Red Cheery Ale casks
  • Double Madness, a Belgian Dark Double Ale
  • Honey Madness, a pale ale using local Auldgirth honey
  • Hopped Madness, an IPA
  • Killicks Madness, an old ale aged in rum casks
  • Licorice Madness, an Imperial style stout
  • Scotch Madness, using aged wood whisky casks
  • Smoke Madness, a smoked porter
  • Triple Madness, a Belgian blonde triple ale

Cask Range, traditional cask ales

  • Annan Amber Ale
  • Annan Bitter Ale
  • Annan Pale Ale
  • Anna Blonde Ale, a spring and autumn special ale
  • Annan Light, a blonde summer ale
  • Annandale Black, a dark, seasonal winter ale

    Annandale Black courtesy Madcap Brewery

  • Annandale Gold, a summer seasonal ale

Moulin Brewery, Pitlochry, Perthsire.

Logo courtesy Moulin Brewery

Founded in 1995 within the Moulin Hotel, as part of the hotel’s 300th anniversary celebration. The brewery was once the coach house and stables.

Moulin Brewery building courtesy Moulin Brewery

The products are sold at the Moulin Hotel and the Atholl Arms Hotel in Blair Atholl.

Moulin Hotel courtesy Moulin Brewery

  • Ale of Atholl

    Ale of Atholl courtesy Moulin Brewery

  • Braveheart

    Braveheart courtesy Moulin Brewery

  • Light Ale

  • Old Remedial

Coming tomorrow, The Moray Fishing Disaster...

August 18, 2010 07:19 - The Moray Firth Fishing Disaster

On the afternoon of August 18, 1848, 162 years ago, the weather on the Moray Firth was favorable, as about 800 boats left harbors from Wick in the Highlands to Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire. That day held promise of a good the herring fishing catch. Annually these boats caught about 15 million herring.

By midnight, the weather was deteriorating rapidly, the winds strengthening, and the seas were swelling heavily. Many skippers made for shelter. For those who didn’t, disaster struck the Moray Firth in one of the worst fishing disasters along the east coast of Scotland.

When the storm had passed, 124 boats were lost and 100 fishermen were drowned. They left behind 47 widows and 161 children.

Until the disaster, fishing crews used small sail boats with open hulls and fished close to shore. The boats were shallow so the crew could easily launch them from beaches and shallow harbors. But with an open hull, there was no shelter for the crew. The open design made the boats susceptible to swamping and capsizing in rough seas.

St. Abbs Fifie Fishing Fleet courtesy Wikipedia

The aftermath of the severe storm led to improvements to the harbors, many of which were not accessible in all tidal conditions, and design changes on the fishing boats.

Two main designs of fishing boats were used along the east coast of Scotland. The Fifie used drift nets to fish for herring. On the down side, their long keel made their use in small harbors difficult.

Fifie courtesy Wikipedia

The Skaffie, favored in the Moray Firth, were smaller and had good maneuverability in good weather. When bad weather struck they were unstable. So the crews, usually six men, tended to stay within sight of shore.

Skaffie courtesy Scran

Initially the fishermen resisted the recommended changes to their boats. Decking reduced space available for the catch. And the men feared the deck increased the risk of men being swept overboard.

As the boats gradually became decked, boat size increased. Even small forecastles were added forward, allowing for bunks and shelter for the men. The new designs were the Baldie in 1860 and the Zulu, named for the then current Zulu War, in 1879.

Baldie courtesy Scran

Zulu courtesy Scran

A similar disaster struck the southern coast of Scotland on October, 14, 1861, with the loss of 189 fishermen. More details can be read in the Eyemouth Disaster in the October 14, 2009, blog.

Though I found nothing written, I’m quite sure each August 18th, citizens, relatives, and fishermen gather for a memorial service, just as they do on October 14, in Eyemouth and in Detroit, on November 11, at the Mariner’s Church for the Edmond Fitzgerald.

Tomorrow, Scottish Beer continues with the Orkney and Plockton Breweries…

August 19, 2010 09:13 - Scottish Beer ~ Part XVIII, Orkney and Plockton Breweries

Orkney Brewery, Sandwick, Orkney, founded in 1988 in the Quayloo schoolhouse, Orkney has since merged with Highland & Islands Breweries. In turn Sinclair Breweries bought them out in 2006.

Logo courtesy Orkney Brewery

  • Clootie Dumpling, a light weight tawny beer, with the aroma of a baked Clootie Dumpling, available November through January for the holidays.

    Clootie Dumpling courtesy Orkney Brewery

  • Dark Island, a fruity dark ale. Recommended with paté, red meat and strong cheeses.

    Dark Island courtesy Orkney Brewery

  • Dark Island Reserve, a super-premium unique beer, beginning with Dark Island, then matured in Orkney malt whisky casks for three months. The label depicts the Orkney Standing Stones. Recommended with paté, red meat and strong cheeses.

    Dark Island Reserve courtesy Orkney Brewery

  • Dragonhead, a dark stout remembering the Vikings and their cultural legacy on Orkney. Recommended with shellfish, venison, or chocolate puddings.

    Dragonhead courtesy Orkney Brewery

  • Northern Light, a pale straw ale recommended with lighter or spicy dishes.

    Northern Light courtesy Orkney Brewery

  • Raven Ale, a classic bitter ale good with vegetarian dishes, mild cheese and pork.

    Raven Ale courtesy Orkney Brewery

  • Red MacGregor, a bitter and a premium bitter.

    Red MacGregor courtesy Orkney Brewery

  • SkullSpliter Ale, a wee heavy named for Torfinn Hausakljuv, the 7th Viking Earl of Orkney around 950 AD. His nickname was "Skull splitter ". Rcommended with paté, red meat and strong cheeses.

    SkullSpliter courtesy Orkney Brewery

    SkullSplitter was recently in the centre of some controversy over its name. The Portman Group, which is the alcohol watchdog group, carried out an investigation based on complaints that the ale had an "aggressive theme". The Portman Group decided not to uphold the complaint after the brewery launched a strong campaign to save this 20 year old beer, informing the Group of the beer's namesake.

Plockton Brewery, Plockton, Ross-shire, founded in 2007

Logo courtesy Plockton Brewery

  • Crags Ale, their flagship beer, a popular bitter.
    crag (sometimes spelled cragg, or in Scotland craig) is a rocky hill or mountain, generally isolated from other high ground. ...

    Crags Ale courtesy Plockton Brewery

  • Dall Winter Sunshine, a dark, slightly sweet beer.

    Dall Winter Sunshine courtesy Plockton Brewery

  • Plockton Bay

    Plockton Bay courtesy Plockton Brewery

  • Starboard, an IPA, to celebrate the Plockton Regatta.

    Starboard courtesy Orkney Brewery

  • Starboard Light

    Starboard Light courtesy Prockton Brewery

For tomorrow, the Stewart, Strathaven, and Sulwath Brewers…

August 20, 2010 06:16 - Scottish Beer ~ Part XIX, Stewart and Strathaven Breweries

Stewart Brewing, Edinburgh, begun in 1998 with the beers originally brewed at Strathaven Brewery and their own brewery opened in 2004.

Logo courtesy Stewart Brewery

Regular Beer

  • Copper Cascade, a premium red ale, full bodied and medium dry, with Cascade hops from Washington, thus the name.

    Copper Cascade courtesy Stewart Brewery

  • Edinburgh Gold, a gold beer full of flavor.

    Edinburgh Gold courtesy Stewart Brewery

  • Edinburgh No. 3, a premium cask conditioned Scotch ale.

    Edinburgh No. 3 courtesy Stewart Brewery

  • Pentland IPA, a golden dry ale, with the Pentland Hills lying just outside Edinburgh.

    Pentland Premium IPA courtesy Stewart Brewery

    Pentland Hills courtesy Wikipedia

  • Stewart’s 80/-, a classic Scottish heavy, with a fine auburn color.

    Stewarts 80/- courtesy Stewart Brewery

Seasonal and New Introductions

  • Cauld Reekie, a Christmas stout, with cauld being Scots for cold and reekie being Scots for smoky.

    Cauld Reekie courtesy Stewart Brewery

  • Embra, a brew named after an old Scots name for Edinburgh, as are Dunedin and Auld Reekie from the time when buildings were heated by coal and wood and the chimneys spewed thick columns of smoke.

    Embra courtesy Stewart Brewery

  • Hollyrood, a pale ale, described as pale, light, and hoppy; the name being a take-off on Holyrood, the official residence of the monarch of Scotland.

    Hollyrood courtesy Stewart Brewery

    Hollyrood Palace courtesy Wikipedia

  • St. Giles, described as dark, malty and smooth. Named for the main cathedral in Edinburgh

    St. Giles courtesy Stewart Brewery

    St. Giles Cathedral courtesy Stewart Wikipedia

Strathaven Ales, founded in 2005 in Craigmill, Strathaven. The brewery is in the historic 17th century Craigmill Brewery, on the River Avon.

Craigmill Brewery courtesy Strathaven Ales

Among their equipment is a 500-gallon stone-clad brewing kettle from the 18th century. Strathaven ales are named for events during the Covenanting time during the 17th century, when Presbyterian denominations took hold in Scotland.

Logo courtesy Strathaven Ales

  • Aleberry Damson Beer, a new copper-red beer that‘s smooth and light, with locally grown Damson Plums adding a fruity aroma.

    Aleberry Damson courtesy Strathaven Ales

  • Avondale, an amber ale with pilsner malt, named from Avondale Castle which was once a Douglas stronghold.

    Avondale courtesy Strathaven Ales

  • Claverhouse, a red ale named for John Graham of Claverhouse, known worldwide as "Bonnie Dundee".

    Trumpeter courtesy Strathaven Ales

    The May 8 to May 20, 2008 blogs are about Claverhouse, his wife, his fame, and the songs that have followed in his wake.

  • Clydesdale, an IPA with hops from the Clyde River Valley.

    Clydesdale IPA courtesy Strathaven Ales

    Also named for those famous Clydesdale horses, though, they are quick to note, not the ones associated with Anheuser-Busch.

    Clydesdale horse courtesy Wikipedia

  • Duchess Anne, a light summer ale, available spring and summer only.

    Duchess Anne courtesy Strathaven Ales

    This ale is flavored with meadowsweet, an historical Scottish herb addition

    Meadowsweet courtesy Wikipedia

    Anne, the first Duchess of Hamilton, managed to prosper during the Covenanters wars. She restored the family fortunes lost during Cromwell’s earlier occupation. She was the last Hamilton to use Strathaven Castle and was a generous benefactor to the town.

    Anne, Duchess of Hamilton courtesy Wikipedia

  • Old Mortality, a Scottish 80/-., named for the hero of Sir Walter Scott’s novel of the same name which takes place not far from Strathaven. It’s a tale of the Covenanters, based on the real life character named Robert Paterson who traveled Scotland carving grave-markers and maintaining the graves of those who died in the Covenanters cause.

    Old Morality courtesy Strathaven Ales

    Old Mortality can be downloaded and read in full at Project Gutenburg.

  • Trumpeter, a dark coffee-like ale with Scottish oats and barley, named to a young trumpeter attached to Calverhouse’s troop at the Battle of Drumclog. The lad was caught, killed, and his body thrown down a well. The well still exists and sits on the A71 outside Strathaven. Available autumn and winter only.

    Trumpeter courtesy Strathaven Ales

Coming Monday Sulwath Brewery and Traditional Scottish Ales Breweries…

August 23, 2010 08:26 - Sulwath and Traditional Scottish Ales Breweries

Sulwath Brewers, founded in 1995 by a father and son team, in converted farm buildings at Southerness, on the Solway coast, near Castle Douglas. Now located in Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire. The product names come from local Galloway surrounds, with Sulwath being an ancient name for the Solway Estuary.

  • The Black Galloway, a porter named for the regions Black Galloway cattle.

    The Black Galloway courtesy Sulwath Brewery

    Galloway Beef Cattle courtesy Wikipedia

  • Criffel Ale, an IPA named for the local mountain.
    Mountain & beer

    Criffel Ale courtesy Sulwath Brewery

    Criffel Mountain courtesy Wikipedia

  • Cuil Hill, a pale amber, named from a hill near Criffel.

    Cuil Hill courtesy Sulwath Brewery

  • Galloway Gold, a lager.

    Galloway Gold courtesy Sulwath Brewery

  • John Paul Jones, a dark amber, named after the founder of the U.S. Navy who was born on the farm next door to the original Sulwath Brewery site at Southerness. This ale commemorated his 250th birthday in 1997.

    John Paul Jones portrait courtesy Wikipedia

    John Paul Jones courtesy Sulwath Brewery

  • Knockendoch, a dark ale named for a prominent hill near Criffel

    Knockendoch courtesy Sulwath Brewery

Traditional Scottish Ales, in Throsk, Stirling, offers several organic ales. They are intertwined with Bridge of Allan, The Lade Inn, and Tryst Breweries, both in the beers origins and brewing.

  • 1488 Whisky Ale, a traditional ale aged up to 12 weeks in Tullibardine whisky casks

    1488 Whisky Ale courtesy
    Traditional Scottish Ales Brewery

  • Ben Nevis, a ruby red 80/- shilling organic ale, named for the highest mountain in Scotland.

    Ben Nevis courtesy
    Traditional Scottish Ales Brewery

    Ben Nevis courtesy Wikipedia

  • Glencoe Wild Oat Stout, an organic Scottish stout with roasted oatmeal and malts, named to honor Glen Coe.

    Glencoe Wild Oat Stout courtesy
    Traditional Scottish Ales Brewery

    Glen Coe is one of the most spectacular and beautiful places in Scotland, full of a grim grandeur.

    Glen Coe courtesy Wikipedia

  • Golden Harvest, an light and robust Autumn ale.

  • Lomond Gold, an organic blonde ale, possibly named for Ben Lomond, Loch Lomond, or the Lomond Hills. Lomond is Scots for Beacon.

    Lomond Gold courtesy
    Traditional Scottish Ales Brewery

    Lomond Hills consists of East and West Lomond with Maiden Castle, an old fort, lying on a grass knoll between.

    Lomond Hills courtesy Wikipedia

    Loch Lomond, the largest lake in Great Britain, contains many islands. Ben Lomond is on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond and is the most southerly of the Munros. Both are ensconced in history in the love song The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond, a tribute to the Jacobite 1745 Rebellion.

    Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond courtesy Wikipedia

  • Mountain Due, a pale golden ale.

  • Red Torpedo, a Scottish ruby ale.

  • Scottish Mist, a fruity blonde ale with a hint of citrus.

  • Turkey Stuffing, a light ale with torrified wheat.

    Coming tomorrow, Traquair House Brewery…

  • August 24, 2010 06:51 - Scottish Beer ~ Part XXI, Traquair House Brewery

    Traquair House Brewery, in Innerleithen, Peebleshire, was founded by Peter Maxwell Stuart, 20th Laird of Traquair.

    Three Ale Package courtesy Traquair House Brewery

    The 18th century brewery was rediscovered in 1965 with the vessels and equipment untouched and reinstated by Peter.

    Brewing was done here as early as a Mary, Queen of Scots, visit in 1556. A 200-gallon copper was installed in 1739 in the brewhouse under the chapel. The current brewery has expanded into the 18th century stable buildings. All the beer produced is still fermented in the original two hundred year old oak fermentation tanks.

    Peter’s wife, then his daughter, assumed management after Peter’s death in 1990.

    The house seems to be the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland. There are many interesting features on what was once the hunting seat of Scottish kings, dating back to the 12th century.

    1814 Lithograph courtesy Wikipedia

    Traquair House today ~

    Traquair House courtesy Wikipedia

    Some points of interest on the estate and within the house.

    • The Bear Gates, last closed in 1745 by the Jacobite army marching South to England. Tradition states they will not be opened until a Stuart again sits on the Scottish Throne. The gates are guarded by two carved stone bears holding the family coat of arms.

      Bear Gates courtesy Morton Design

      This photo incorporates a lawn with the gates in the center at the mid-ground of the photo.

      © Copyright Euan Nelson
      and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

    • A new, mature garden maze.

      The Maze courtesy Traquair House Brewery

    • The Museum Room with a c. 1530 mural, one of the oldest to survive in a secular building in Scotland.

    The Traquair Brews ~

    • 2010, a winter ale with a rich dark oakiness.

      2010 Ale courtesy Traquair House Brewery

    • Bear Ale, a rich amber, presumably named for the Bear Gates.

      Bear Ale courtesy Traquair House Brewery

    • Jacobite Ale, based on an 18th century recipe using coriander which lends a fresh aftertaste, was named to celebrate the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion.

      Jacobite Ale courtesy Traquair House Brewery

      Coriander courtesy Wikipedia

    • Laird’s Liquor, with a hint of licorice, named to honor the 21 Lairds of Traquair.

      Laird’s Liquor courtesy
      Traquair House Brewery

    • Traquair House Ale, their first brew, a rich, oaky Scottish ale.

      Traquair House Ale courtesy Traquair House Brewery

    Tomorrow, Tryst Brewery and others…

    August 25, 2010 06:24 - Scottish Beer ~ Part XXII, Tryst Brewery

    Tryst Brewery, Larbert near Falkirk, founded in 2004, in an area north of Falkirk where cattle were once held on their drive from the north to the south. The brewery name, Tryst, reflects this historic holding area, as a tryst in this context meant a gathering or meeting place.

    The Tryst (meaning the gathering or meeting place) is an area north of Falkirk where in the past cattle were herded down from north of the central belt before being driven south to market.

    • Blathan, Gaelic meaning little blossom from the floral aroma.

      Blathan courtesy Tryst Brewery

      Blathan’s aroma comes from Scottish wildflowers, including the elderberry.

      Elderberries courtesy Wikipedia

      Elderberry blossoms courtesy Tryst Wikipedia

      Within a few days, I’ll tell you my own story about Elderberries.

    • Brockville Dark, a dark ruby ale with hints of licorice and roasted grains. Named after the field once used by the Falkirk Football Club.

      Brockville Dark courtesy Tryst Brewery

    • Brockville Pale, smooth and easy golden ale. See Brockville Dark for name origin.

      Brockville Pale courtesy Tryst Brewery

    • Buckled Wheel, an old-fashioned golden ale.

      Buckled Wheat courtesy Tryst Brewery

    • Carron Oat Stout, rich and creamy from an Edwardian recipe.

      Carron Oat Stout courtesy Tryst Brewery

    • Carronade IPA, a pale ale with a citrus flavor, using Carron Valley water. The Carronade cannon, commonly known as the ‘the smasher’ to the Nelson navy gun crews, was an 18th century design from Carron Iron Works in Falkirk. The cannon was last used in the American Civil War.

      Carronade IPA courtesy Tryst Brewery

    • Drover 80/-, with an emphasis on late copper hops. As the brewery name reflects the drover’s field, Drover 80/- pays homage to the men who moved the cattle.

      The Handsome Drover by Dr. Hayward Hardy courtesy Wikipedia

      Drover 80/- courtesy Tryst Brewery

    • Raj IPA, full strength IPA, using a traditional export recipe.

      Raj IPA courtesy Tryst Brewery

    • Scottish Cider Company, distributing an uncarbonated and unfiltered cider.

      Scottish Cider Company courtesy Tryst Brewery

    • Stars & Stripes, acknowledging its 3 American hop varieties in a new recipe co-developed with a Texas brewer.

      Stars & Stripes courtesy Tryst Brewery

    • Zetland Wheatbier, a cloudy wheat beer with German malts and hops, HefeWeizen yeast, and Scottish pure water.

      Zetland Wheatbier courtesy Tryst Brewery

      Coming tomorrow, Valhalla Brewery…

    August 26, 2010 06:15 - Scottish Beer ~ Part XXIII, Valhalla Brewery

    Valhalla Brewery, in Beltasound, Unst, on Shetland, is the northernmost brewery in the British Isles. The town also boasts the northernmost phone booth in the British Isles. The brewer opened in 1997 and named after the Hall of the Norse god, Odin. This was where all fallen Viking warriors met to share a horn filled with good ale.

    Logo courtesy Valhalla Brewery

    Valhalla Brewery strives to uphold the saga with their selection of beers ~

    • Auld Rock, their flagship ale, a full bodied Scottish ale. The name is fondly given by expatriate Shetlanders to their homeland.

      Auld Rock courtesy Valhalla Brewery

    • Island Bere, a golden ale brewed primarily with Bere, an ancient six-row barley, brought to Britain in the 8th century by Vikings.

      Island Bere courtesy Valhalla Brewery

    • Old Scatness, light bitter ale with heather honey for a smoky finish. The name is from an ancient Bere found in archeological digs at Old Scatness.

      Old Scatness courtesy Valhalla Brewery

      Old Scatness Wheel House courtesy Valhalla Brewery

    • Simmer Dim, a light, golden bitter named, using the Shetland dialect, this translates to summer dusk, denoting mid-summer twilight when true darkness never descends upon Shetland and the sun sets but for minutes.

      Simmer Dim courtesy Valhalla Brewery

    • Sjolmet Stout, a dark full-bodied stout, named for a distinctive color of extinct Shetland cow which had a strong, dark body and a light colored head. Notice the cow’s head on the label.

      Sjolmet Stout courtesy Valhalla Brewery

    • White Wife, a light golden ale, named for the ghost seen in vehicles, driven by a lone male, about three miles from the brewery.

      White Wife courtesy Valhalla Brewery

      Coming tomorrow, West and Windie Goat Breweries…

    August 27, 2010 06:20 - Scottish Breweries ~ Part XXII, West and Windie Goat Breweries

    West Brewing Company, Glasgow, opened in 2006, planning to specialize in German style beers.

    Logo courtesy West Brewery

  • Dunkel, a darker lager.

  • Hefe Dunkel, a dark wheat beer.

  • Hefeweizen, a Bavarian style wheat beer

  • Helles, a Munich style lager.

  • Helles Light, a light lager.

  • Munich Red, lightly carbonated.

  • Oktoberfest, a golden brown beer.

  • St. Mungo, an amber lager, celebrating Glasgow’s Patron Saint whom legend tells of his brewing beer

    St Mungo courtesy West Brewery

  • Weihnactsbier, a hearty Christmas beer

    Windie Goat Brewery, Failford, Ayrshire, inside the Failford Inn, reported to be out of business. The inn has been sold and the brewers have move on. Hopefully, their unique brews will surface once again elsewhere.

    Logo courtesy Windie Goat Brewery

    • Boat Hole, a copper colored bitter with grapefruit and gooseberry flavors.

      Boat Hole courtesy Windie Goat Brewery

    • The Dubh, a chocolate porter.

    • Gutter Slab, an American style IPA

      Gutter Slab courtesy Windie Goat Brewery

    • Peden’s Cove, a pale bitter ale, named after an area where Alexander Peden, a Covenant minister, is believed to have preached.

      Peden’s Cove courtesy Windie Goat Brewery

    • Priest’s Wheel, an amber ale named after a fishing pool in the River Ayr, near the Failford Inn

    • Sheep’s Linne, a ruby red ale. A linne is a pool in a stream, usually below a water fall.

    • Windie Red Red Robin, a Christmas beer.

    Coming Monday, Williams Brothers Brewery…

  • August 30, 2010 07:32 - Scottish Beer ~ Part XXV, Williams Brothers Brewery

    Williams Brothers, at Kelliebank, Alloa, founded in 1988. It’s the last remaining brewery in a former brewing capital. Their first ale began with a 17th century Gaelic recipe for leann fraoich, which is to say, heather ale.

    Logo courtesy Williams Brothers Brewery

    They have developed other historic ales using elderberries, Scots pine shoots, seaweed, and gooseberries.

    • 80/- Shilling, a traditional Scottish ale.

      80/- Shilling courtesy Williams Brothers Brewery

    • Alba Scots Pine Ale, introduced by the Vikings, spruce and pine ales were very popular as the 19th century drew to a close. The sprigs are collected in the Spring.

      Alba Scots Pine Ale
      courtesy Williams Brothers Brewery

      Scots Pine courtesy Ugly Bug at Flickr

    • Birds & Bees, a golden summer ale with elder flowers.

      Birds & Bees Ale courtesy Williams Brothers Brewery

      Elder blossoms courtesy Wikipedia

    • Ceilidh, a premium Scottish lager, named for a gathering of ingredients from around the world ~ Czech hops, U.S. malt, German yeast, and Scottish water.

      Ceilidh Scottish Lager courtesy Williams Brothers Brewery

    • Ebulum, an elderberry black ale, introduced by Welsh Druids in the 9th century as part of the Celtic Autumn festivals.

      Ebulum Black Ale courtesy Williams Brothers Brewery

      Elderberries courtesy Wikipedia

      Williams Brothers Brewery is so prolific, the listing of their beers and ales will continue tomorrow and Thursday, including seaweed beer, a pink tayberry ale, heather ale and more…

    August 31, 2010 06:58 - Scottish Beer ~ Part XXVI, Williams Brothers Brewery Continued

  • Fraoch 20, a heather ale aged in sherry/malt whisky casks, to celebrate 20 years of brewing, a very special limited edition. Named after the legendary Gaelic hero Fraech (Fraoch). Flowering heather and sweet gale are added for flavoring.

    Fraoch 20 courtesy Williams Brothers Brewery

    Newsroom blogs February 13th to 27th, 2009, has more details about the uses for heather, including Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem Ode to Heather Ale.

    Heather ~

    Heather blooms courtesy Stock Exchange

    Sweet Gale ~

    Sweet Gale courtesy Wikipedia

    There’s evidence that Heather Ale was being drunk around 2000 BC and is thought to be one of the oldest styles of ales in the world.

  • Good Times, a county pale ale with meadowsweet and elder flowers.

    Good Times courtesy Williams Brothers Brewery

    Meadowsweet courtesy Wikipedia

  • Grozet, from the Gaelic Groseid, meaning gooseberry.

    Grozet courtesy Williams Brothers Brewery

    Gooseberry ~

    Gooseberry courtesy Wikipedia

    Since at least the 16th century Scots monks and alewives brewed indigenous drinks from cereals, wild herbs and ripe fruits. Tibbie Shiels Green Grozet was immortalized by such Scots literati as Sir Walter Scott, James Hogg (The Ettrick
    Shepherd) , Robert Lewis Stevenson, and Robert Burns. Tibbie’s inn, an 18th century coach stop, was located on the shores of St. Mary’s Loch.

    Grozet is brewed with lager malt, wheat, bog myrtle [another name for sweet gale], hops and meadowsweet then secondary fermented with ripe Scottish gooseberries.
    Sweet Gale ~

    Sweet Gale courtesy Wikipedia

    Hops ~

    Hops courtesy Stock Exchange

    Meadowsweet ~

    Meadowsweet courtesy Wikipedia

    Tomorrow, a listing of September Highland Games and Festivals…

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