With the referendum underway, Scottish Independence is getting wall to wall coverage today so why not take a break from it all here and have a read about some Scottish Independents (craft-brewers that is).
Edinburgh-based Innis & Gunn began brewing when a famous whisky distiller contacted Master Brewer Dougal Sharp to tell him that they wanted to produce an ale-finished whisky.
He created a unique style of ale to impart a smooth, beery character to the oak barrels. This would in turn flavour the maturing whisky. The distillers were delighted that the process worked and the resulting Ale Cask reserve Whisky was a real success.
It was only many months later, after thousands of gallons of beer had been used to season the oak barrels (then tragically, thrown away), that Dougal received a call that would change everything.
“You have got to taste this beer that we are pouring away. The workers have sampled it and they say it tastes absolutely delicious,” they were right.
What followed was one whole year of long days and late nights, all in the name of refining and perfecting this pioneer beer. When the launch finally came, a whole new oak aged beer style was born.
Innis & Gunn Original (€2.79) has aromas of vanilla and toffee, hints of citrus, with a malty, lightly oaked palate. It is deftly balanced and light in texture, soothing and warming in the finish.
Innis & Gunn Rum Cask (€2.99) is matured over oak heartwood infused with specially selected rums, its spicy, full-bodied qualities make it a lively and exciting beer.
Brewdog’s meteoric rise has seen the operation grow from two guys (and one dog) selling small-batch hand-bottled beers out of the back of a van at farmers markets in 2007, to today where they now employ over 200 people and operate more than 20 Brewdog bars spread across three continents.
What’s never changed though is the wonderfully irreverent packaging and more importantly, the founder’s vision to brew world class craft beer using no added ingredients or preservatives, no chemicals, no cheap substitutes, just barley, hops, yeast and pure Aberdeenshire water.
Brewdog Dead Pony Club (€2.89) is a California Pale Ale which packs a huge hoppy punch despite its modest 3.8% ABV - finally a really great beer that is low in ABV but doesn't lack elsewhere!
Brewdog Jack Hammer (€4.19) is a devastatingly bitter and hoppy India Pale Ale and is strictly for craft beer junkies!
Best of all these delicious brews are included our craft beer sale (along with over 100 others!)
So whichever way the vote goes, and whether you will be raising a glass in celebration or drowning your sorrows, you could not find a better drop to do so with than one of the above.