My 90 Shilling Brew with Caledonian Brewery in Scotland

Last July, I was invited to travel to Edinburgh, Scotland to brew our recipe of 90 Shilling at the classic Scottish brewery, Caledonian. On September 5th and 6th, we brewed 1200 firkins worth of 90 Shilling to be served at many of the JD Wetherspoons pubs in the UK for their fall real ale festival which runs for 3 weeks starting October 5th. I was one of 5 US craft brewers invited to brew in UK breweries for the festival.

Our day started out milling the grain and mashing into one of Caledonian’s two mash tuns. After the mash rest, the wort was transferred by gravity to their 3 brewkettles where hops were added and the brew was boiled. After the boil, we ran the wort by gravity to the hopback where it was then pumped to an open fermentation tank so common in classic UK breweries. We used the same ingredients as we do in Colorado but used the Caledonian house ale yeast for a Scottish twist to an American version of this classic Scotish style.

I had to leave Scotland before the beer was ready but here are some tasting notes sent to me by Shakey Steven, their operations manager:

“In terms of the 90 Shilling, it has just entered my top 10. Aroma – Fruit, raisin, gentle hop. More mellow than alcoholic, very pleasing. Flavour – Spicy , roast, coffee and chocolate. Finish – Malty, rich and smooth with a decent level of bitterness and less caramel than I would have expected. Overall a quite stunningly complex beer and well worth your time being here and I’m sure the drinkers over here are looking forward to next week.

Doug Odell

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