Your Favourite Scottish Beers: The Skinny Food & Drink Survey
We take a closer look at your favourite Scottish breweries, and pick out some highlights to get you started
There appear to be no brakes on everyone’s favourite craft beer monolith, but to be fair, their beers are pretty tasty. A classic we’ve returned to time and again is the 3.8% Dead Pony Club; a hop-packed and incredibly fragrant pale ale that’s absolutely overflowing with floral and citrus flavours. We're also fans of the grapefruit-inflected Elvis Juice, and the hefty bitterness of Jackhammer.
We like to be obtuse from time to time round here – it keeps things interesting, and we get bored easily – but sometimes it’s best to keep things simple. Drygate Pilsner is what it says on the label; a 4% pilsner that’s a great example of the style. It’s also vegan and gluten-free, and its eye-catching silver label means you won’t miss it when it’s on tap in your local. If you prefer your beers to be slightly more fantastical, make a beeline for the Bearface Lager. It tastes great, and its label features a man with a beard made of bears. Gold stars all round.
‘Session beer’ is a term that gets thrown around a lot in beer circles; basically, we’re looking for a beer which tastes nice but isn’t overpowering, has a comparatively low ABV, and grows on you over the course of the evening. The 3.8% Jarl from Fyne fits the bill pretty perfectly, and its ubiquity in Scotland’s bars makes it an excellent go-to beer.
A malty, tasty dry-hopped number, the 4.6% Vienna Pale from Leith’s own Pilot Brewery is a fantastically crisp pint that you’ll regularly find in bars across Edinburgh and beyond. It is also, according to the brewery, “an annoyer of a certain type of beer geek”. It’s a beer that sums up the Pilot gameplan nicely – make good beer that riffs on established styles, please almost everyone, then get on Twitter to hilariously wind up the people who won’t get on board. We're also highly intrigued to check out their North Sea Stout collaboration with Tempest, Cromarty and Fallen breweries – ingredients include wheat, oats, liquorice and The North Sea.
Tempest Brew Co
We’ve all been there – standing at a busy bar, staring down a selection of bar taps and bottles and trying to work out what to choose based on very little information. A good, eye-catching name is always welcome, and Armadillo Pale Ale is definitely a good, eye-catching name. A 3.8% session IPA with heavy citrus and tropical fruit flavours, it’s one to watch out for, with a title you won’t forget in a hurry.
Glasgow’s favourite German brewers brew according to centuries-old German tradition, and it shows in the end result. The 4.9%, Helles-style St Mungo lager is the product of years of refinement on the part of brewers everywhere, and on top of all that, it tastes great. Their unfiltered Hefeweizen is also to be recommended; it's a big ball of banana and spice goodness.
Still not sure about this whole ‘craft beer’ thing? Your friends insisted you try something new, but you aren’t keen on supping on a pint that may or may not taste like a boiled-down hedge. Caesar Augustus is the ideal starting point – it’s a super-refreshing hybrid of lager and IPA styles and ingredients, it clocks in at just 4.1%, and it tastes lovely. Graduate on to the hoppier, stronger Joker IPA, and you'll be well on your way.