Thursday is St. Andrews Day.
If two good friends of Scottish descent hadn’t told me this fact, I wouldn’t have known, and so for the remainder of the uninformed, be aware that St. Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland.
My friends say that the proper way to celebrate the occasion is to oust all things (and people) English from the pub for the day. It’s pleasant to see that nationalism lives.
Rather than Anglo-cleansing, perhaps one might drink to Scotland’s holiday according to Highland tradition of non-hopped beverages, savoring drams of the national spirit, or at least endeavor to drain some of the “other” grain (also largely non-hopped): Scottish and Scotch ale.
Truth be told, I’ve never been a huge fan of the brewing styles native to Scotland, precisely because the bitterness I crave is lacking. Of course, there are sound historic and cultural reasons for the olfactory absence of lupulin, and the richly malty character to be expected can satisfy on chilly days or during times of duress or haggis.
Come Thursday, there’ll be some bottled Belhaven Wee Heavy on hand at the Public House, alongside beer list stalwarts like Fraoch, Merlin, Old Jock, Traquair, Skullsplitter and Black Douglas.
Read more about New Albany’s poetic ale-brewing Scots tradition: Early New Albany brewer and Scottish-American poet Hew Ainslie.
Fialachd don fhogarrach, 's cnaimhean briste don eucorach!
(Hospitality to the exile, and broken bones to the oppressor! )