Surfacing from the depths of the CAMRA stuff I am currently embroiled in - editing (writing?) a magazine, proofing Good Beer Guide entries, writing articles for local newspapers and the like - I had a look at Twitter and a message about a newspaper dissing Scottish beer caught my eye. Now as an exiled Scot, I keep my eye on the Scottish brewing scene as much as I can, mainly through the likes of @robsterowski and of course, through Scotland on Sunday, the paper edition of which I buy every week. It also allows me to look on in amazement at the word battle over Scottish independence, but that's another story.
.@heraldscotland can't believe you are again promoting this poorly researched article. Dreadful representation of Scottish beer.
— Denis Johnstone (@DenisJohnstone) February 25, 2013
So what was this? A fellow exiled Scot has tweeted as above. The newspaper was the Glasgow based Sunday Herald and seemed to be to be absolutely inoffensive and in fact, given some of the absurd clichéd, tartan bedecked Brigadoonish names unwisely chosen by some, it has let them off more than a touch lightly. How about a pint of Sheepshagger? Or maybe some MòR Tea, Vicar? (There are no vicars to speak of in Scotland.) Or would your boat be more floated by Sporran Lifter, Kilt lifter, Nessie's Monster Mash, Santa's Swallie or the Terror of Tobermory?
Funnily enough, I am very impressed by Scotland on Sunday's coverage of Scottish brewing and its rival now seems to be setting off down the same path. In fact there are plenty breweries mentioned that I didn't know of, so the article itself, far from being an insult, was serious attempt to look at what's going on and to me at least, informative. For the uninitiated, probably more so. (Some of the beers in fact did have some well thought out and interesting names that had local connections without being naff.) The article actually illustrated that the newspaper was hosting a (slightly pricey) craft beer lunch where, one course lunch sampling of ten Scottish beers was offered. Something to be welcomed, in principle at least, I'd have thought.
It is hardly the Herald's fault that some of the names are daft.
This isn't a pop at my fellow twitterer. His take is different, this is just mine. The article can be read here.