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July 1, 2010 08:12 - July Highland Games and Festivals

July is another busy 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, 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’!

  • June 27 to July 2, Termonfeckin, County Louth, Ireland ~ An Chúirt Chruitireachta - International Harp Festival
  • July 1, Embro, Nova Scotia, Canada ~ Embro Highland Games
  • July 1, Pugwash, Nova Scotia, Canada ~ Gathering of the Clans
  • July 1 to 8, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada ~ The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo
  • July 2 to 3, Westfalia, Volmarstein, Germany ~ Irish Folk Festival Volmarstein
  • July 2 to 4, Kincardine, Ontario, Canada ~ Kincardine Scottish Festival and Highland Games
  • July 3, Aberdeen, New South Wales, Australia ~ Aberdeen Highland Games
  • July 3, Luss, Scotland ~ Luss Highland Games
  • July 3 to 7, Orlando, Florida~ North American Irish Dance Championships
  • July 4, Norwalk, Connecticut ~ Round Hill Norwalk Highland Games
  • July 4 to 5, Salinas, California ~ Monterey Scottish Festival Highland Games
  • July 7, Kenmore, Scotland ~ Kenmore Highland Games
  • July 8 to 11, Linville, North Carolina ~ Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
  • July 9 to 11, Chicago, Illinois ~ Irish American Heritage Festival
  • July 9 to 11, Littleton, Colorado ~ Colorado Irish Festival
  • July 9 to 11, Unionville, Ontario, Canada ~ Unionville Celtic Festival
  • July 10, Alva, Scotland ~ Alva Games
    "Flag at the Top", the British Champion Hill race of the year, which 54 runners attempted - and successfully completed.

    Alva Highland Games Hill Race courtesy Alva Games

  • July 10, Haliburton, Ontario, Canada ~ Haliburton Highland Games
  • July 10, Ithaca, New York ~ Ithaca Scottish Games and Celtic Festival
  • July 10, Rochester, New York ~ Feis Rochester
  • July 10 to 11, Mount Vernon, Washington ~ Skagit Valley Highland Games and Scottish Faire
  • July 10 to 11, Payson, Utah ~ Payson Scottish Festival
  • July 10 to 18, Ramsey and Peel, Isle of Man ~ Yn Chruinnaght - The Manx National Festival
  • July 11, Stirling, Scotland ~ Stirling Highland Games
  • July 11 to 12, Athena, Oregon ~ Athena Caledonian Games
  • July 11 to 12, Chatham, Ontario ~ Tartan Sertoma Supreme Highland Games
  • July 11 to 17, Asheville, North Carolina ~ The Swannanoa Gathering - Celtic Week
  • July 14 to 17, Outer Hebrides, Scotland ~ Hebridean Celtic Festival
  • July 15 to 17, Saline, Michigan ~ Saline Celtic Festival
  • July 15 to 18, Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada ~ Canada’s Irish Festival on the Miramichi
  • July 16 to 17, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada ~ Cambridge Highland Games
  • July 16 to 18, Belfast, Maine ~ Maine Celtic Celebration
  • July 16 to 25, Aviles, Asterias, Spain ~ Interceltic Festival of Aviles
  • July 17, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada ~ Halifax Highland Games and Scottish Festival
  • July 17, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania ~ Adams County Irish Festival
  • July 17, Gresham, Oregon ~ Portland Highland Games
  • July 17, Horsham, Pennsylvania ~ Celtic Heritage Festival
  • July 17, Lochcarron, Scotland ~ Lochcarron Highland Games
  • July 17, Loch Lomond, Scotland ~ Loch Lomond Highland Games

    Loch Lomond Youth Band courtesy Loch Lomond Highland Games

  • July 17, Taynuilt, Scotland ~ Taynuilt Highland Games
  • July 17, Tong, Scotland ~ Lewis Highland Games and Western Isles Strongman Competition
  • July 17 to 18, Elizabeth, Colorado ~ Elizabeth Celtic Festival
  • July 17 to 18, Flagstaff, Arizona ~ Arizona Highland Celtic Festival
  • July 17 to 19, Orillia, Ontario, Canada ~ Orillia Scottish Festival
  • July 17 to 25, Lochaline, Scotland ~ Morvern Games and Gala Week
  • July 17 to 25, Quimper, France ~Festival de Cornouaille
  • July 18, Rosneath, Scotland ~ Rosneath Highland Games
  • July 18 to 19, Florence Massachusetts ~ Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival
  • July 18 to 23, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada ~ Celtfest
  • July 23 to 25, Berea, Ohio ~ Cleveland’s Irish Cultural Festival
  • July 23 to 25, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada ~ New Brunswick Highland Games and Scottish Festival
  • July 23 to 25, Heckscherville, Pennsylvania ~ The Clover’s Irish Weekend
  • July 23 to 25, Utica, New York ~ The Great American Irish Festival
  • July 24, Airth, Scotland ~ Airth Highland Games
  • July 24, Inverness, Scotland ~ Inverness Highland Games
    Choose from many past event photos and send an e-postcard to share the fun.
  • July 24 to 26, Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada ~ Highlands of Durham Games & Celtic Festival
  • July 25, Horsham, Pennsylvania ~ The Scottish Heritage Festival at Graeme Park
  • July 25 to 30, Elkins, West Virgina ~ Augusta Heritage Center’s Irish/Cape Breton Week
  • July 28, Killin, Scotland ~ Killin International Highland Games
  • July 30 to 31, Maxville, Ontario, Canada ~ Glengarry Highland Games
  • July 30 to August 1, Dayton, Ohio ~ Dayton Celtic Festival
  • July 30 to August 1, Fehraltoft, Switzerland ~ Highland Games

    Fehraltoft Switzerland 2010 Poster courtesy Alva Fehraltoft Highland Games

    I don’t know much about their games, but isn’t this graphic wonderful?

  • July 30 to August 1, North Plains, Oregon ~ The Faerieworlds Festival
  • July 31, Dufftown, Scotland ~ Dufftown Highlan Games
  • July 31, Halkirk, Scotland ~ Halkirk Highland Games
  • July 31, Kilmore, Scotland ~ Kilmore and Kilbride Highland Games
  • July 31 to August 1, Enumclaw, Washington ~ Pacific Northwest Scottish Highland Games and Clan Gathering
  • July 31 to August 1, Callander, Scotland ~ Callander Highland Games
  • July 31 to August 2, Cahersiveen, County Kerry, Ireland ~ Cahersiveen Festival of Music and the Arts

For more detailed information about the listed events, go to

Coming tomorrow, Surfeit Waters…

July 2, 2010 06:12 - Cordial Waters ~ Part III, Surfeit Waters

Surfeit waters were cordials, specifically created to relieve overindulgence, as were bitters and digestifs.

But how distinguish between bitters and surfeit waters?

Pharmacists and doctors provided bitters, surfeit waters were found in bars and saloons. Both often contained liquorice, anise, and peppercorns which do relieve an upset stomach.

One difference is that surfeit waters also contain poppy.

Red Poppy courtesy Wikipedia

Whoa, there, not opiate poppies, but Papaver Rhoeas, also called corn poppy, red poppy, corn rose, Flanders poppy, red weed, and field poppy, which does not contain the alkaloids found in opium producing varieties. Though this variety does have some minor sedative properties -- so does turkey -- and aid indigestion.

The red poppy has also become synonymous with fallen soldiers. Artificial ones are sold for the U.S. Memorial Day, to fund assistance for disable veterans. During World War I, John McCrae, a Canadian physician of Scottish extraction, wrote the poem In Flanders Field. Read more about the poem and poet in the May 26, 2008 blog.

In Persia, the red poppy is symbolic of love and is referred to in their literature as the eternal lover flower.

Red Surfeit Water would also add an interesting color to your wedding reception, particularly if a red tartan is in your wedding theme.

Tomorrow, three recipes for Red Surfeit water ~

July 5, 2010 07:58 - Cordials ~ Part IV, Red Surfeit Water Recipes

Red Surfeit Water

To make 10 gallons -
2 Bushels of Red Poppies
11 Gallons of Clean Proof Spirit
10 oz Caraway Seed
10 oz Coriander Seed
10 oz Liquorice Root
4 oz Cardamom Pods
5 oz Cinnamon
3 oz Ginger
3 oz Mace
3 oz Nutmeg
4 oz Cubebs
3 oz Juniper Berry
1 tsp Cloves
5 lbs Raisins
1 gallon rose water

Add the poppy flowers to the alcohol
Let stand for 3 days in a warm place, or until all of the colour from the flower has been extracted. Press out the liquor from the flowers
To the poppy flower tincture add the remaining ingredients
Let stand for 3 more days
Add 1 gallon of Rose Water and sugar to taste
Fine filter using a jelly bag

Note ~ cut out the black center of the poppy, using only the petals

from The Complete Distiller, 1757

Surfeit Water ~ a smaller quantity

1 Peck of Poppy Flowers (blacks removed)
3 Qts Aquavit or high proof spirit of your choice
2 Qts Sack (Sherry)
4 oz Raisins
4 oz Figs (sliced)
2 oz Liquorice Root
2 oz Anise
20 Cloves
20 Pepper Corns

Add the poppy flowers to the aquavit
Steep for 2 to 3 days
Strain and add the remaining ingredients
Steep for one month, agitating every couple of days
Strain and filter
Sweeten with sugar

This recipe is more convenient and could easily be cut in half. The recipes don't dictate a quantity of sugar and merely imply that you are to sweeten it to your particular tastes, but do remember this is a cordial liqueur.

Recipe #3, Red Surfeit Water

2 gallons brandy
Poppy flowers
½ oz nutmeg
½ oz cinnamon
½ oz ginger

Add a quantity of poppy flowers to the brandy
Steep overnight
Squeeze the poppies to extract all the brandy and color
Add fresh poppy flowers and repeat until the color is deep red
Add the spices
Steep for 20 days in a warm place, shaking occasionally
Strain and filter
Add 4 oz sugar for every quart of liquid

Half of the fresh poppy petals can be substituted with dried petals
If you use seeds, the oil will add a nutty flavor

July 6, 2010 06:15 - Men In Kilts

Once in a while, it’s good to just stop where you’re headed and look around. In the past I’ve published photos from the Tartan Week Fashion Shows in New York City. This year I didn’t.

While stumbling through another topic, I was led to YouTube and wandered into kilts. Of course, there’s everything from tasteful to raunchy. We women do so admire our men in their kilts. So I wandered around for awhile, remembering my husband and son donning their kilts and how I love to see them all decked out.

From the news I found a postman who wants an official utility kilt for postmen. After all, the women can wear skirts, skorts, and culottes.

For humor, take a look at Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow The Birth of the Kilt routine.

And for eye candy, there‘s Hunks in Kilts - who wears it best?

The hunks span ages and looks, formal and casual, traditional and modern. Here‘s a sampling of the models ~

  • Mel Gibson ~ Braveheart at his finest
  • Prince Charles ~ some of his inherited kilts are generations old
  • Dennis Quaid
  • Denzel Washington
  • Sean Connery ~ as venerable as ever
  • Brad Pitt
  • Homer Simpson
  • Clive Owen
  • Christian Bale ~ the height of sophistication
  • Harrison Ford ~ nothing more need be said
  • Daniel Craig
  • Johnny Depp ~ who’d have thunk it?
  • Orlando Bloom
  • Patrick Dempsey ~ Talk about sleek
  • Matt Damon
  • Matthew McConaughey ~ for someone of Scottish descent, he needs more kilt time
  • Josh Holloway ~ the charming villain, all in black
  • Will Smith ~ from rapper to dapper, all the way

And if you’re wanting to learn how to wear a kilt with style and comfort, Scotweb has an excellent video.

AND, if you don’t like old pipe tunes, listen to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo play We Will Rock You. After A Knight’s Tale theme song, and the annual tattoo presentation, you can open your mind up to almost any song on the bagpipes.

Coming tomorrow, a new kilt rental company…

July 7, 2010 09:38 - Kilts 2 Go, A New Rental Company

A new online kilt rental company, based in North Conway, New Hampshire and Barrie, Ontario, has opened.

Their name is Kilts 2 Go and they‘re affiliated with Lochcarron of Scotland.

The standard rental includes a kilt, Prince Charlie jacket, fur or leather sporran with chain strap, and hose in a choice of 4 colors.

Also included in the rental are a sgian dubh, bowtie, matching flashes, belt and buckle.

The tartan choices for the kilt are

  • MacKean of Duart Modern
  • Douglas Modern
  • Scotland Forever
  • Scottish National
  • Irish National
  • Royal Stewart

They are offering tartans I’ve not seen for rent elsewhere, which is in their favor.

The standard rental package is $140, plus shipping both ways. Also note, for rentals returned late, there is a daily charge.

Other rental options are a fly plaid with brooch, shirt, and ghillies, for a complete outfit.

For more detailed information, go to their website at Kilts 2 Go.

Coming tomorrow, Lochcarron of Scotland, a fine looking kilt rental and a You Tube video…

July 8, 2010 06:43 - Lochcarron of Scotland You Tube video

Almost all grooms look so fine in a tux. In a kilt, they look even finer. As the custom of kilts has been growing here in the U.S., it‘s been mostly limited to a tartan kilt and flashes, white hose, white tuxedo shirt, bow tie, and Prince Charlie jacket.

But, just take a look at this outfit, from the Lochcarron of Scotland kilt rental page. This is a great example of just look how fine and fashionable a lad can be when well-dressed in a kilt ~ down to the tie, shirt, boutonnière, hose, and sporran. Even the tartan scrunch tie is the height of formal fashion.

Kilt Rental Outfit courtesy Lochcarron of Scotland - Selkirk

You can also view a 6 minute Lochcarron of Scotland - Selkirk video on YouTube. It covers the history of Lochcarron, two fund raising tartans ~ Diana, Princess of Wales and McClennium ~ plus use of their tartans in high fashion and for historical occasions.

Coming tomorrow, a new tartan and the trimmings…

July 9, 2010 06:51 - MacTavish Modern Tartan

It’s been a while since a tartan and accessorized colors has been blogged. So when I found this new tartan at Lochcarron of Scotland, it cried out for a viewing.

MacTavish Modern Tartan

With the bright pink and pale blue, some beautiful flowers come to mind ~

First, to emphasize the blue, are forget-me-nots, which mean true love, faithful love, or memories.

Forget-Me-Not courtesy Wikipedia

White heather, the traditional wedding flower of Scotland, is another good choice. For the Celts in Highland Scotland, white heather symbolized attraction, beauty, cleansing, intoxication, luck, protection, purity, refinement, and romance.

White Heather courtesy Clipart

Another excellent choice for a dainty white flower, with a fresh fragrance is the lily-of-the-valley, which means sweetness, return to happiness, humility, you’ve made my life complete.

Lily of the Valley courtesy Morgue Files

A much newer variety, Stargazer lilies are big, splashy, and have lots of pink to balance the bright pink, paler pink, and burgundy in the MacTavish Modern tartan.

Stargazer Lilies courtesy Stock Exchange

For just, plain shocking pink, the peony or rose would be bold and beautiful.

Pink Peony courtesy Stock Exchange

Hot Pink Rose courtesy Stock Exchange

Roses signify happiness, friendship, love, strength, and beauty.

If hot pink rosebuds were used in lieu of fully opened flowers, they could be mixed with forget-me-nots, and white heather or lily-of-the-valley for a dainty, feminine, old-fashioned bouquet.

This combination would signify calmness and peace with the blue, purity and virtue with the white, and youthful happiness with the pink.

Three pattern selections that would look wonderful in the MacTavish Modern tartan ~

A sheared bodice in tartan with a white skirt for the bride and pink, burgundy, or blue skirts for the bridal attendants. Or reversed with a solid colored bodice and tartan silk skirts.

8150 pattern courtesy Vogue

This mermaid skirt in the tartan with a solid color silk bustier is another choice.

V8003 pattern courtesy Vogue

Similar to the Vogue 8150 design, but with a tiered skirt, the bride could wear view A in tartan, while the attendants could wear View B in solid colors or a combination of solid with tartan. For the attendants another choice would be solid gowns with a View C tartan jacket.

8057 courtesy Burda

Yesterday’s Lochcarron of Scotland kilt rental photograph, with blues predominating, would blend well for the groom and groomsmen.

The new MacTavish Modern Tartan is available through Tartan and Clan.

Coming next, The Harlequin and His Lady…

July 11, 2010 07:57 - An Unexpected Hiccough

Circumstances have developed where I will be out in the Texas Hill Country this next week. Internet service may be intermittent or unavailable. To simplify, I will not be posting any blogs this week.

My next blog will be posted Monday, July 19th. See you then.

July 19, 2010 12:11 - The Harlequin and His Lady

Harlequin and His Lady courtesy Taubman Museum

Giovanni Domenico Ferretti painted this harlequin and his lady in the 17th century. My first reaction when seeing it was the motion, the dance, the vivacity he captured in both subjects.

Secondly, I thought, how can anyone find tartans and Highland dress gaudy after viewing this painting? Thirdly, I looked at his tan shoes and wondered why they weren’t red or green or blue, or even yellow. It appears she is wearing teal blue slippers, so why are his so dull in comparison to their costumes?

Both characters are so bright and flashy, which heightens their vivacity. They appear to be skipping across the Italian countryside, similar to a Highland Fling with the Highlands of Scotland in the background.

During this time frame, a Ceilidh, which means visit, was an informal gathering in individual’s home. There would be lively, cheerful music and dancing, as well as singing, accompanied by the fiddle, flute, tin whistle, bodhran drum, bagpipes, and sometimes the accordion.

If a schenachy, or storyteller, was present, he might tell a Sgeulachd or sgelachd bhead, that is a story or anecdote.

The men would wear their Breacan feile meaning big kilt or big wrap. This evolved into the Feileadh-beag, or small kilt as worn today. They would also be wearing a shirt and a Peitean, meaning a sleeveless waistcoat or vest.

The ladies would be in their everyday dresses with a sgarfa, meaning a small plaid neck scarf. Overall, to keep her warm as she walked to the ceilidh, she would have worn her Arasaid, the ladies fly plaid.

I picture these ceilidhs as similar to dances which took place elsewhere in Great Britain and in the American colonies with reels and schottisches, and eventually square dances.

And, in a similar fashion, a lad and lassie might slip off for a smirch, or kiss.

When it was time for everyone to go home, a parting toast or slainte, with all declaring, "Slainte Mhach" meaning to your very good health.

The original ceilidh and all it entailed is what I see when I view The Harlequin and His Lady, skipping across the countryside with great anticipation of an evening with friends and family.

The painting is currently on loan to the Taubman Museum in Roanoke, Virginia.

Tomorrow, a Veracruz poster dress is featured…

July 20, 2010 15:28 - Veracruz Poster Dress

Veracruz Travel Poster courtesy Rainfall

When I saw this vintage poster, advertising Veracruz, Mexico, I immediately saw the woman with Highland tartan accents, along with the beautiful laces she was already wearing.

A simple white dress, with the flounces above the hemline truly complement the wide lace collar. Vogue pattern V2850 could be used to adapt this collar.

Pattern V2850 courtesy Vogue Patterns

In the poster, the model appears to be wearing a black lace apron, which would be omitted.

Next, her black shawl could be replaced with one of tartan, with the beautifully tied fringe. This would work with any tartan. This type of tartan shawl can be ordered from most of the kilt sources.

Her necklace would look more traditional if replaced by a Celtic brooch, Luckenbooth brooch, or a shawl pin.

Information about Luckenbooth brooches can be accessed at
The Tryste.

Shawl pins and Celtic brooches will be featured in a few days.

It’s been suggested I’ve been remiss in not featuring Scottish beers. So a short series will begin tomorrow.

July 21, 2010 07:36 - Scottish Beer ~ Part I, A Short History For a Long Past

It’s come to my attention that I have basically ignored the wonderful Scottish beers. If you’re a non-imbiber, please skip this series. I’ll be back on other topics in a few days.

Beer seems to be as old as the Celtics, who used bittering herbs to produce beer. This tradition continued in Scotland while the rest of Europe developed other brewing techniques.

Glasgow and Edinburgh are where the main breweries developed, with Edinburgh becoming an international center. During the late 1900’s, smaller breweries also sprang up across Scotland.

The use of barley in Scottish ale production has been traced back 3,000 years with meadowsweet for flavoring. This ancient recipe has been reconstructed and is sold as Meadowsweet Ale.

In 1769, Thomas Pennant in his A Tour in Scotland noted an ale on the Isle of Islay brewed from youth heather tops and malt, sometimes with hops.

The brewing was done by Broustaris, that is, alewives and monasteries. The Leges Quatuor Burgorum, a code of burgh laws, in 1509, cites Aberdeen as having over 150 brewers who were all women. In the same time frame London had 290 brewers, of whom 116 were men. By 1598 the Edinburgh Society of Brewers was formed.

The Acts of Union of 1707 opened up commercial opportunities and was a stimulus to Scottish breweries. The tax on Scottish beer was held lower than the rest of the United Kingdom. In Scotland, there was no tax on malt. Following this act, some of the most famous Scottish breweries were established, including

  • William Younger, Edinburgh
  • Robert & Hugh Tennent, Glasgow
  • George Younger, Alloa
  • Dudgeon & Company Bellhaven Brewery

Tomorrow, a history of Scottish beer continues…

July 22, 2010 06:57 - Scottish Beer ~ Part II, More History

Many have claimed the Scots used no hops in their brewing, but trade records show the Edinburgh brewers used as much hops as the English brewers.

One difference was the hard water available in Edinburgh, particularly from wells on the "charmed circle" which encompassed Holyrood, Canongate, Cowgate, Grassmarket, and Fountainbridge

From this water Robert Disher brewed a hoppy Edinburgh Pale Ale, beginning in 1821. By 1850 Edinburgh had 40 breweries and was considered one of the foremost brewing centers in the world in their production of Scotch ale.

This strong, pale ale is still popular today in the U.S., sometimes under different names than in Scotland. Edinburgh Strong Ale or Edinburgh Tattoo is sold in the U.S. as Caledonian’s Edinburgh Scotch Ale.

Another name for strong Scotch Ale is Wee Heavy. Barley Wine is another strong, pale ale, but sweeter and fuller with a flavor and aroma of hops. When the malt is dried by peat burning, a distinctive flavor resembling whisky is produced and sold as Whiskey Ale or Scotch Ale. From France there’s Fischer’s Adelscott. From the U.S. Samuel Adams brews Scotch Ale.

In the 1930’s the Russian importer, John Martin, encouraged Scottish and Irish brewers to make strong beers for his Russian customers. Some names he coined are Bulldog Ale, Christmas Ale, and Scotch Ale.

Tomorrow, modern Scottish breweries, their histories and their beers…

July 23, 2010 08:36 - Scottish Beer ~ Part III, Modern Scottish Breweries

With such a rich history of brewing, it’s no wonder breweries abound in modern Scotland. The individual breweries, their histories, and their locations evoke the pipes, the Highland countryside, and many a fine evening shared with friends and families.

The advocates of traditional beer and ale from micro-breweries has been compared to fine wine making, with the emphasis on quality not quantity.

An Teallach Brewery, Dundonnel, Garve, opened in 2002, on the Orr family croft

  • An Teallach Ale
  • BeinnDearg Ale

    Beinn Dearg Ale
    courtesy An Tellach Brewery

    Beinn Dearg Mor
    courtesy Highland Instinct

  • Brewhouse Special
  • Crofters’ Pale Ale
  • Kildonnan

Arran Brewery on the Isle of Arran, was founded in 2000 in Cladach. Their regular offerings include Arran Ale, Arran Dark, and Arran Blonde, plus two seasonal brews called Arran Fireside.

Arron logo courtesy Arran Brewery

Their newest release Arran Red Squirrel.

Red Squirrel
courtesy Arran Brewery

The brewery was featured in the at December 9, 2009 blog.

More details are available at the Arran Brewery website.

Atlas Brewery, located in Kinlochleven, Argyll, housed in the defunct aluminum factory, formed in 2002. With a Belgian brewer, Atlas mixes Scottish and Continental ingredients for a more international brew. Merged with Orkney Brewery to form Highlands and Islands Breweries, which were purchased by Sinclair Breweries in 2006.

  • Blizzard Winter Beer

    Blizzard Winter Beer courtesy Atlas Brewery

  • Latitude Cask Pilsner and bottled Highland Pilsner

    Latitude Pilsner courtesy Atlas Brewery

  • Nimbus Strong Pale Ale

    Nimbus Ale courtesy Atlas Brewery

  • Tempest Wheat Beer

    Tempest Wheat Beer courtesy Atlas Brewery

  • Three Sisters Scottish Ale, named after the dramatic range of mountains in Glencoe. The highest point in Argyll, the Three Sisters of Glen Coe are steeply-sided ridges, named Gearr Aonach, meaning Short Ridge, Aonach Dubh, meaning Black Ridge, and Beinn Fhjada, meaning Long Hill.

    Three Sisters Range courtesy Wikipedia

    Three Sisters Scottish Ale courtesy Atlas Brewery

  • Wayfarer India Pale Ale

    Wayfarer IPA courtesy Atlas Brewery

Bellhaven, located in East Lothian since 1719, evidence reveals production pre-16th century production in wells and cellar vaults. Also monks, noted for their brewing skills, settled in the area in the 12th century. The area is noted for it’s fine water and quality local barley, both needed for brewing beer.

The grounds include a folly as blogged June 17 to 24, 2009. The entrance gates are whale jawbones, from nearby Dunbar Law, which have eroded to stumps.

In 2005 Bellhaven became the largest and oldest independent brewery in Scotland, then was purchased by Greene King Brewery.

The brews include

  • 80 Shilling

    80 Shilling
    courtesy Belhaven Brewery

  • Belhaven Best

    Belhaven Best courtesy Belhaven Brewery

  • Belhaven Best Extra Cold

  • Fruit Beer

    Fruit Beer
    courtesy Belhaven Brewery

  • McCallum’s Stout

    McCallum’s Stout
    courtesy Belhaven Brewery

  • Robert Burn’s Ale

    Robert Burns Ale
    courtesy Belhaven Brewery

  • Scottish Ale
  • Scottish Stout

    Scottish Stout
    courtesy Belhaven Brewery

  • St. Andrew’s Ale

    St. Andrew’s Ale
    courtesy Belhaven Brewery

  • Twisted Thistle

    Twisted Thistle
    courtesy Belhaven Brewery

  • Wee Heavy

    Wee Heavy
    courtesy Belhaven Brewery

Monday, the modern Scottish breweries continues…

July 26, 2010 06:01 - Scottish Beer ~ Part IV, More Modern Breweries

Two of the Scottish Breweries are Black Isle and BrewDog. Both have a wide selection of beer and ale,

Black Isle Brewery Ltd., on the Black Isle, in the Highlands, near Munlochy. Their beers, which are all organic, include

  • Blonde Ale

    Blonde courtesy Black Isle Brewery

  • Goldeneye Pale Ale

    Goldeneye Pale Ale courtesy Black Isle Brewery

  • Heather Honey Beer

    Heather Honey Beer courtesy Black Isle Brewery

  • Hibernator Oatmeal Stout

    Hibernator Oatmeal Stout courtesy Black Isle Brewery

  • Porter

    Porter courtesy Black Isle Brewery

  • Red Kite Ale

    Red Kite Ale courtesy Black Isle Brewery

  • Scotch Ale

    Scotch Ale courtesy Black Isle Brewery

  • Wheat Beer

    Wheat Beer courtesy Black Isle Brewery

  • Yellowhammer

    Yellowhammer courtesy Black Isle Brewery

Built on the Black Isle in the 18th century, when the Old Allanrange Hall was renovated remnants of brewing were discovered. In Gaelic, Allann-Chrain translates as "a fertile field of corn".

Old Allangrange Hall courtesy Black Isle Brewery

Business records from the 1790’s list grain beyond what was needed for local inhabitants and was found to be of superior quality to the brewer.

Thus, brewing of the Black Isle has come full circle and is once more a viable industry on the island.

BrewDog Brewery, founded in 2006 in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, by James Watt and Martin Dickie, is currently the largest independent brewery in Scotland.

BrewDog logo courtesy BrewDog Brewery

Among their offerings are

  • 5 A.M. Saint, an iconoclastic amber ale, the Holy Grail of red ales.

    5 A.M. Saint courtesy BrewDog Brewery

  • 77 Lager, an artisan rebel pilsner that blurs the line between genius and insanity.

    77 Lager courtesy BrewDog Brewery

  • Hardcore IPA, an explicit imperial ale, an extreme rollercoaster for freaks, gypsies, and international chess superstars.

    Hardcore courtesy BrewDog Brewery

  • Paradox Smokehead, an imperial stout aged in Scotch malt whisky casks.

    Paradox Smokehead courtesy BrewDog Brewery

  • Punk IPA, a post modern classic pale ale, a tribute to the classic India Pale Ales with a tropical fruit flavor

    Punk IPA courtesy BrewDog Brewery

  • Sink The Bismarck, an quadruple IPA for the dedicated.

    Sink The Bismarck courtesy BrewDog Brewery

  • Tactical Nuclear Penguin, a beer for the dedicated that’s matured in Scotch whisky casks for 14 months, then frozen 3 times.

    Tactical Nuclear Penguin courtesy BrewDog Brewery

  • Tokyo, an intergalactic oak aged stout named after a 1980’s Japanese space invaders game.

    Tokyo courtesy BrewDog Brewery

  • Trashy Blonde, a titillating, neurotic, peroxide, punk of a pale ale.

    Trashy Blonde courtesy BrewDog Brewery

Tomorrow, the modern Scottish beers continue with Bridge of Allan from The Borders…

July 27, 2010 08:45 - Scottish Beer ~ Part V More Modern Breweries

Continuing the listing of Scottish Breweries and their intriguing labels and names of their brews ~

Bridge of Allan Brewery, the village of Bridge of Allan is a Victorian spa town in an area steeped in history. Stirling Castle and the William Wallace monument are close by. As the area is the Gateway to the Highlands many battles were fought along the River Forth and the Stirling Bridge. Because of the port facilities, fertile lands, and pristine water, at one time, the Forth Valley had more than 30 breweries. Beginning in 1997, the Bridge of Allan Brewery has once more taken up the mantle of brewing history.

Allan Bridge courtesy Bridge of Allan Brewery

  • Aleoween, a seasonal celebration of the holiday.

    Aleoween courtesy Bridge of Allan Brewery

  • Bannockburn, commemorates the 1314 battle for independence, which was a significant victory and decisive battle in the First War of Scottish Independence.

    Bannockburn courtesy Bridge of Allan Brewery

  • Ben Nevis, honors the highest mountain in the British Isles, known locally as The Ben.

    Ben Nevis courtesy Wikipedia

    Ben Nevis courtesy Bridge of Allan Brewery

  • Bramble, a season ale with the wild berries picked along the banks of the River Forth.

    Bramble courtesy Bridge of Allan Brewery

  • Brig O Allan

    Brig O Allan courtesy Bridge of Allan Brewery

  • Bronwyn, a Christmas favorite named for the brewery’s Golden Retriever, Bronwyn.

    Bronwyn courtesy Bridge of Allan Brewery

  • Glencoe Wild Oat Stout, named after the wild, picturesque valley, famous for it‘s beauty and history.

    Glen Coe courtesy Wikipedia

    Glencoe Wild Oat Stout courtesy Bridge of Allan Brewery

  • Lomond Gold Blonde Ale, brewed close to the shores of Loch Lomond

    Loch Lomond courtesy Wikipedia

    Lomond Gold Blonde Ale courtesy Bridge of Allan Brewery

  • Sheriffmuir, commemorating an indecisive Jacobite battle in 1715.

    Sheriffmuir courtesy Bridge of Allan Brewery

  • Stirling Bitter, named after Stirling Castle which dates from around 1110 and has been used by Scottish royalty since King Alexander I, though the village dates even earlier.

    Stirling Castle courtesy Wikipedia

    Stirling Bitter courtesy Bridge of Allan Brewery

  • Stirling Brig commemorates the Battle of Sterling Bridge in 1297, where William Wallace and Andrew Moray defeated the English forces.

    Stirling Bridge courtesy Wikipedia

    Stirling Brig courtesy Bridge of Allan Brewery

Bridge of Allan also offers a personalized label in your choice of beers.

Stirling Brig Premium Personalized Beer courtesy Bridge of Allan Brewery

Tomorrow read about Broughton Ales…

July 28, 2010 10:17 - Scottish Beer ~ More Modern Breweries Part VI, Broughton Ales

Broughton Ales, founded in 1980, lies in the village of Broughton, situated in the Scottish Borders. The brewery also has a broad selection, with names and labels that are pure entertainment.

Logo courtesy Broughton Ales

  • Angel Lager, an organic lager of purity, brewed to exacting standards.

    Angel Lager
    courtesy Broughton Ales

  • Autumn Ale

    Autumn Ale
    courtesy Broughton Ales

  • Black Douglas Ale, a Scottish knight and compatriot of Robert the Bruce

    Black Douglas Ale
    courtesy Broughton Ales

  • Border Gold Organic Ale, honoring the legend that the third wedding ring of Mary Queen of Scots was fashioned from gold panned from The Border streams of the Yarrow Valley, near the Broughton Ales brewery.

    Border Gold Organic Ale
    courtesy Broughton Ales

  • Champion Double Ale, combining a classic Scottish Strong Ale with a high quality Stout.

    Champion Double Ale courtesy Broughton Ales

  • Clipper IPA

    Clipper IPA
    courtesy Broughton Ales

  • Dr. Johnson’s Definitive Ale
    Echoes of the past with an ale similar to what Dr. Johnson and James Boswell would have drank on their historical travels across Scotland.

    Dr. Johnson’s Definitive Ale
    courtesy Broughton Ales

  • Exciseman’s 80 Shilling, brewed for the brewery’s 25th anniversary, named after the tax man who collected excises on beer and ale, one of whom was Robert Burns.

    Exciseman’s 80 Shilling
    courtesy Broughton Ales

  • First Foot Ale, brewed for Hogmanay. The first person to cross your threshold after the stroke of midnight, being the first guest in your home for the new year, is the First Foot. Preferably, this is a tall dark man. The first foot is given symbolic gifts ~ salt, coal, shortbread, whisky, and a black bun ~ thus insuring good luck for the year to come.

    In the wedding procession, it’s the first person the bridal couple meet as they walk to the church, also a good luck symbol.

    First Foot Ale
    courtesy Broughton Ales

  • The Ghillie, named for the Highland Chief’s weapon bearer who stood next to the Chief in battle.

    The Ghillie
    courtesy Broughton Ales

  • Greenmantle Ale, commemorating the popular hero of local novelist John Buchan.

    Greenmantle Ale
    courtesy Broughton Ales

  • Match Ale, marking the 6 Nation’s Rugby Championships.

    Match Ale
    courtesy Broughton Ales

  • Merlin’s Ale, to most of us simply a fictional legend, but the locals know him as a real person. A thorn bush close to Broughton marks his burial site..

    Merlin’s Ale
    courtesy Broughton Ales

  • Old Jock Ale, The Jocks are the men of the Highland and Lowland Scots Regiments

    Old Jock Ale
    courtesy Broughton Ales

  • Reekit Yill, Lowland Scots translating as Smoked Ale.

    Reekit Yill
    courtesy Broughton Ales

  • The Reiver, honoring the reivers who drove cattle from this area to the southern markets.

    The Reiver
    courtesy Broughton Ales

  • Scottish Oatmeal Stout, brewed to the standards of the brewery founder’s great grandfather, an Edinburgh brewer.

    Scottish Oatmeal Stout
    courtesy Broughton Ales

  • Special Bitter, an ale with extra hop flavor

    Special Bitter
    courtesy Broughton Ales

  • Spring Ale

    Spring Ale
    courtesy Broughton Ales

  • Summer Ale

    Summer Ale
    courtesy Broughton Ales

  • Tibbie Shiels Ale, a tribute to the Tibbie Shiels Inn the proprietress, Tibbie Shiels, known to have served Sir Walter Scott and Robert Lewis Stevenson, on the shores of St. Mary’s Loch.

    Tibbie Shiels Ale courtesy Broughton Ales

  • Winter Fire

    Winter Fire Ale
    courtesy Broughton Ales

Coming tomorrow, Cairngorm Brewery…

July 29, 2010 07:14 - 7-29 Scottish Beer ~ Part VII, Cairngorm Brewery

Cairngorm Brewery, founded in 2001, in the village of Aivemore, within the Cairngorms National Park in the Highlands.

Cairngorms courtesy Wikipedia

Cairngorm, which is a nickname, means blue or green hill. The Celtic name is Am Monadh Ruadh, meaning the red hills, thus the brew named Red Mountain.

  • Autumn Nuts Ale

    Autumn Nuts courtesy Cairngorm Brewery

  • Black Gold Scottish Stout

    Black Gold courtesy Cairngorm Brewery

  • Blessed Thistle, a real thistle beer

    Blessed Thistle courtesy Cairngorm Brewery

  • Cairngorm Gold Premium Beer

    Cairngorm Gold courtesy Cairngorm Brewery

  • Highland IPA

    Highland IPA courtesy Cairngorm Brewery

  • Howler Ale

    Howler courtesy Cairngorm Brewery

  • Nessie’s Monster Mash Premium Beer

    Nessie’s Monster Mash courtesy Cairngorm Brewery

  • Red Mountain Ale

    Red Mountain courtesy Cairngorm Brewery

  • Sheepshaggers Gold Premium Beer, born to be wild in the Highlands of Scotland, the best beer baa none.

    The Sheepshagger courtesy Cairngorm Brewery

    Sheepshaggers courtesy Cairngorm Brewery

  • Stag Premium Beer

    Stag courtesy Cairngorm Brewery

  • Trade Winds Golden Beer

    Trade Winds courtesy Cairngorm Brewery

  • White Lady Wheat Beer

    White Lady courtesy Cairngorm Brewery

  • Wild Cat Dark Ale

    Wild Cat courtesy Cairngorm Brewery

  • Witches Cauldron Autumn Ale

    Witches Cauldron courtesy Cairngorm Brewery

Coming tomorrow, Caledonian Brewery…

July 30, 2010 07:20 - 7-30 Scottish Beer ~ Part VIII, Caledonian Brewery

Founded in 1869 in Edinburgh, this is the city's only surviving 19th century brewery. Nicknamed The Calley, the brewery has the only remaining direct-fired coppers in use throughout Great Britain.

Caledonian Brewery has an extensive glossary of brewing terms for those unfamiliar with brewing terminology.

The Calley Standard Brews

  • Caledonian 80 Shilling

    Caledonian 80 Shilling
    courtesy Caledonian Brewery

  • Caledonian XPA

    Caledonian XPA
    courtesy Caledonian Brewery

  • Deuchars IPA, an award winning modern classic

    Deuchars IPA Draft
    courtesy Caledonian Brewery

    Deuchars IPA
    courtesy Caledonian Brewery

  • Golden Promise Organic Beer, named for Scotland’s most famous malted barley

    Golden Promise Organic Beer
    courtesy Caledonian Brewery

  • Rebus 20, to celebrate 20 years of Rebus, author Ian Rankin’s most famous detective character

    Rebus 20
    courtesy Caledonian Brewery

Guest Beers
courtesy Caledonian Brewery

Each month also brings a standard seasonal selection, called Guest Beers

  • January ~ Auld Acquaintance, for Robert Burns Night

    Auld Acquaintance courtesy Caledonian Brewery

  • February ~ Over the Top, celebrating the annual Rugby tournaments

    Over the Top courtesy Caledonian Brewery

  • March ~ Old Seadog IPA, brewed to withstand the long sea voyage to the colonies

    Old Seadog courtesy Caledonian Brewery

  • April ~ Brewer’s Passion Fruit Beer, with a subtle use of Passion Fruit

    Brewer’s Passion Fruit Beer courtesy Caledonian Brewery

  • May ~ Mild Mayhem, a porter which brings order from chaos

    Mild Mayhem courtesy Caledonian Brewery

  • June ~ Surf Sup, a golden summer beer with a tidal wave of flavor

    Surf Sup courtesy Caledonian Brewery

  • July ~ Mexican Bandit, for lime light refreshment

    Mexican Bandit courtesy Caledonian Brewery

  • August ~ Highland Fling, for natural hoppiness

    Highland Fling courtesy Caledonian Brewery

  • September ~ Mellow Yellow Harvest Ale, with citrus and fruit aroma

    Mellow Yellow Harvest Ale courtesy Caledonian Brewery

  • October ~ Oktoberbest, for festivals of friends and froth

    Oktoberbest courtesy Caledonian Brewery

  • November ~ Scottie Dog Export Ale, with more than just a bark to this wee beauty

    Scottie Dog Export Ale courtesy Caledonian Brewery

  • December ~ Escape Claus, to get away from it all

    Escape Claus courtesy Caledonian Brewery

Monday begins a new month with the August Highland Games and Festivals…

June 2010 « 


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