So, my second batch of home brew is underway, following a successful Irish Extra Stout.
Once again, I’ve gone with the very straightforward and easy to follow Brupak method, but this time I’ve opted for a Scottish style, 80 Shilling.
It’s not something you see around much these days, but I recall, prior to me getting to know my beer, friends getting very excited if they ever found it on a bar.
“80 Bob” (a “bob” being a shilling, or five “new pence”) was a star attraction and trumped all others, when available.
But what the hell is it?
Brupak describe it as a “malt accented beer much loved in Scotland. Mid brown in colour, with a soft palate and a gentle flavour of Fuggles hops”.
I’m about as clear after that as the beer currently is, only 72 hours into fermentation.
ScottishBrewing.com has a much more in-depth description, which basically sums it up as a “classic Scottish ale” – again, it doesn’t seem to really cover the beer diversification that can now be found in Scotland – but essentially it’s somewhere between a mild pale ale and a strong ale. It’s also classed as a “export” beer, which is usually around the 4% mark, but sometimes up to 5.5%.
It might not be a surprise to hear that the shilling/guineas system of labelling beer types became somewhat scarce after the Second World War.
However, it’s only fair that, while I labour so hard trying all these new craft varieties that, alongside the better known historic ales, I take a trip down memory lane with an 80 shilling – and considering the kit brews 20 pints, it could be a long journey.
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I’m 42, I don’t have a beard (partly because when I try it is patchy, has gaps, with ginger and grey bits) and don’t take a clipboard to the pub. So, I’m not the stereotypical real ale fan of old, in the style that I was always told to look out for...read more