The Brewski Report Reviews Belhaven’s Scottish Ale
File Date: 1.29.2011
File Name: Free will to drink whatever you want.
The Beer: Scottish Ale
Type: Scottish Ale
Stats: 5.2% ABV
Brewer: Belhaven Brewery Co. Ltd. (Greene King)
Web Site: www.belhaven.co.uk
State/Country of Origin: UK (Scotland)
Brewer Info: While 1719 may be the earliest documented evidence of the Belhaven Brewery, there may well have been beer production on the site pre-16th century as the wells and certain cellar vaults are known to date from around the time of the Reformation. Monks (noted for brewing skills) settled in the area from the 12th century. Luckily they had access to both fine water and top quality local barley. John Johnstone took ownership of the site in 1719 and it’s widely accepted that under his ownership the brewery started brewing for commercial sale. Commercial rail made it to Dunbar in 1846 both opening Belhaven up to a wider audience but conversely exposing the brewery to competition from further afield. At this time, Dudgeons diversified the business to focus on the maltings side (while still producing beer but in smaller quantities). It is thought that this diversification enabled Dudgeons to survive the widespread changes affecting other smaller Scottish breweries whose numbers dwindled as a result of closure or amalgamation. Through both world wars, Dudgeon continued malting and brewing for the military with a notable key customer – Belhaven Beers. By the 1970s, the malting side of the business that had seen the company survive two world wars, was feeling the strain of competition from modern automated plants. In 1972, family ownership came to an end as the business was sold. But this end was just the beginning of a twenty-year vibrant and significant period of growth for Belhaven. 1993 and a Management buy-out led by Stuart Ross enabled the management team to further expand and develop the business resulting in a successful flotation on the London Stock Exchange in 1996. Most recently (2005), Belhaven was bought by Greene King.
Brewer Brand Hype: Malty and hoppy, we at Belhaven love the classic Scottish Ale and we’ve been brewing it longer than any of the other beers we produce. Delivering a sweet, smooth and creamy finish, Scottish Ale has a stunning ruby colour in the glass. Magic.
Label: The Belhaven Brewery is one of Scotland’s oldest surviving breweries, dating back to 1719. Belhaven Scottish Ale is a fully rounded ale, a complex mix of malt and hop producing Belhaven’s easily recognised malted and nutty flavour. The Belhaven Brewery Company, Dunbar, Scotland.
The Brewski Review: I read an article the other day about free will. The article was loosly implying that we don’t have free will if, for example, we eat that delicious looking chocolate covered Bavarian cream filled straight. But, you have free will if you don’t eat it. Huh? People have free will to do whatever they want; whether it’s to commit a crime (which, to some, is eating a donut) or performing a good deed for someone in need. (Sweets, by the way, are my kryptonite.) Basically, people make daily, conscious decisions about how to manage their life: from what words to assemble into a sentence to how one reacts in any given situation. Some decisions may not jive with your moral compass but that doesn’t make it any less free will than if the final outcome did line up with your perception of what’s right. If the negative internal consequences were that great, you wouldn’t have made the decision you made. Obviously, you were willing to absorb the risk for the perceived reward. Sometimes you make the right call, sometimes you don’t. Take this beer for example. I think I made the right call. I liked the smooth creaminess of it. Sure there was a nice, roasted malty taste but it just seemed to go down so well. I exercised some pretty darn good free will on this one. Why don’t you do the same?
Drinkability: Would surely drink again.
Appearance: Medium ruby brown w/ muddy color head.
The Buds: Nice smooth, malty taste.
TBR Cap Rating: 4.25 rating out of 5.