Sunday, 2 October 2016

Award-winning mediocre brewery

I'll try it if I see it
Under a headline "Scotland names its best beers", the Morning Advertiser states that at the Scottish Beer Awards, "BrewDog, Caledonian Brewery and the Tempest Brewing Company have been named, among many other brewers, as producing some of Scotland’s top beers." Caledonian received a single award for Best Pale Ale with its Coast To Coast.

I haven't come across this particular beer, but my experience of Caledonian beers does not fill me with confidence. They have a very distinctive corporate flavour that I dislike. My local is a Star pub, a Heineken company which also owns Caledonian, so beers from that brewery do feature regularly on the bar. I no longer drink them. They even supply a house beer with its own special pump clip, but I find it still has that Caledonian flavour. I've little doubt that it's another beer re-badged: my friend reckons it's the old 80/-.

I used to quite like Deuchars IPA as a pleasant if unremarkable beer. Deuchars was taken over by Caledonian, and since then I've found that it has acquired the unmistakable Caledonian flavour. If Coast To Coast actually deserves (as opposed to receives) an award, it must have broken the mould. I'll give it a go if I see it on the bar but, on Caledonian's record to date, I won't be hopeful.


  1. Have to agree. Caledonian is one brand I actively avoid as well.

  2. Surely "distinctive corporate flavour" is just a pejorative way of saying "distinctive house character", which most breweries have to a greater or lesser extent.

    I like it in Caledonian beers, and Edinburgh Castle (ex 80/-) is one of those beers that jumps off the bar at me if I see it.

    But obviously we all have different tastes...

    1. It would be a boring world if we all were the same.

  3. Deuchars has, since its revival always been brewed by Caledonian. Caledonian has been acquired by Heineken, but I reckon the house style is just the same. Lots and and lots of diacetyl.

    I don't even know if Deuchars ever produced an IPA, though likely the did even if it was for export and a long time ago.

    1. I stand corrected on the history, and I know nothing about diacetyl, but I'm certainly not alone in considering that the taste of Deuchars IPA changed a few years ago.


Comments, including disagreements, are welcome.
Abuse and spam are not and will be deleted straight away.
Comment moderation is installed for older posts.