Ales in Ireland and Scotland

Dec 9th, 2000, 10:47 PM
  #1  
xxx
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Ales in Ireland and Scotland

Are there any particular ales or beers that I should order when in Ireland vs. Scotland? I've heard that only Brits order Beck...as an American tourist, what should I order in these countries? Help - I don't want to get thrown out of the pubs for my ignorance.
 
Dec 10th, 2000, 01:12 AM
  #2  
Sheila
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Oh the layers of answers to this one....

In Scotland there are basically light beers- lagers and dark beers- heavy or special. The "ordinary" ones are commercial and full of carbon dioxide to provide the fizz. "Real" beer drinkers wouldn't thank you for them, but they are what most people drink.

Young people drink whatever is provided is trendy bottles and it will include arange of what you get at home.

If beer is important to you get hold of a copy of the "Good Pub Guide" which is published by Camra(the Campaign for Real Ale) and it will tell you which pubs also sell beers brewed the old fashioned way-I haven't a clue how that is myself, but I have friends who can bore for Britain on the subject.

Specific queries? let us know
 
Dec 10th, 2000, 06:36 AM
  #3  
Cathy
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In Ireland there is antyhing the berr drinker whats. Basically it breaks down into 2 types of Irish beer as distinct from the imported dishwater. Stout is a dark heavy beer, the most popular of which is Guinness, Murphys (very popular in the Cork region where it is brewed) and Bemish. It is available on tap or from bottles. Traditional Guinness drinkers are complaining that Guinness is serving the beer too cold in order to attract the younger drinkers and many are moving to bottled stout as oposed o a pint of plain. Pulling a pint of Stout is an art and craft amongst bar people (and customers will be very choosy about you pulls the pint). In Dublin make time to visit the Guinness Brwery and Visitors Centre which is just re-opened in a new location. US President Bll Clinton (on his 3rd trip to Ireland in recent years) plans to have a pint on Tuesday 12 dec. On one of his previous visits he had a pint of Murphys, sparking a brewery war.

One other brewery to visit in Dublin is the Dublin Micro Brewery in Smithfield, a new brewery, but brews some great stout - Darcy's and light ales - Maeve's, Revolution Red. It is not as crowded as Guinness and is a smll operation but you get a better introduction to the art of brewing and the drink itself than in the tourist popular Guinness. See their web site at www.dublinbrewing.com

Ales and other beers in Ireland include - Smithwicks (marketed as Kilkenny in Europe), Harp (a larger), Murphys Red and lots more.

Nearly all pubs will serve Guinness and Smithwicks, but make sure that the bar person allows the pint to settle before finishing the fill, allow it to settle before sipping it and order the next round as the glass is half empty - it takes time to get the perfect pint. If you are drinking with Irish people the the ordering before your glass is empty is important - otherwise you will be seen as mean. There are 2 measurements - a pint and a glass (a half pint). Some first Guinness drinkers find it bitter and add Blackcurrant, others have a Black Velet - Guinness and Champage. But traditional Guinness drinkers see it as a mortal sin to add anything to their pint of plain.

In addition to the Irish beers there is a raft of imported stuff including Bud, Becks, Calsberg, Heinken etc. We also produce cider in ireland - the most popular brand is Bulmers

Then there is the whole topic of whiskey or whisky - Ireland and scotland are the homes of whiskey or whisky, when in Dublin visit the Jameson Distillery and see what you can have to accommpany your pint.

Hope this helps clarify any questions you may have, enjoy your holiday and have a pint for me,

Cathy
 
Dec 10th, 2000, 11:09 AM
  #4  
xxx
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Thanks for the great descriptions - is the new Guinness Brewery near City Centre? How long does the tour take?
 
Dec 10th, 2000, 02:06 PM
  #5  
ron
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A couple of comments on Scottish beers from a two week visit in October. Orkney Dark Island was the best beer I had on the the visit. It is available at the Ensign Ewart near the Castle in Edinburgh and was guesting at the Wetherspoon pubs - Standing Order in Edinburgh and Counting House in Glasgow. It is a dark ale, almost the colour of Guiness, with a malty, slightly sweet taste. Caledonian Deuchars IPA is widely available and worth trying. If your trip takes you to the Isle of Arran, which is pretty much a wasteland for 'real' beer lovers, look out for the exception, the beers of the Isle of Arran brewery - the only place I saw them was at the Catacol Bay Hotel.

A slight correction on Sheila's comment. The book published by CAMRA is the "Good Beer Guide". The "Good Pub Guide", in its 18th edition, is edited by Alisdair Aird. The latter is the one I rely on in my travels in the UK.

And finally XXX, if you are a male it is recommended that you always order by the pint - only women and the despised English order half pints.
 
Dec 10th, 2000, 02:48 PM
  #6  
Tony Hughes
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If you're debating whether you're going to get thrown out of a pub for ordering local ale then perhaps you're not quite ready to visit (or get on a plane)?

Can't you come up with something better than this?
 
Dec 10th, 2000, 03:05 PM
  #7  
Sheila
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Ron

thanks for the correction. For the record the book I meant was the "Good Pub Guide". The other is about beer not places. This one tells you which places to go to get good beer.
 
Dec 10th, 2000, 09:16 PM
  #8  
Stan
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Aren't we all getting a little sick of seeing Stellarossa's smart remarks on these postings? He apparently feels as though he owns this site and can dictate what is meaningful and insightful postings. As one can see on this posting as well as the one on Irish/Scottish food, several Fodorites have similar concerns about these facts. I always hear how friendly people in Scotland are...I'm hoping that Tony will be on one of his vacations when I'm in town visiting.

Sheila, Cathy & Ron - thank you all for assisting your fellow Fodorites on having an enjoyable trip.
- Tony - isn't this what the site is all about?
 
Dec 11th, 2000, 02:07 AM
  #9  
Tony Hughes
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Actually no, Stan, it's not.

Re-read the original question (unless it was you who wrote it?). It's a troll, no-one could possibly ask something like that unless in jest. Plus if not a troll why the blank email (not even a name)?

As for me thinking I own this site, look at your reply. You refer to 'we' - oh dear not that again.

You're just another sourpuss on a soapbox, Stanley.
 
Dec 11th, 2000, 02:50 AM
  #10  
frank
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If the pub has real ale, ask the barman for a recommendation - he may well offer you a few tasters to help you decide.
If its keg beer, the house brand of lager or heavy won't taste different enough to be worth asking about - anyway you might not get a choice as most pubs are brewery owned and try to restrict you to their own slop.
This got so bad that a law has now been passed to force tied houses to offer a "guest ale" from another company.This is usually a real ale.
Most beer has the strength written on the tap.
Note that the offer of tasters would not be made to anyone with a local accent!
Beware of buying alcohol to carry out from pubs.They charge twice the price of "licenced grocers" which are often open late.
 
Dec 11th, 2000, 04:34 AM
  #11  
Kenny
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Rest assured Stan, most folk here in Scotland have better manners and are genuinely pleased to welcome overseas visitors. Its fair to say there's always a fine line between plain speaking (which is a laudible trait in Scotland) and just being plain rude. Sometimes, Tony, I think you overstep that line.
 
Dec 11th, 2000, 04:38 AM
  #12  
Tony Hughes
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My apologies, Kenny, I didn't realise we were playing to your rules.
 
Dec 11th, 2000, 05:10 AM
  #13  
Steph
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Try Mcquan's 80 shilling. Great brew beer with hops.

Cheers
Steph
 
Dec 11th, 2000, 06:34 AM
  #14  
Rob
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Stan,

You're not alone in your views... so I guess "we" REALLY DOES mean "we"!

But I have no doubt Tony will readilly share his usual poison with us -- under the guise of "opinion".

As an aside to Tony, a private e-mail address is EXACTLY that -- private. IF someone feels like posting it publicly, that's their decision. I don't give my phone number out to strangers, nor my address. Same with my e-mail address.

It would appear that you seriously believe what you're spewing out....which makes you all the more laughable.

Awaiting your retort,
Rob whatever-his-name-is

 
Dec 11th, 2000, 07:38 AM
  #15  
Tony Hughes
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There's always someone gets upset and takes it all so personally. The day you try to restrict opinions on a forum is the day it becomes useless.

My opinion, spewed or otherwise, is that to ask whether you would be thrown out of a pub for requesting local alcohol, is ridiculous. And it is. (however as a troll it's great - so many replies already!)

Poison? I'm not exactly telling teenagers to purchase heavy metal albums then kill all their family am I? Or threatening to seek revenge on ethnic minorities?

So Rob or Stan or xxx or whoever else you are pretending to be, keep it up, mate. Oh and as regards your penultimate paragraph (second last, Rob), what do you mean, of course I believe everything!

regards
 
Dec 11th, 2000, 12:58 PM
  #16  
Alan
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Tony,
I'm not even sure what a troll is, but it is apparent that many people are benefitting from others' knowledge and helpfulness. Like xxx, I've heard that it is best to drink the house ale and to do otherwise can cause a disturbance. While you may be from the UK, not all of us are as worldly as you on the ale served in local pubs. I actually travel to foreign lands atleast 6 times a year - mainly for business. The first tip in business travel is to learn some of the local customs (which would include which ale to drink). It's really a shame that you can't find it in your heart to help curious travelers rather than ridicule them on the forum. It's because of people like you, that so many choose to remain nameless.
 
Dec 11th, 2000, 01:12 PM
  #17  
Sheila
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To add to above:- good Scottish beers (generally we don't call them ales, except in the generality-"Real Ale")

Orkney-Raven
Inverness-Alice
Traquhair
Maclays
Belhaven
Caledonian
Skye-Dark Island

But, honestly, there are few places where you'll be lynched for drinking gin and tonic.

Just don't put American Dry or Coke in malt whisky
 
Dec 11th, 2000, 01:43 PM
  #18  
elvira
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ruh roh, it appears there's a problem with humor.

I took the post as a real question, with a tongue-in-cheek ending to add a note of humor. American humor includes exaggeration to make a point - after your three-month trip in the States, Tony, you'll get it.
 
Dec 11th, 2000, 04:15 PM
  #19  
rand
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I always find that asking the barkeep about what is local etc starts a good conversation. They are usually eager to educate foreigners, (except the surly lass at the Goathland hotel).
Ps. Tony, better brush up on your sense of humour before going stateside or you will end up being hogtied and dragged behind a pickup truck.
 
Dec 11th, 2000, 06:45 PM
  #20  
Dr. Betty
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Tony, I've noticed a growing edginess in your comments of late. Is everything okay? How are your plans shaping up for your US trip? I think you need a good long vacation.

Cheers,
Dr. Betty
 

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