Lift Yer Kilt – Cooler than a unicorn
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:04

As noted in last week’s blog, Malthouse is celebrating the great Scottish bard by hosting the second annual Robbie Burns Day festival which is sensitively titled “Lift Yer Kilt” on Thursday 25 January 2018 (tomorrow). It will feature close to a dozen beers from the Tempest Brewery in Scotland, and a Scottish food option of Lorne Sausage sandwiches.

I absolutely adore Lorne Sausage but sadly have it so rarely these days. My regular supplier in Tawa closed which was sad but has probably added years to my life. Lorne Sausage – also known as square sausage or square slice – is a tightly packed square patty of pork, beef, rusk [1] and strong spices. The internet also informs me it is not technically a sausage as it lacks any casing. I hate the interwebs sometimes – especially when it is technically correct.

However, nothing should be allowed to diminish the sheer deliciousness of this Scottish culinary classic. It is associated most with breakfast as part of the legendary Scottish breakfast, a meal which makes the classic English breakfast look like a bowl of Weight Watchers berry cereal. [2] At home I would usually barbeque it – which is not a common occurrence in Scotland to be fair – and serve it in a fresh Scottish roll. This is a soft white roll which, in a series of amazing coincidences, is square and almost exactly the same size as a standard Lorne sausage.

I put mustard on it once but was visited by the ghost of Danny Buoy, noted expert on Scottish food, who warned me against it. This was odd because:

1)    The mustard was quite nice, but I guess the spices can stand up for themselves.

2)    Danny Buoy is not dead.

He is actually a comedian and did however produce a truly hilarious sketch about Scottish breakfast (link below). It includes a claim from the World Health Organisation that Scotland has the worst diet in the world, including “countries with no food... It is now better to have no food at all, than Scottish food.” While he covers black pudding (“essentially a giant scab”) and the Scottish breakfast (“basically everything in the fridge at that time”), he does miss a modern dish which rocketed to superstardom at Malthouse.

Here are the remaining six Tempest Brewing beers for the 2018 “Lift Yer Kilt” festival. They are proudly produced in Tweedbank, Scotland. The village is located in the Scottish Borders, an area where even I struggle to understand the thick Scots accents. [3] Interestingly, Tweedbank was only founded in the 1970s but its official Wikipedia page already boasts that it hosts “several shops.”

Tempest Brewing Loral India Pale Lager (5.4%) – It is a IPL named after the heavy use of the American hop Loral, and not the (apparently non-existent) Doctor Seuss character as I initially assumed. Actually, I should have known this fact as Epic released Loral Pale Ale last year. There are notes of orange, lemon and grass.

Tempest Brewing Mango Berlinner (4%) – It is a Berlinner Weisse so you should know that I am not going to be impartial as it’s a style I do not personally enjoy. Mango Berlinner is tart, sour and quite mango-y (if it is a real term).

Tempest Brewing Marmalade on Rye (9%) – Now we swing wildly to the other end of the beer scale to a style I utterly adore – Imperial IPA. It is big, as you would expect from a 9% IIPA, but with plenty of flavours including orange zest, citrus, ginger and caramel. I think it is fair to say this will be my first pick from Tempest.

Tempest Brewing Mexicake Imperial Stout (11%) – Hugely regarded over at RateBeer, this powerful dark ale has notes of chocolate, vanilla, chilli, cinnamon and cocoa. The responsible use of real chilli explains the very non-Scottish moniker.

Tempest Brewing Soma (6.8%) – I first came across a reference to Soma in the classic book Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. It portrays a dystopian future, and a worrying number of aspects of which have subsequently become reality. The book features Soma – a fictional drug which keeps the population happy and passive. Until today, I thought it was a real drug. I think I will stick to this fruity, juicy and bitter India Pale Ale.

Tempest Brewing Spring Sour (4.5%) – This is a limited edition rhubarb and citrus sour beer. I expect it to be hugely popular, and that will leave more Marmalade on Rye for me! I’m definitely a glass half full type of guy today, despite my apartment and office currently missing (at last count) seven windows. [4]

Next time, we drink to the heroic Scottish rugby fan who bravely stood up during the Lions versus Hurricanes game and proclaimed in a loud, clear voice that “you may take your conversions but you’ll never take our freedom.” He also may just have passed his beer to his lovely partner saying “please hold this, I am about to do something embarrassing.” What an utter gentleman. [5]

Oh, the title of this blog? Well, the official animal of Scotland is the unicorn.

[1] This counts as a vegetable in Scotland.

[2] I have a pack of this. It is currently celebrating its second anniversary. Must get round to opening it sometime...

[3] At the World Schools Debating Championship in Edinburgh my team attempted to get the Scottish speaker from the Borders to say the topic as often as possible. With his accent and long rolling “r’s” we estimated he wasted a third of speaking time saying “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” We won.

[4] There are a number of tradesmen working on the issue. They have bought their own stereo system which is made by, and I am not making this up, Makita.

[5] Obviously it was me as was pointed out immediately by two old cricket chums sitting a few rows behind me.


Neil Miller

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