Beers, Bars, & Brewpubs

For anyone that loves good beer, there is nothing more satisfying than brewing your own batch of perfectly crafted ale at home. It’s a great feeling to be able to come home to a cold bottle of your own brew or to be able to entertain and impress guests with your latest batch that you created from nothing more than a few simple ingredients and some patience and hard work. For most of us the thought of working a full day then brewing beer for three hours is a lot. The explosion of breweries and the selection of different styles of beer is overwhelming but glorious all at the same time. My goal with this article is to talk about different styles of beer.

The first style I want to dive into is a Scottish Light Ale. This is a great beer for anyone that is just getting into craft beer or wants a light beer with flavor. Scottish Light, or Scottish 60 Shilling as it was originally known, originated in a land where brewing has existed for a really long time.  

Scotland’s desire to brew low hopped and malt forward beers has always been a bit of a mystery. The water quality in Edinburgh matches that of Burton upon Trent and is well suited for hoppy ales. At one point in time, Scotland produced stouts, porters, and pales. The cool temperature in Scotland caused many of the brewers to import their hops since the climate was not right for growing their own. This could be one reason for the Scot’s desire to focus more on malty beers.

The other reason for the malt forward beers is the climate being perfect for cooler fermentation. The Scottish ales are yeast neutral, which is imparted by cooler, longer temperatures. Also, cooler weather calls for malt forward beers. Scotland also yields a good amount of barley, oats, and wheat. They may as well focus on what they have easy access to.

Appearance - Pale amber to dark copper. The head on this beer should be creamy and off white with a superb clarity.

Aroma - Malt character is low to medium with notes of caramel and butterscotch. Low English hop character, fruitiness and diacetyl.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is usually medium-low to medium.

Taste - The flavor of this beer is all malt. Sweetness varies and when it comes to a hop flavor it has low to moderate hop bitterness. Little to no hop flavor. Rich grainy finish to this beer with a drying character.

Food Pairing - The characteristics of a Scottish Light fare well with gamey meats like pheasant and quail, as well as more traditional roast pork, smoked salmon, or lamb. Spicy Mexican dishes can work as well. For cheese pairings, you’re probably best off with something smoked.

Overall though, the Scottish Light is probably BEST to save for a rich dessert, given the heavy toffee, caramel-like nature of the beer… anything with dark chocolate, toffee, or caramel will work really well.

Scottish Light Recipe

  • Color Range: 17 – 22 SRM
  • Original Gravity: 1.030 – 1.035 OG
  • Final Gravity: 1.010 – 1.013 FG
  • IBU Range: 10 – 20
  • ABV Range: 2.5 – 3.2%


84% 6 lbs Maris Otter Malt

8% 8 oz Crystal 8010%

6% 6 oz Pale Chocolate Malt

2% 2 oz Roasted Barley


1 oz Fuggle – Boil 60 min


1.0 pkg Wyeast Scottish Ale 1728

Mash at 152°F for 60 mins

Boil for 60 mins

Russell Germaine

I am a Cleveland Teacher and Coach. I also belong to 2 brew groups and I love brewing, talking and drinking beer.

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Volume 16, Issue 22, Posted 12:59 PM, 01.06.2021