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It's hard to hate Irish beer. It's iconic in its own right. In fact, there's a national holiday to celebrate it (kinda) called St. Patrick's Day. To a point, it's easy to think that the Emerald Isle is where all the best brews come from in that corner of the world.
Similarly, I've heard a lot of praise being heaped on beer brewed in London and throughout most of England. Who can blame them? British beer does taste pretty darn good.
Though it's easy to fall into that mindset, you have to take pause. Speaking as a lover of Guinness, it's an easy trap to fall into. However, there's definitely something to be said about other beer brands from less noticed regions in the United Kingdom.
Today, we're going to look at the best Scottish beer brands — and why they shouldn't be overshadowed by their Irish and British siblings.
For fans who really love Scottish Ale, there are very few companies that can get even close to Orkney Brewery's reputation. This brewery's specializes in Scottish Ales with a seriously dark, smoky, and heavy texture.
Their best ale in this category might be their Dark Island Reserve — a rich and decadent brew for people who love the creamy texture of Guinness but want a more substantial flavor than what you'd see in a standard stout.
Their 3 Sisters brew, a close second, offers a dark amber hue with a lot less thickness and a lot more crispness. No matter which brew you take, it's clear why Orkney's one of the best Scottish beer brands out there.
Highland Brewing Co.
Also known as Swannay, Highland Brewing Company is about Scottish as it gets — and there can only be one! This brewery is famous for very flavorful, very alcoholic brews, and to a point, that's one of the reason its name is ranked as one of the best Scottish beer brands in the market.
Their Dark Munro is a great option for people who want to enjoy the smokiness and coffee-like flavor of one of the best dark beers, but don't want the bitterness that comes with it. Most of the English ales they produce have the same mellow flavor profile — but pack a pretty substantial ABV rating.
Loch Fyne literally translates into "Loch of the Vine" in Scottish, and it's exactly where Fyne Ales is located. This brewery has been right in the heart of the Scottish Loch for ages, and has gained a lot of attention for their high quality summer ales.
Jarl currently holds rank as their most popular beer, and it's (surprisingly) an American Blonde Ale. As such, it's crisp, wheaty, and happens to be brewed using rainfall from Scotland. If you love light beer with an American twist, Loch Fyne will be one of the best Scottish beer brands to try this summer.
The Caledonian Brewing Company
Among Scots, few beers can quench one's thirst like the ones that come from the Caledonian Brewing Company. Boasting one of the largest varieties of beers under one roof is this brewing company's claim to fame.
So, if you can't ever seem to settle on just one kind of beer, then it's easy to see why the Caledonian Brewing Company is one of the best Scottish beer brands around. No matter what you're up for, they'll probably have it — and if you're ambivalent, you can never guess what they'll brew up next.
While it's really hard to point out one favorite of the bunch, we're going to strongly suggest Caledonian's John Courage Imperial Stout. This Russian Imperial Stout is strong enough to put hair on your chest, and offers a powerful punch at 10 percent ABV.
It's only available once in a while, so if you find it in rotation, make a point to try it out. It's a great buzz and a great drink.
BrewDog is, without a doubt, one of the most famous breweries in Scotland altogether. It's known for producing some of the highest ABV beers in history, and for having incredibly quirky names to many of their top rated brews.
Truthfully, it's impossible to pick just one good beer from here. They're all amazing, and their breweries also serve top quality gastropub fare that pairs well with their beers.
Though they are most famous for making a beer that topped 44 percent ABV, they also can claim to be one of the best Scottish beer brands in business altogether. BeerAdvocate gave them an outstanding rating, which is unheard of — even among famed craft breweries.
Additionally, BrewDog also does a lot of nonprofit fundraising with its events, too. So, it's also a fairly ethical company, too.